Route 3 - Contract Award - Standstill

The standstill period is a defined period of time between the notice of the contract award decision and the award of the contract. The purpose of the standstill period is to enable unsuccessful tenderers to consider the feedback on their submissions and to allow them an opportunity to seek further information or call for a review of the decision. These templates may be used to notify the successful and unsuccessful tenderer(s) at the start of the standstill period.

Timescales

An organisation must allow a period of at least the relevant standstill period to elapse between the date of despatch of the standstill notice and the date on which that organisation enters into the contract

This does not apply, however, where:

  • the contract or framework agreement is exempt from the requirement for prior publication of a contract notice;
  • there are no tenderers concerned;
  • a notice is not required to be given under regulation 85(1) of the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015 (notices of decisions to award a contract or conclude a framework agreement).

Where the standstill notice is sent to all tenderers by facsimile or electronic means, the standstill period is a period of 10 days ending at midnight at the end of the 10th day after that on which the last notice is sent.

Where the notice is sent to any tenderers only by other means, e.g. by post, the standstill period is a period of 15 days ending at midnight at the end of the 15th day after that on which the last notice is sent.

If unsuccessful tenderers have any concerns with regard to the process and/or its outcome, they should be raised during this period. Before approaching the court seeking any legal remedies, a tenderer must inform the Organisation, explaining the basis for its application to the court. The Organisation will usually be aware of any legal challenge prior to the end of the mandatory standstill period.

When action is commenced in court the Organisation cannot award the contract unless the court permits this (usually after the Organisation has successfully applied to the court).

It should be noted that, even after the award of the contract a supplier can approach the court seeking damages (see remedies section).

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