Route 3 - Issue ITT - Questions from Suppliers
Once the procurement has commenced, care must be taken and a process put in place to ensure that all correspondence between the potential tenderers and the Organisation is carried out in a fair and transparent manner. For example, it is best practice to provide details of the deadline for the submission of questions and the date by which all questions will be answered within the ITT documentation. These dates must be prior to the closing date for expressions of interest or tenders and should allow sufficient time for all tenderers to consider information which may be relevant to their proposals.
Any question submitted by a potential tenderer along with the answer provided by your Organisation must be anonymised and circulated to all of the potential tenderers involved in the process. Provided questions are asked in good time, you must supply answers to the questions to all tenderers not later than six days before the deadline for tender responses. The time limit changes to not later than four days however for the Open, Restricted and Competitive Procedure with Negotiation when the accelerated procedure is used.
Deadlines must be extended where, for whatever reason, additional information requested by a tenderer, which is requested in good time and is significant, is not supplied at least six days before the deadline, or where significant changes are made to the procurement documents. The time limit changes to not later than four days when the accelerated procedure is used.
The use of an electronic tendering system, for example Public Contracts Scotland - Tender, will facilitate the receipt and circulation of questions and answers. Public Contracts Scotland offers similar functionality via the bulletin board. If you do not use an electronic system, clear instructions and contact details should be provided to the suppliers within the ITT documentation. Communications with all parties during the procurement activity should be coordinated by the Procurement Officer and documented.