Contract Notice Review Body Update - 16 January 2020

The changes to Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) have been driven by amendments made to the electronic version of standard OJEU forms by the EU.


In section VI.4.1 Procedures for Review of the Contract Notice (Standard Form 2; Annex II to EU Regulation 2015/1986), the form asks the buyer to provide the following information in relation to the review body:


•         Official Name

•         Postal Address

•         Town

•         Post code

•         Email

•         Telephone

•         Internet address


Until now, this part of the electronic version of the OJEU form was a free-text field and the Procurement Journey has always offered the following advice as to how buyers may wish to populate this field:


“Although suppliers should approach the contracting authority in the first instance, the contracting authority may wish to insert some guidance to advise bidders that the only formal remedy is to apply to the courts:

‘An economic operator that suffers, or is at risk of suffering, loss or damage attributable to a breach of duty under the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015 or the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014, may bring proceedings in the Sheriff Court or the Court of Session’.”


The change to the OJEU form implemented from January onwards is that the free-text field has been removed and replaced with textboxes for each of the separate pieces of information set out in the above bullets.  Importantly for us, the EU have added validation that will check the name of the reviewing body, and if this is the same as the contracting authority named in section I.1 of the form the buyer will receive an error message advising them that these fields should be different.


PCS as you know is required to meet the requirements of the OJEU standard forms and that is why the changes to the system have been made.  

Re-entering the name of the contracting authority here has been a common approach in Scotland up until now and so to offer support to buyers we have provided further information around court details in the systems. 


On 15 January 2020 Cyber Resilience guidance and a tool kit has been added throughout the Procurement Journey in the following stations and sub stations: 

From 14 January for OJEU and above procurements in Scotland you must enter the name and address of your local Sherriff Court in section VI.4.1 of your Contract Notice.  This Contract Notice functionality change is due to EU requirements.

More information is provided within Public Contracts Scotland.


Procurement Journey Update


Earlier this year we carried out a survey on the Procurement Journey.  In response to the feedback received we are updating the Procurement Journey look and functionality.


The Procurement Journey will be relaunched in 2020.  The website address will not change.


Communications will be sent in the New Year with further information.


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Procurement Best Practice team!


Procurement Journey Update

A national survey and a user-testing exercise was completed in early 2019 with a view to identifying specific areas for improvement in relation to the Procurement Journey. 

It was found that although 86% of respondents advised that the Procurement Journey guidance met their current needs, a number of areas for improvement were identified and an improvement exercise has been planned into a phased approach for 2019/20, in order to deliver these improvements.

Areas identified for improvement include:

  • All tools, templates and documents being improved and updated
  • Improved functionality, including search function and navigation
  • Improved page composition and document acces
  • Inclusion of best practice construction and sustainability guidance
  • Inclusion of best practice guidance on the Public Procurement of Innovation
  • Improved Dynamic Purchasing System guidance
  • Refresh old Contract management guidance across all routes
  • Guidance videos
  • Guidance presentations
  • Checklists
  • Case studies

The survey ran from 1 March 2019 and closed on the 22 March 2019 and received 360 responses.

The survey findings, including a phased plan has been put in place to address the key issues highlighted and further updates in relation to progress against the plan will be issued in line with each phase.

Thank you to all that completed the Procurement Journey Survey, we have found your feedback invaluable.

If you have any questions about the survey or the Procurement Journey, please contact us.


Kind Regards

e-Commerce & Best Practice Team

Scottish Procurement & Commercial Directorate

The Scottish Government



On 04 April, Part V (guidance for procurement officers) of the ESPD (Scotland) was amended.  The amendment changed the reference from:


“This part can only be used for restricted procedures, competitive procedures with negotiation, competitive dialogue procedures and innovation partnerships only, i.e. this does not apply to open procedure and competitive procedure without negotiation”


“This part can only be used for restricted procedures, competitive procedures with negotiation, competitive dialogue procedures and innovation partnerships only, i.e. this does not apply to open procedure and negotiated procedure without prior publication


On the 31st of January 2019, the ESPD word document was updated to version 1.13 to include more guidance on completing question 2A.3 National identification number:

Route 2 - Develop documents - European SIngle Procurement Document - ESPD (Scotland)

Route 3 - Develop Document - ESPD (Scotland)


On 10th January 2019, the Exclusion, Selection and Award Criteria - ESPD (Scotland) station was updated to include information on utilising financial ratios in the ESPD (Scotland) module on PCS.


On 7th January, further guidance on sustainable procurement has been included throughout the following stations and substations:


On 12th September, the Procurement Journey was updated to include Fair Work practices Best Practice guidance, including practical tools and guidance. The guidance can be found via the Additional Resources section and is also embedded throughout the relevant stations of the Procurement Journey.


The Construction Procurement Handbook has been published providing guidance for public sector contracting authorities on the procurement of construction works. The Construction Team can be contacted on 0131 244 4892 or at: constructionprocurementreview@gov.scot.


Legal Obligations 

Decisions of the European Court of Justice and the national courts provide interpretation of the requirements of the EU Treaty and the EU Procurement Directives and can establish precedents which must be observed. Caselaw, by its nature, is constantly evolving and can have significant effects.

The legal framework is not static: it evolves through new/amended legislation, through European Commission decisions/guidelines and through court judgments. Every public body should therefore ensure that it has appropriate arrangements in place to ensure that staff involved in procurement activity are kept up to date with developments in the legal framework and are equipped to meet their legal obligations.

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