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Competitive Procedure with Negotiation

The Competitive Procedure with Negotiation can be used by a procurement officer where the contract cannot be awarded without prior negotiation because of the nature or complexity of the goods or services required.

This tends to be because:

  • the needs of the contract cannot be met without adaptation of readily available solutions;
  • the supplies or services required include design or innovative solutions;
  • the technical specifications of the goods or services required cannot be established precisely by the procurement officer;
  • the public body has already tried to procure the goods or services using the Open or Restricted procedure but only received irregular or unacceptable tenders;

Under this procedure:

  • the Contract Notice will make it clear that the Competitive Procedure with Negotiation is being used and will request the completion of an ESPD (Scotland);
  • any supplier may make a request to participate;
  • the supplier must submit a completed ESPD within the timelines set out by the procurement officer;
  • following assessment of the submitted ESPDs, the procurement officer will shortlist suppliers who have met the selection criteria and invite them to the initial tender phase;
  • the minimum number of suppliers who can be shortlisted is three (if three meet the selection criteria requirements);
  • this can be followed by several rounds of negotiation in order for the public body to seek approved offers (negotiations should only improve the bids and not cover the contract fundamentals e.g. price to suppliers);
  • negotiations may result in a new or revised tender being issued;
  • finally, the procurement officer will make a contract award.

How Long Do I Have to Respond?

You will normally be given a minimum of 30 days to respond from the day the Contract Notice is sent for publication to submit your selection stage documents.

For the award stage you will normally be given a minimum of 30 days to respond to the tender. This timescale can be amended depending on whether a Prior Information Notice was issued (and how it is used) or where bids will be accepted electronically.

The procurement officer will detail all of the tender timelines in the tender documents.  You should ensure you read and understand these.

If there is a justifiable reason to change the tender closing date,  the new date will be notified to all bidders. If you  have already submitted a tender then you should be given the opportunity to withdraw your original bid and submit a revised one.

What do I need to do to respond to a Competitive Procedure with Negotiation tender?

  • Register on Public Contracts Scotland;
  • Formally note interest in the contract;
  • Access the procurement documents available via PCS;
  • Respond to the Selection stage of the process;
  • If successful, participate in the negotiations held;
  • Access the tender documents via PCS;
  • Respond to the tender, either via PCS or PCS-Tender (the procurement officers instructions will tell you which system to use) ensuring you can meet the deadlines.

It is the responsibility of all suppliers to ensure that their bid is submitted in accordance with the rules of the competition and before the specified deadline. Non-conformant bids will be disqualified from the competition.



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