The Standstill Period provides for a short (at least 10 calendar day) pause between the point when the contract award decision is notified to bidders, and the final contract conclusion, during which time suppliers can challenge the decision.
For contracts with an estimated value equal to or above the OJEU thresholds there is a requirement to observe a Standstill Period. For contracts worth less than the OJEU Threshold, procurement officers may choose to observe a voluntary standstill period, but they can go ahead and award the contract without a Standstill Period.
Where it is legally required, the minimum standstill period is calculated depending on the means of communication used to transmit the standstill notice:
- At least 10 calendar days, when the notice is communicated using electronic means (e.g. fax, email); or
- When using non-electronic means, there is a choice between either: 15 days from date of sending; or 10 days from date of receipt
If a public body fails to correctly maintain a required standstill period, it can incur a financial penalty and the contract may be abandoned.
The purpose of the Standstill Period is to give unsuccessful bidders some time to:
- consider the feedback (Debrief) provided on their bid by the procurement officer;
- seek further information;
- call for a review of the procurement officer decision.
If unsuccessful bidders have any concerns with regards to the contract award decision, they should be raised to the public body during this Standstill Period.