By
1st Dec 2016

Members have been asking us recently for guidance on electronic communications in tenders over the EU threshold (£164,176.) Below is a quick reminder of the regulations and when they apply:

26 February 2015
  • Procurement documents must be available electronically for potential bidders to download at the time the OJEU Notice is published or when an Invitation to Confirm Interest is sent. The guidance by CCS does take a “purposive” view of the definition of “procurement documents” and suggests that what is meant by “procurement documents” changes based on the different stages of the process that has been reached. Best practice guidance on the publication of procurement documents requirements can be found on FELP.
18 October 2018
  • All communication and information exchanged in tender processes for contracts above £164,176 must be carried out electronically including the submission of tenders.
Implications
  1. When conducting your own tenders for contracts above the threshold (i.e. outside of a framework agreement,) up until the 18th October 2018 you could utilise your institutions own website to allow potential bidders to download the relevant procurement documentation as an alternative to an e-tendering system. However, beyond this date, you will need to allow the electronic submission of tender documentation that meets the security requirements set out in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 - Regulation 22(16) which in most cases will mean investing in an e-tendering system. Further information on e-tendering systems can be found on Further Education Library of Procurement.
  2. If you conduct any site visits or presentations as part of your procurement process, ensure these are adequately documented such as written or audio records or summaries of the main elements of the communication.

Crown Commercial Services (CCS) have issued Electronic Procurement and Communications guidance. The full guidance document can be viewed from Further Education Library of Procurement.

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