Restricted procedure

Under the Restricted procedure any economic operator (supplier) may request to participate in the advertised tender exercise, however, only those invited by the contracting authority may submit a tender.

A notice is published on the Find a Tender Service and sent to be published on Contracts Finder within 24 hours of the Find a Tender Service notice being published, stating that tenders will be sought under the restricted procedure.

The advertisement seeks requests from interested economic operators (suppliers) to participate in the tender exercise, typically by completing a Selection Questionnaire (SQ).

The advertisement will state a date by which the requests to participate (SQs) must be received. When this date has passed all requests must be assessed against the published grounds for exclusion and the selection criteria.

Note: It is important that grounds for exclusion, the selection and the award criteria are not confused and used at the wrong stage of the tendering process. A contracting authority cannot take account of a tenderer's experience, manpower, equipment or ability to perform the contract by an anticipated deadline (which are selection criteria relating to capability) as part of the award criteria.  Such criteria should only be taken into account at pre-qualification stage.

It is permitted to state a range within which falls the number of firms that the contracting authority intends to invite for tender.  The minimum number of candidates to invite to tender is 5 and in any event the number of candidates invited shall be sufficient to ensure genuine competition.

Only those applicants meeting the selection criteria and minimum levels of ability are then taken forward to the tender process.

Applicants that do not proceed to the tender stage should be so advised of the reasons why inline with the requirements of the mandatory standstill notification letter, and, if they request it, de-briefed within 15 days of their request.

Tender documentation will then be issued to the selected suppliers (if not already provided as part publication of procurement documents) who will be invited to submit tenders. The documentation will state the date and time by which the contract authority must receive completed submissions.

After the stated closing date and time has passed, each submission is evaluated using the award criteria stated in the Contract Notice or in the tender documentation.

After the award decision has been made:

  • all remaining bidders must be advised of the proposed award decision including the information detailed in a Regulation 86 notice and the mandatory standstill period observed;
  • a contract award notice must be published on the Find a Tender Service within 30 days of the contract award;
  • a contract award notice must be published on Contracts Finder within 90 calendar days of the contract award date but not before publication of the Find a Tender Service contract award notice;
  • any request from a supplier to be de-briefed must be completed within 15 days of the request.