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last updated: 28th July 2011

Where a contract will be awarded on the basis of the most economically advantageous tender, it is permitted to encourage suppliers to submit a range of offers by using the provision for variant bids.

Note: tenderers who opt to submit a variant bid must also submit a compliant bid, both bids will then be considered by the contracting authority.

If variant bids are to be considered, this must have been indicated in the contract notice. Note: If you do not state in the contract notice that Variant Bids will not be accepted, that tenderers will be able to submit variant bids and you will have to evaluate any that are received using the stated award criteria.

The contract notice or documentation must state the minimum requirements to be met by the variant bids.  Only bids meeting the minimum criteria can be taken into consideration. 

The contract must be awarded using the most economically advantageous criteria.

In a tender to let a public services or a public supplies contract, a submission cannot be rejected simply because it would, if successful, lead to a service contract rather than a public service contract or a supply contract rather than a public supply contract.
 

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