This section covers how to identify public sector contract opportunities suitable for your business and the ways in which you may be asked to bid (quotation or tender).
"Quotation" and “Tender” are general terms used to describe the process of a procurement officer purchasing something to meet their requirements by undertaking a procurement exercise i.e. a procurement officer advertises and publishes their requirements via documents, and suppliers compete against each other by bidding for the requirement.
When a procurement officer publishes their documents for suppliers to bid, the procurement officer will already have made the decision on:
- whether to use a quotation or a tender;
- if using a tender, which public sector procurement procedure and procurement process will they will be using for the procurement exercise;
- what questions are included in the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) for suppliers to respond to;
- which procurement system they will be using for the procurement exercise;
- the information they require bidders to include in their bid.
You as a bidder do not influence the procurement process or system used for the procurement process as this has already been decided upon by the procurement officer.
This decision will have been made by the based on many factors which include:
- the complexity of the procurement;
- the estimated value of the procurement (based on all of the years the contract will be active for, including extension periods) i.e. Contract Thresholds;
- procurement legislation;
- the buying organisation’s’ internal procedures (governance) e.g. which procurement system they use;
- market analysis.
The Procurement Officer will include information and instructions on the above areas in their tender documents. As a result you, as the potential bidder, should read and become familiar with all of the procurement officer's requirements and make the decision on whether to bid based on this.
If you have any queries regarding the procurement exercise this should be raised with the procurement officer as early as possible. This will normally be done via the postbox facility in Public Contracts Scotland or in Public Contracts Scotland – Tender. More information can found in the Postbox Supplier User Guide for PCS and the PCS-Tender Supplier Response Guide.
Although you do not influence the procurement process or system used for the procurement process, the following stations contain more information, which you can refer to, on the procurement procedures and processes that may be used by the procurement officer.