‘The procurement process will be conducted under the competitive dialogue route in compliance with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (as amended) (the Regulations).’


The procurement process will be conducted under the competitive dialogue route in compliance with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (as amended) (the Regulations).

This route is being used to allow shortlisted bidders to enter into dialogue with the Councils to discuss and negotiate specific aspects of their proposals before selection of a preferred bidder, whilst avoiding excessive and disproportionate costs.

The procurement process will be undertaken in four distinct stages as illustrated in the diagram below and outlined in the following paragraphs.

Stage 01: Selection (Pre-Qualification)

Stage 01 commenced with the issue of the Contract Notice in the Official Journal to the European Union (OJEU). Potential suppliers responding to the notice will gain access to the Selection Questionnaire (SQ) (previously referred to as the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire or PQQ) and a range of supporting documents.

Potential suppliers who intend to submit a completed questionnaire must follow the instructions in the SQ and submit their completed questionnaire via the procurement portal by the due date. Completed questionnaires will be evaluated by the Councils with assistance from their appointed advisors, and depending on the quantity and quality of responses received, it is anticipated that up to four bidders will be shortlisted for Stage 02.

Stage 02: Dialogue

Selected bidders will be issued with an Invitation to Participate in Dialogue (IPD). This will include the requirements for the dialogue stage, including draft heads of terms and the Councils’ detailed objectives and evaluation criteria for awarding the contract.

There will be a number of structured dialogue meetings throughout this period between the Councils and individual bidders to discuss key elements of the requirements; for the Councils to provide constructive feedback on bidders’ evolving solutions and for both parties to discuss and agree appropriate changes to the draft heads of terms. As a condition of engaging in this stage, bidders will be required to enter into confidentiality agreements and the Councils will establish secure procedures to ensure that each of the bidder’s intellectual property, identified as part of their proposals, remains confidential.

The primary intention of this stage is to identify solutions that satisfy the Councils’ objectives. The Councils will seek to conduct the dialogue stage as expeditiously as possible to avoid unnecessary protraction and cost for all parties involved. Once one or more acceptable solutions have been identified, the Councils can close dialogue and invite the remaining bidders to the final tender stage.

Stage 03: Final Tender & Evaluation

Stage 03 will commence with the issue of the Invitation to Submit Final Tenders (ISFT). The Councils may issue a draft ISFT to Bidders during dialogue to enable bidders to provide feedback before dialogue is closed. Bidders will be required to submit their tenders in response to the ISFT and on the basis of the solutions agreed during dialogue. Final tenders will be evaluated on the basis of the best price-quality ratio, in accordance with the evaluation criteria, and a preferred bidder will be recommended.

Stage 04: Preferred Bidder / Contract Award

This stage will involve clarification, specification and optimisation of the preferred bidder’s proposals in line with the principles set out in their tender submission and settling the contractual Agreement in accordance with the detailed heads of terms. Key outputs of this stage will include the Business Plan, the Masterplan and a completed suite of contract documents ready for formulising the contract between the Councils and the preferred bidder.