The standstill period
Produced in partnership with Deborah Ramshaw of Womble Bond Dickinson

The following Local Government practice note produced in partnership with Deborah Ramshaw of Womble Bond Dickinson provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The standstill period
  • What is the standstill period?
  • What are the requirements for a notice of decision to award?
  • How long is the standstill period?

The standstill period

What is the standstill period?

When a contracting authority reaches its decision on the award of a public contract subject to the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, SI 2015/102 (PCR 2015), it must hold a standstill period. This is a mandatory period where the contracting authority does not enter into the contract with the successful bidder until the expiry of the standstill period.

The standstill period allows unsuccessful tenderers the opportunity to:

  1. seek further information from the contracting authority, and

  2. consider whether their rights have been prejudiced during the procurement process

If so, unsuccessful bidders may apply to have the contract award decision set aside. This remedy is available in addition, or as an alternative, to a claim for damages. Other remedies are available in certain circumstances including a declaration of ineffectiveness being made (where the contract has already been entered into and only on certain limited grounds). See Practice Note: Damages as a remedy in public procurement claims.

It is not clear whether it was originally intended in Directive 2014/24/EU (OJ L 94 28.3.2014 p 65), the EU Public Contracts Directive, as implemented and still in force in England, Wales and Northern Ireland by PCR 2015, to apply the standstill period to contracts for so-called 'Light Touch Regime' (LTR) services (chiefly social care, health and education services), particularly where a Prior Information Notice (PIN) is

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