Q&As

What guidance is available for contracting authorities on exclusion of bidders in public procurement?

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Published on LexisPSL on 09/06/2020

The following Commercial Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What guidance is available for contracting authorities on exclusion of bidders in public procurement?
  • Eligibility and selection in public procurement
  • Information and guidance on exclusion
  • Further reading

What guidance is available for contracting authorities on exclusion of bidders in public procurement?

Eligibility and selection in public procurement

Contracting authorities conducting a public procurement exercise under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR 2015), SI 2015/102 may only select or exclude potential bidders by applying appropriate criteria in accordance with PCR 2015, SI 2015/102. In terms of exclusion criteria, potential suppliers may be excluded from participation in a public procurement exercise if they trigger certain exclusion grounds, or if they fail to meet certain minimum conditions for participation relating to their economic and financial standing and/or technical and professional ability.

Ordinarily, suitability may be determined by asking potential suppliers a series of pre-qualification questions. Other than in an open procedure, contracting authorities may run a pre-selection stage in the procurement exercise using a selection questionnaire, and select a limited number of bidders to participate. For background reading, see Practice Note: Introduction to public contracts procurement, in particular section: Supplier suitability assessment. Bidders are required to self-declare that exclusion grounds do not apply. Means of proof and verification are set out in PCR 2015, SI 2015/102, reg 60.

PCR 2015, SI 2015/102, set out specific exclusion criteria, which contracting authorities should take into account when considering the exclusion of potential suppliers from a public procurement exercise (PCR 2015, SI 2015/102, reg 57):

  1. mandatory exclusion grounds—contracting authorities must exclude

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