Award letter/notice

An award letter is the decision notice sent out to all successful supplier(s) once the evaluation decision has been made.

The despatch of a valid award letter, together with letters to unsuccessful suppliers, represents the start of the important standstill stage in the procurement process. As such, it is one which it is important to get right in order to manage the legal risk of a challenge and to avoid unnecessary delay to the award of the contract.

There are the following general points to bear in mind when drafting an award letter/decision notice to be sent to the successful bidder(s):

  • Make sure that the letter does not imply that the contracting authority accepts the offer made by the supplier, as any such acceptance is likely to be binding, and this is not appropriate until the standstill period has expired
  • Make sure the notice does not amount to a representation by the contracting authority that it will definitely proceed to accept the supplier’s offer provided that there is no legal challenge during the standstill period
  • Given that the contracting authority is likely to be entering into contractual relations with the successful bidder, the aim is to draft the award notice in a positive way that gives encouragement and comfort to the successful bidder, while at the same time ensuring that the contracting authority does not commit itself to any binding legal obligations at this stage.

Note that this document is a template and will require tailoring to add the relevant detail. In particular, note that where there is more than one successful supplier (such as a framework agreement with multiple suppliers) the award letter must contain the relevant information for each successful supplier.

The award letters and letters to unsuccessful bidders should all be dispatched at the same time.

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