Unsuccessful bidder letter

An unsuccessful bidder letter is the decision notice sent out to all unsuccessful suppliers once the evaluation decision has been made.

The despatch of valid unsuccessful bidder letters, together with award letters to the successful supplier(s), represents the start of the important standstill period. As such, it is important to get this right in order to manage the legal risk of a challenge and to avoid unnecessary delay to the award of the contract.

It is important that the descriptive section of the letter where bidders are informed of the relative advantages and characteristics of the winning bid is drafted in a way that is bespoke and individual to each unsuccessful bid. Including the same standard paragraph for each unsuccessful bidder is unlikely to meet the requirements for unsuccessful bidders to be afforded a clear understanding of the ways in which the winning bid scored more highly than their own.

The unsuccessful bidder letter should be sent to all unsuccessful suppliers except those who have previously been notified of their exclusion from the process and the reasons for it (e.g. at the PQQ 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 unsuccessful supplier letter must contain the relevant information for each successful supplier.

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

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