This is a simple form of template Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ).
A PQQ should be sent to all those who have expressed an interest in supplying a contracting authority with a particular requirement following an OJEU notice. The PQQ is used to select a shortlist of bidders out of those who expressed an interest. Those bidders who are successful at the pre-qualification stage will then be invited to tender (in the restricted procedure) or invited to negotiate (negotiated procedure), or to participate in dialogue (competitive dialogue procedure).
Important note: following guidance issued in February 2012, central government departments, their executive agencies and non-departmental government bodies should not use PQQs for under threshold procurements, should use a specified form of core PQQ questions, and should avoid using an overly mechanistic approach to financial appraisal which may unfairly disadvantage SMEs. Other public bodies are also encouraged to follow this guidance. For more detail please see our blog post here.
There are strict limits on the questions which can be included at the PQQ stage. Suppliers should only be asked for information which allows the contracting authority to assess:
- Whether the supplier should or may be rejected for the reasons listed in Regulation 23 (including fraud, bribery, and insolvency) of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006
- The economic and financial standing of the supplier and
- The technical and professional ability of the supplier
It is not permissible at PQQ stage to ask how the supplier will approach the particular requirement, or any questions about the supplier's pricing. Contracting authorities should only request information which is to be used as part of the selection process.
The template PQQ assumes that the contracting authority is using the restricted procedure. Note that the PQQ document is only a template and will require tailoring to suit the specific circumstances of a procurement.
In particular, amendment may be required to address the following:
- Where it is likely that bidders will submit offers as part of a consortium, the contracting authority may want to include more detailed questions about the nature of any consortium
- Where an electronic tendering system is being used, the contracting authority will need to provide details of how this system operates, and how responses should be submitted using the electronic system and
- Where the requirement is such that, for example, only large multinationals will be in a position to bid, the contracting authority may wish to stipulate a higher standard when assessing economic and financial standing and technical/professional ability
Transparency - where the value of the contract being procured is over £10,000, central government, including departments, their agents, agencies, all Non-Departmental Public Bodies, Trading Funds and National Health Service bodies should note that they are required to publish the PQQ on a central "Contracts Finder" portal. Publication should take place during the pre-selection stage of the procurement. For more information, please see the Contracts Finder website and the Cabinet Office transparency guidance. A separate regime applies to Local Authorities - please see the Local Government group's guidance here.
> Download the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire template (Microsoft Word document)