Procurement Alert – New standard Selection Questionnaire and statutory guidance

Emily Heard, Bevan Brittan

The Crown Commercial Service has published the new standard Selection Questionnaire for supplier selection in procurements above the relevant EU thresholds.

Click here to view the updated Standard Selection Questionnaire template

PPN/Action Note 8/16 contains statutory guidance on the revised process of supplier selection as well as the new standard Selection Questionnaire.

The new standard Selection Questionnaire replaces the current standard Pre-Qualification Questionnaire and the statutory guidance published in 2015 (Procurement Policy Note 03/15).

All contracting authorities in England, and some in Wales and Northern Ireland[1] are required, with immediate effect, to:

  • Stop using the standard Pre-Qualification Questionnaire for the supplier selection stage
  • Start using the new Selection Questionnaire and comply with the new statutory guidance, process and standard form.

The CCS explains that the new Selection Questionnaire (also referred to as the “SQ”) is intended to simplify the supplier selection process for businesses. The CCS also confirms that the SQ is compliant with the European Single Procurement Document and the amended rules on selection of suppliers. There are notes explaining the interaction between the SQ and the ESPD.

PPN/Action Note 8/16 is structured as follows:

Action note

 

Overview

 

Annex A
Statutory Guidance – including background, summary of key points, general rules for the standard SQ, guidance on; each of the 3 parts of the SQ, supplier selection questions including comment on the Modern Slavery Act, project specific questions and questions primarily to be used by central government.

 

Annex B
Standard Selection Questionnaire – with an introductory explanation, notes for completion. The SQ is divided into 3 parts:

  • Part 1: Potential Supplier Information
  • Part 2: Exclusion Grounds (mandatory and discretionary
  • Part 3: Selection Questions

 

Annex C List of mandatory and discretionary exclusion grounds

 

Annex D     Frequently Asked Questions

 

The content and structure of the SQ does differ from the standard PQQ. Contracting authorities will therefore need to ensure that they have read, understood and implemented the changes. It is particularly important to read the Statutory Guidance but also the FAQs in Annex D in order to understand the full picture.

Contracting authorities using e-procurement systems will need to check that their providers are now using the  SQ.

Contracting authorities should also expect to receive increased levels of queries from potential suppliers as they get to grips with answering the SQ.

[1]  PPN/Action Note 8/16 applies to contracting authorities in Wales and Northern Ireland whose functions are not wholly or mainly devolved. See Public Contracts Regulations 2015, Regulation 1(8)(9), for full definition of contracting authorities in Wales and Northern Ireland that are not subject to these provisions.

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