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Procurement in a nutshell – PQQ in Above Threshold procurements

In this Procurement in a Nutshell, we will be looking at the use of Pre-Qualification Questionnaires (PQQs) for Above Threshold procurements under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

The regulations are available in full here.

What’s new?

For contracts above the regulation 5 thresholds, Contracting Authorities (CAs) can use PQQs in Part 2 procedures (i.e. procedures for use in above threshold procurements).

CAs should have regard to the mandatory and discretionary grounds for the exclusion of tenderers under regulation 57.

Regulation 58 sets out what areas selection criteria can cover and how each of these can be applied. Criteria can relate to a tenderer’s:

  • suitability to pursue a professional activity;
  • economic or financial standing; and
  • technical and professional ability.

If the CA wants to impose a minimum yearly turnover requirement on tenderers, it cannot exceed twice the estimated contract value, except in very specific circumstances.

CAs should also have regard to the issues covered by regulations 60 to 65 in conducting a PQQ stage. These cover issues such as acceptable means of proof, quality assurance and environmental management standards and the reduction in the number of candidates who will be invited to tender.

Regulation 107 requires CAs to have regard to Cabinet Office guidance issued in relation to qualitative selection. This statutory guidance is available here.

The Cabinet Office guidance contains standardised core and additional PQQ questions which CAs should use. CAs need to be aware that any deviation may be reportable

Regulation 107 and the guidance issued under it does not apply to maintained schools and academies and some NHS procurements for healthcare services.

Why is it important?

Just like for the below threshold regime, CAs need to be aware of the rules regarding PQQs in the above threshold regime.

The regulations and the statutory guidance provide detailed information on how each of the selection criteria can be applied and what questions can or should be asked.

CAs must familiarise themselves with the detail of the guidance and make sure they follow the correct procedure where they make a reportable deviation.

How can I find out more?

If you have any queries on the issues raised or on any aspect of procurement, please contact us via our procurement hotline on 0191 204 4464.

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

This page may contain links that direct you to third party websites. We have no control over and are not responsible for the content, use by you or availability of those third party websites, for any products or services you buy through those sites or for the treatment of any personal information you provide to the third party.

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