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Changes to the "misrepresentation question" on Single Procurement Document (SPD) announced

The Scottish Government has announced changes to the Single Procurement Document (SPD).

Which question is affected?

Public Contracts Scotland is rewording question 3D.15 Misrepresentation in the Exclusion Criteria section of the SPD.

Current wording:

Can the bidder confirm that:

1) It has not been guilty of serious misrepresentation in supplying the information required for the verification of the absence of grounds for exclusion or the fulfilment of the selection criteria

2) It has not withheld such information

3) It has been able, without delay, to submit the supporting documents required by an organisation or contracting entity, and

4) It has not undertaken to unduly influence the decision making process of the organisation or contracting entity, to obtain confidential information that may confer upon it undue advantages in the procurement procedure or to negligently provide misleading information that may have a material influence on decisions concerning exclusion, selection or award?

Revised wording:

Has the bidder:

a) Been guilty of serious misrepresentation in supplying the information required for the verification of the absence of grounds for exclusion or the fulfilment of the selection criteria,

b) Withheld such information,

c) Been unable, without delay, to submit the supporting documents required by an organisation or contracting entity, and

d) Undertaken to unduly influence the decision making process of the organisation or contracting entity, to obtain confidential information that may confer upon it undue advantages in the procurement procedure or to negligently provide misleading information that may have a material influence on decisions concerning exclusion, selection or award?

Why is the question changing?

The ESPD was launched in April 2016 and there have been instances where the wording of the question led to confusion as to how it should be answered. The former ESPD changed to be known as the 'SPD' on 1 January 2021.

The confusion arises because all of the other questions in the Exclusion Criteria section of the SPD required the bidder to provide a negative, “no, answer in order to indicate compliance, whereas the Misrepresentation question required a positive, “yes”, answer.

Following consultation with both buyer and supplier representatives, PCS is simplifying the text of this question so it also requires a “no” answer in order to indicate compliance.

When is the change taking place?

Scottish Procurement will co-ordinate the updating of all three centrally-managed versions of the ESPD (Scotland) on 25 March.

These include:

1)the Word document version of the SPD available in the Procurement Journey 2)the online version contained within the SPD module in PCS 3)the SPD template available in PCS-Tender

From 25 March, any SPD requests you receive will automatically contain the updated version of the question.

What do I need to do?

Some buyers will have issued SPD requests prior to this change taking place, and some may be using locally-stored versions of the SPD, which may contain the previous version of the question.

Any SPD requests you receive which contain the previous of the question are still perfectly valid, so you will need to exercise additional care when answering this question. If you are in any doubt, it may be prudent to seek clarification from the buyer who issued the SPD request before submitting your response.

If you’ve previously saved a response to this question as part of an SPD Profile in PCS, then that saved response will be deleted for this question only. The rest of your saved Profile answers will remain unaffected.

PCS is also taking this opportunity to make minor wording amendments to simplify the questions below. These will not fundamentally alter the meaning of these questions, and no action is required from buyers or suppliers.

The questions affected are 2A.16, 2A 16.5 and 3D.11. You can view these changes on the SPD Update area on PCS.

More Information

SDP is currently updating its core course materials so that suppliers are kept up-to-date with the latest changes in procurement. The Supplier Development Programme aims to help Scottish SMEs and supported businesses improve their performance in winning public sector contracts to grow their business and ultimately support the local and national economy.

Free training on the Single Procurement Document can be found with Tender procedures and the SPD on the Supplier Development Programme website.

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