Tender Guidance

Notice Types


  • Prior Information Notice


This will indicate that a tender is due to be advertised during the next 12 months. It is not an official contract, but an expression of intention. It may be used by buyers to ‘test the market’, to find out if there is likely to be significant interest in the contract due to be advertised, and to locate potential suppliers.


  • Contract Notice


The specific tender advertisement. It will not contain all the tender specifications; these will be available in the ITT documents (Invitation To Tender). The means by which the ITT documents can be obtained will be detailed in the advertisement. Suppliers will need to contact the buyer or the buying department by telephone, fax, or e-mail, or by visiting a web page, registering an interest (that is, stating officially that the company would like to bid for the tender) and then downloading the documents electronically. The Contract Notice will offer a general overview of the tender, by which commercial organisations can make a decision on whether or not to pursue the business.


  • Contract Award


The Contract Award Notice will be published no later than 48 days after the tender has been awarded. It should state which company has won the tender, how many companies competed for the contract, and both the minimum and maximum prices put forward by the different companies bidding for the tender. It should be noted that it is optional on the part of the awarding body to include all of this information, though it will be available under the Freedom of Information Act (unless governed by the Official Secrets Act, in the case of some MOD contracts).

Next: Different Tendering Procedures