Standstill letters (sometimes known as Alcatel letters) are, in many cases, required to be sent by contracting authorities to tenderers after a decision has been made to award a contract but, crucially, prior to the contracting authority entering the contract.
Once a standstill letter has been sent, the contracting authority is not permitted to enter into the contract until a set period – usually 10 days – has passed. These requirements are intended to give disappointed tenderers an opportunity to challenge the contract award decision prior to the contract being entered into and ensure that tenderers have an effective remedy in the event that the contracting authority has breached the procurement rules.
The timing and content of standstill letters is crucial in the final stages of the award of a public contract. The information to include and the detail to give can affect the risk of challenge which may delay signature of the contract and so there are strategic as well as legal considerations to take into account when drafting standstill letters.
- minimum requirements as set out in the public procurement regime
- a discussion of best practice, options available to contracting authorities, the benefits and draw backs of each and strategic considerations
- tips on what to avoid.
We have posted the webinar recording above, for you to watch at your leisure.