04 October 2016

Crown Commercial Service has replaced the standard Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) with a standard Selection Questionnaire (SQ). The SQ must be used by contracting authorities in England and those in Wales and Northern Ireland that exercise wholly or mainly reserved functions for procurements above the EU thresholds. The key points to note are:

1. The questions in the SQ have been developed to ensure compliance with the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD). The aim of the SQ and the ESPD is to simplify the supplier selection process, particularly for SMEs.

2. The SQ requires suppliers to self-certify their status against the exclusions grounds and the selection criteria. Authorities are only expected to verify the responses of the winning supplier, but can verify the responses of suppliers at any stage in the process if it is necessary to ensure the proper conduct of the procurement procedure.

3. The SQ is divided into three parts:

  • Part 1 – Information about the supplier
  • Part 2 – Exclusion grounds
  • Part 3 – Selection criteria

4. Authorities are not permitted to amend the questions in parts 1 and 2, and may only amend or add to the questions in part 3 if they have reported the deviations to CCS’ Mystery Shopper Scheme. Authorities can ask project specific questions relating to the supplier’s technical and professional ability without needing to notify the Mystery Shopper Scheme.

5. Authorities must accept responses provided using the ESPD.

The SQ along with guidance from CCS can be found here: Procurement Policy Note: Standard Selection Questionnaire (SQ).

If you would like any further information or specific advice, please contact John Houlden, Stephanie Rickard, Patrick Parkin, or your usual Burges Salmon lawyer.

Key contact

John Houlden

John Houlden Partner

  • Head of Public Sector
  • Head of Procurement and Subsidy Control
  • Projects

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