The guide 3. Evaluate and award

Award the contract

Inform successful and unsuccessful suppliers and begin the contracting process.

Why it's important

When awarding a contract you should:

  • tell the winning supplier of your intention to award a contract
  • publicise the decision on your website and in the media
  • notify and give feedback to unsuccessful suppliers

This helps ensure that:

  • you are clear with the supplier on how and what they will deliver
  • the public know that your organisation is awarding contracts fairly and appropriately
  • unsuccessful suppliers can improve any future applications they make

What it means

You should allow time between notifying all suppliers of your decision and awarding the contract (often referred to as the ‘standstill period’). This will enable suppliers to ask questions and for you to provide feedback before a contract is formally signed.

You should not negotiate with the winning supplier on core parts of the contract, such as your requirements. This changes the nature of the work you advertised and gives an unfair advantage to the winning supplier.

Providing feedback to unsuccessful suppliers will help ensure that they are better able to compete for contract opportunities in the future.

When giving feedback to unsuccessful suppliers you should:

  • explain how they performed against the evaluation criteria
  • explain how they performed against the successful supplier
  • answer any concerns or questions

Do not give unsuccessful suppliers information about how they performed in comparison to other unsuccessful suppliers.

You should be clear with the winning supplier about:

  • the agreed start and expiry date of the work
  • the total contract value
  • how and when the supplier will be paid
  • deliverables, for example what needs to be done, and by when

You may also need to include details on:

  • anything a new supplier will need from your existing supplier
  • any staff training you need as part of the handover of work
  • who will own any intellectual property created during delivery

For larger projects you should consider:

  • breaking the work into smaller sections or ‘Statements of Work’
  • being able to exit the contract after each section is completed.

Do's and don'ts


  • tell the successful supplier you intend to award them the contract and share your decision publicly
  • allow time between notifying all suppliers of your decision and awarding the contract
  • give detailed feedback to unsuccessful suppliers


  • do not negotiate essential terms of the contract at the award stage
  • do not enter into long-term contracts with no exit options