Suppliers should be able to ask questions easily, for example via email or direct to your website.
When answering supplier questions you should:
- ask the supplier to explain what they mean if you don’t understand the question
- reply within the time you specified in your advert, and at least one working day before the deadline for bids
- publish all the questions that have been asked and the answers online so that all suppliers have access
- remove any supplier information from the questions and answers you publish, so people can't see who asked the question
- make sure that you have access to any expert advice you need
- extend deadlines if you cannot answer questions in time or need to make any changes or clarifications to the advertised opportunity
You can run an online meeting to respond to a lot of supplier questions at the same time. However, you must publish all questions and answers from each session so suppliers who didn’t attend aren’t at a disadvantage.
Where possible supplier emails should be sent to a general group email rather than to individual staff. This ensures that the whole procurement team can see the questions and respond in time.