All public bodies in Scotland will need to issue and accept the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) in an entirely electronic format from April 2018. Although the legal obligation to do this falls on each authority individually, based on feedback from users, we are working to provide a fully online solution that will be integrated into Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) and available to all Scottish public bodies.
Work to develop the service and integrate it into PCS is currently underway and it is estimated that it will be available to users in early 2018.
What functionality will the service provide?
The aim is to build functionality that will provide buyers and suppliers with an easy-to-use ESPD service. The service will enable buyers to create and issue ESPDs based on the ESPD (Scotland) template and to link them to their contract notices.
Suppliers will also be able to use the new functionality to complete and submit their ESPD responses entirely online. The functionality will be built into the existing PCS portal and will not require users to re-register or log-in separately.
It will not include online evaluation functionality, but suppliers' ESPD responses will be downloadable in MS Excel and CSV formats, so you won't need to re-enter any of the information when evaluating. Online evaluation functionality may be developed at a later stage.
Will training be provided?
As the new ESPD service will be based on the same functionality that is already available within PCS, we do not expect there to be a need for extra training - users will already be familiar with the layout and process. We will also make the ESPD service available via the PCS training site, which will allow users to become familiar with the new functionality before it goes live. As with all other updates, user guides and the helpdesk will also be available.
We plan to run a number of regional workshops nearer to go-live, to promote and demonstrate the tool and answer any questions you may have.
As always, the Procurement Journey is a good place to find best practice guidance on the practical application of the ESPD.
What should I do if I currently use PCS-Tender to create my ESPDs?
The ESPD (Scotland) within PCS-Tender will still be available, so if you are a PCS-Tender user you should continue to use it as you would normally. This new service is primarily aimed at public bodies that are not currently using PCS-Tender and that do not have access to a fully online version of the ESPD.
If you have any queries please contact either:
Steve Patterson - firstname.lastname@example.org or Laura Martin - email@example.com