What is a Prior Information Notice?
Public bodies can make their intention of planned procurements known by publishing a Prior Information Notice (PIN) on Public Contracts Scotland.
The PIN can be published up to twelve months in advance of the actual procurement exercise taking place and will contain some basic information regarding the goods, works or service to be purchased.
In the vast majority of cases, publishing a PIN is not a mandatory requirement for the public body but can alert the market that there is an opportunity coming up within the next 12 months and make it possible for the buyer to reduce the timescales needed to complete the procurement exercise.
In most cases public bodies will follow up the publication of a PIN with a contract notice (advert) when they are ready to carry out the procurement exercise.
Where a PIN may be used differently
Public bodies which are not part of central government are allowed to use a PIN as a call for competition replacing the need for an additional contract notice.
If the PIN is to act as a call for competition, this will be clearly stated in the PIN on Public Contracts Scotland.
What you need to do
It is important that you understand the type of PIN that is being used by the buyer. When it is being used as a call for competition this is your opportunity to express interest in the future procurement exercise.
Next Step: Contract Notice