Applicants should submit a minimum of two written quotes for the Actual Cost items listed in their Rural Priorities Proposal using the Quotations Table when submitting it. Quotes must be competitive. There should be no conflict of interest between the suppliers providing the quotes, or between the applicant's agent and the suppliers. For example, an agent should not tender a quote for works.
Applicants should ask suppliers to quote on the same set of specifications so that quotes can be compared on an equal basis. It should be noted that:
- if the applicant intends to carry out part or all of the work themselves they should quote the value of their input detailing own time, labour and machinery and the rates to be applied as set out under Project Expenditure Eligible costs and also in the schedule of rates. The applicant's quote can then be compared on a like for like basis with any other competitive quote.
- If the applicant is seeking quotes for second hand items and is unable to obtain a second like for like quote, then a quote for a new item with the same specifications would be acceptable in order to demonstrate value for money.
At the Stage 1 assessment the Case Officer will check that the quotes are clear and accurately reflect what is being proposed. The Case Officer will be looking for the following basic elements in all quotes supplied:
- quotes are in written/printed form and clearly originated from a reputable supplier who can deliver the items or work (e.g. path construction firm for path works)
- supplier's contact/business details are clear and legitimate
- quote is based on specifications as described in the Proposal
- no missing elements
- no ineligible elements
- cost calculations are up-to-date, correct and precise
- the quote should include a schedule which must provide a breakdown of costs for each of the main stages of the work.
- suppliers should confirm for how long the quote is valid
- whether the price includes appropriate VAT rate; this is to determine the correct level of grant award. For example, a community group or not-for-profit group may be VAT registered and be either zero-rated or partially exempt from VAT.
It is in your own interest to submit proof from HMRC of your VAT registration status. Please see VAT Registration Status Declaration Form.
Suppliers' price lists and price lists drawn from the internet are only acceptable in pricing individual items valued at less than £1,000.
If the quotes supplied are insufficient in any way, the Case Officer will advise the applicant of this when they Return the Case to Applicant. It is the applicant's responsibility to remedy any deficiencies and supply the case officer with the required documentation. Failure to do so may risk rejection at this stage.
If the Proposal is approved, funding will be based on the lowest quote received, excluding any quotes which are insufficient. The applicant can choose to proceed with the more expensive quote if they wish, but must be willing to fund the difference themselves.
In all circumstances, whether quotes or estimates are submitted for approval, funds awarded will not be in excess of the total cost calculation supplied. Applicants should read carefully the RDC Declaration and undertakings of the contract.
Exceptions - Single Quote
Subject to Case Officer approval, single quotes may be admissible when:
1. The specifications are so specialised that only one supplier is available and it would be unreasonable or impracticable to find a second quote, e.g. when the supplier is a contractor required to carry out works in a remote area where only one qualified contractor is available. These conditions still apply where the applicant intends to carry out part or all of the work themselves and their quote is the only one submitted, i.e. unless applicant is a specialist and it is unreasonable/impracticable to obtain a second quote, then Case Officer will require them to obtain a second quote. Note: The Case Officer will still be expected to check value for money against standard rates for similar activities elsewhere (e.g. such as those published in the SAC Farm Management Handbook) whilst taking into account the remote location factor.
2. The individual item value is below £1,000 and the applicant can justify why they have little alternative but to source individual items from a single reputable supplier. Applicants must demonstrate why the Proposal cannot be more easily tendered in larger parts and two quotes obtained.
Exceptions - Estimates
The ONLY three circumstances where an estimate is acceptable are:
1. When the applicant is a not-for-profit organisation and they wish to secure their entire funding package (including Rural Priorities funding) before tendering the proposed works. This is in line with the practices of other public funders of community projects, such as the Big Lottery Fund.
2. When the applicant is a Local Authority. The tendering rules of Local Authorities do not permit competitive tenders to be submitted prior to funding being secured, so they should submit one estimate. This will then be used as the basis for the subsequent tendering process.
3. When a Proposal costs £3.4 million (ex. VAT) or more and 50% or more is funded by a public body. In this case, the applicant would provide the Case Officer with one estimate only. This is considered to be a "subsidised public works contract" under public procurement legislation. It is a condition of funding that the recipient complies with the processes and procedures set out in the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2006.
When the Proposal is committed, the Case Officer can accept a minimum of two satisfactory estimates of costs - to allow scoring of the application and, if recommended for RPAC consideration, an RPAC decision on the case. The Proposal presented to RPAC will be based on the lower/lowest value estimate for each capital item.
To be acceptable estimates must come from the supplier or contractor and not from the applicant or their consultant. The estimates must include detailed a breakdown of the individual items/works costs and be submitted on headed paper or attached to a letter from the supplier providing the estimate.
If the Proposal receives Ministerial approval then, before a contract is issued, the applicant must submit a minimum of two satisfactory quotes. The Rural Priorities Contract issued to the applicant will be based on the lower/lowest quote as described above. If Actual Cost items are more expensive than the quotes or estimates, the group or organisation must be willing and able to fund the difference themselves