The OJEU standstill period is really important because a simple admin error could invalidate your whole tender on the basis of a claim of ineffectiveness. The standstill period is 10 days but you need to remember a few things!
- The letter should be sent via email or other electronic means such as a procurement portal
- The clock starts ticking the day after the letter is issued
- The standstill period ends midnight on the 10th day
- This means you can enter the contract on the 12th day – for example you issue the letter on 22 November, the clock starts ticking on 23rd November for 10 days. The last day of your OJEU standstill period is 2 December and you can enter the contract on 3 December. Therefore from beginning to end you have allowed 12 days.
- The standstill period is for 10 calendar days but can’t end on the weekend or bank holiday
My preference is to issue the standstill letter in accordance with the regulations but where time is permitting and the contract is not urgent, exchange contract signatories a couple of days after or even weeks after the standstill period has ended.
You can use the time to write up your evaluation report, review the agenda for the project kick off meeting or prepare the communications plan to inform users about the impending changes.