An analysis of public sector prequalification procedures in Northern Ireland

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The recent findings of two Northern Ireland procurement court casesusing the ‘restricted procedure’ have European wide implications. Theperceptions of having a ‘prequalification’ stage in addition to ‘quality/price’ areresearched; parts of the prequalification questionnaire (PQQ) are analysed andranked in importance. Economic operator perceptions are investigated onprojects above the European threshold using the restricted procedure. Findingsconfirm practitioners understand the court decisions ranking the evaluation of‘previous experience’ as the most important part within the prequalificationstage. There is ambivalence regarding PQQ’s providing value for money(VFM): 49% consider it does not provide additional VFM compared to thesingle stage process. The majority of organisations (62%) use externalconsultants when preparing PQQ submissions. Findings show the court caseshave resulted in PQQ’s becoming more generic, an innovative response is nolonger possible as it will be outside the scoring matrix. Practitioners providedsuggestions on improving the process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-288
JournalInternational Journal of Procurement Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2012


  • prequalification
  • construction contracts
  • construction
  • procurement
  • law
  • restricted procedure
  • Ireland.


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