What is an Alcatel letter?

A letter (also referred to as an “award decision notice” or “regulation 86 notice”) that must be sent at the conclusion of a procurement to unsuccessful suppliers providing prescribed details of the tender evaluation scores. The standstill period does not start until the letters have been dispatched.

What is a Standstill period?

In the context of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006, a mandatory period between the notification of the intended award of a contract subject to those regulations and the actual award of that contract. The standstill period is at least ten calendar days between the dispatch of the Alcatel letters and the entry into the contract with the selected bidder. Its purpose is to allow unsuccessful bidders to challenge the decision before the contract is signed. The notification of an award decision in a contract tendered via the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).


  • Day 0 Notify tenderers of decision and intention to award contract on or after ‘date’
  • Day 1
  • Day 2 Tenderers must request additional debriefing (by phone, email, fax) before end of the day (midnight)
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7 Additional de-briefings must be completed before the end of the day (midnight)*
  • Day 8
  • Day 9
  • Day 10 End of minimum standstill period**

What is included in an Alcatel Letter?

There are strict requirements as to the contents of the standstill notice. It must cover:

  • the criteria for the award of the contract;
  • the reasons for the decision including the characteristics and relative advantages of the successful tender. This should include a full breakdown of scores against each criterion and sub-criterion (for both the losing and winning bidder) with supporting explanation;
  • the reason (if any) why the economic operator did not meet the technical specifications;
  • the name of the tenderers to be awarded the contract/become a party to the framework agreement; and
  • a statement of when the standstill period is expected to end.