Procurement Records UK

Description of Business Function

The function of purchasing goods, works and services from external organisations.

Basis of Retention and Disposition

The standard retention rules for tender and other documentation from successful bidders are as follows:

Ordinary contracts = Contract End + 6 years (note that this could be 5 years in Scotland)

Property Maintenance = Contract End + 15 years (note that this could be 20 years in Scotland)

Note that if the contract is executed as a Deed = Contract End + 12 years (note that this could be 20 years in Scotland)

This is based on their evidential and precedence value, with the retention periods for different types of procurement record aligning to time limits within the Limitation Act 1980.

Within Scotland, five years is based upon the short negative prescription period within the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973. The period for property management is based upon the long negative prescription period of 20 years. It is possible where latent damage has occurred – i.e. for property maintenance – that the short negative prescription period might still be running when the long negative prescription expires, acting as a long-stop.

Please also see Legal Affairs Records

The standard retention rule for Unsuccessful Tenders is Process complete (date of last paper) + 1 year; The period for Unsuccessful Tenders is based upon common practice (for example in case of challenge) and National Archives Guidance.

The standard retention rule for product and Supplier Information is Life of Product Use + 10 years; The period for Product and Supplier Information is a discretionary rule; but minimum of 10 years reflecting the need to keep records identifying the source of every item supplied for evidence in potential defence of claim by individual who suffers damage as a result of a defective product under ability to bring action within 10 years under Consumer Protection Act 1987 Schedule 1.

Retention Rules Per Record Type

Record Type Minimum Retention Period Rationale
Procurement authorisation Procurement Complete + 6/12/15 years Legal evidence dependent upon contract type
Pre Qualification Questionnaires (PQQs) Contract End + 6/12/15 years Legal evidence dependent upon contract type
Requests for Information (RFIs) Contract End + 6/12/15 years Legal evidence dependent upon contract type
Invitations to Tender Tenders (ITTs) Contract End + 6/12/15 years Legal evidence dependent upon contract type
ITT Returns – Successful bidders Contract End + 6/12/15 years Legal evidence dependent upon contract type
Tender evaluation records Contract End + 6/12/15 years Legal evidence dependent upon contract type
Tender negotiation records Contract End + 6/12/15 years Legal evidence dependent upon contract type
Notification of tender results Contract End + 6/12/15 years Legal evidence dependent upon contract type
Contracts Contract End + 6/12/15 years See Legal Affairs Records
Supplier Sales Presentations Contract End + 6/12/15 years Legal evidence dependent upon contract type
Supplier Approval documentation Contract End + 6/12/15 years Legal evidence dependent upon contract type
Key correspondence during supplier relationship Contract End + 6/12/15 years Legal evidence dependent upon contract type
Performance management records during supplier relationship Contract End + 6/12/15 years Legal evidence dependent upon contract type
Bids and tender documentation – Unsuccessful Process complete (date of last paper) + 1 year Common practice (for example in case of challenge) and National Archives Guidance
Product and Supplier Information Life of Product Use + 10 years Based on the need to keep records identifying the source of every item supplied for evidence in potential defence of claim by individual who suffers damage as a result of a defective product under ability to bring action within 10 years under Consumer Protection Act 1987 Schedule 1

Citations

Please also see Contractual records retention and disposal schedule published by The National Archives http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents/information-management/sched_contractual.pdf

UK aside from Scotland:

Limitation Act 1980, s. 5, Time limit for actions founded on simple contract, “An action founded on simple contract shall not be brought after the expiration of six years from the date on which the cause of action accrued”.

Limitation Act 1980, s. 8, Time limit for actions on a specialty i.e. relating to contracts executed as a deed, “(1)An action upon a specialty shall not be brought after the expiration of twelve years from the date on which the cause of action accrued”.

Limitation Act 1980, c. 58, s. 14 (b) (1), Actions in respect of latent damage not involving personal injuries i.e. relating to property and work of contractors: “An action for damages for negligence, other than one to which section 11 of this Act applies, shall not be brought after the expiration of fifteen years from the date (or, if more than one, from the last of the dates) on which there occurred any act or omission— (a)which is alleged to constitute negligence; and (b)to which the damage in respect of which damages are claimed is alleged to be attributable (in whole or in part)”.

There are similar limitation periods within the The Limitation (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 – 6 years for a simple contract within section 4, and 12 years for an instrument under seal within section 15, and 15 years for Overriding time limit for negligence actions not involving personal injuries in section 12.

Within Scotland:

The Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973, Negative Prescription, s. 6, Extinction of obligations by prescriptive periods of five years, “(1)If, after the appropriate date, an obligation to which this section applies has subsisted for a continuous period of five years— (a)without any relevant claim having been made in relation to the obligation, and (b)without the subsistence of the obligation having been relevantly acknowledged, then as from the expiration of that period the obligation shall be extinguished”

The Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973, SCHEDULE 1, Obligations Affected by Prescriptive Periods of Five Years under Section 6, “1Subject to paragraph 2 below, section 6 of this Act applies—S (a)to any obligation to pay a sum of money due in respect of a particular period— (i)by way of interest; (ii)by way of an instalment of an annuity; (iii)by way of feuduty or other periodical payment under a feu grant; (iv)by way of ground annual or other periodical payment under a contract of ground annual; (v)by way of rent or other periodical payment under a lease; (vi)by way of a periodical payment in respect of the occupancy or use of land, not being an obligation falling within any other provision of this sub-paragraph; (vii)by way of a periodical payment under a land obligation, not being an obligation falling within any other provision of this sub-paragraph;”

The Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973, “7 Extinction of obligations by prescriptive periods of twenty years. S(1)If, after the date when any obligation to which this section applies has become enforceable, the obligation has subsisted for a continuous period of twenty years— (a)without any relevant claim having been made in relation to the obligation, and (b)without the subsistence of the obligation having been relevantly acknowledged, then as from the expiration of that period the obligation shall be extinguished” “2)This section applies to an obligation of any kind (including an obligation to which section 6 of this Act applies), not being an obligation [to which section 22A of this Act applies or an obligation] specified in Schedule 3 to this Act as an imprescriptible obligation [or an obligation to make reparation in respect of personal injuries within the meaning of Part II of this Act or in respect of the death of any person as a result of such injuries.]”

Consumer Protection:

Consumer Protection Act 1987, c 43, Schedule I, Part I, 11A (3), Actions in respect of defective products, “(3)An action to which this section applies shall not be brought after the expiration of the period of ten years from the relevant time, within the meaning of section 4 of the said Act of 1987; and this subsection shall operate to extinguish a right of action and shall do so whether or not that right of action had accrued, or time under the following provisions of this Act had begun to run, at the end of the said period of ten years.”

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