To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for what reason the Trader Support Services tender notice published on 9 July 2020 was subsequently withdrawn; when that notice was withdrawn and for what reasons the contract value was set at £25 million.
The Trader Support Service will be able to help all traders, regardless of size, to move their goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and to import goods into Northern Ireland from the Rest of the World. It will be a free to use, end-to-end support service which will educate traders on what the Protocol means for them and complete import and safety and security declarations on their behalf.
HMRC have run an open and transparent procurement process for the Trader Support Service, resulting in the identification of a supplier capable of delivering the service.
The 9 July notice was a ‘Prior Information Notice’ to alert potential suppliers of the forthcoming Trader Support Service opportunity. The original notice published on 9 July 2020 was immediately withdrawn, as it contained a non-material content error that occurred during its electronic transmission. It was replaced by the correct notice on the same date. The initial valuation of £25 million represented an early estimate of the potential contract value. This was subsequently refined through market engagement and a higher value was published as part of the invitation to tender.