The Scottish Government sent out an invitation to tender to agencies, with a deadline of December last year, and said contracts would be awarded in May.
The tender covers planning, creative, delivery and evaluation of all PR for the Scottish public sector, from June 1st and the new roster will last for four years.
Public bodies which used the service last year include the Scottish Government, Visit Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and Transport Scotland.
Agencies applying for the roster must go through a rigorous process in which applications will be weighted according to price and how well they meet the technical criteria.
Commercial, e.g. price, is weighted at 40 per cent while ‘technical’, e.g. quality, is weighted at 60 per cent, according to the tender document seen by PRWeek.
The five highest scoring applicants will be awarded a place on the roster but the government said it would increase the roster in the event of a tie.
Despite the rigorous application process, the tender document states that "it is not possible to predict the amount or value of work" and that "no level of business is guaranteed" for the eventual winners of the process.
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government declined to say how many submissions there had been by the December 14th deadline because it was not yet clear how many had met its criteria.
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