Open Competitive Procurements Policy
To establish a system for open competitive procurements in accordance with the Broader Public Sector Procurement Directive.
- Calls for open competitive procurements must be made through an electronic tendering system that is readily accessible by all Canadian suppliers. It is acceptable and recommended that reference to the tendering system used in the process be referenced on the company website. Same tendering system is recommended as a platform to post and evaluate submissions.
- Suppliers must be provided with a minimum response time of 15 calendar days for procurement of goods and services valued at $100,000 or more. Consideration should be made for providing suppliers with a minimum response time of 30 calendar days for procurements of high complexity, risk and/or dollar value.
- Bid submission date and closing time must be clearly stated in competitive procurement documents. The closing date of a competitive procurement process must be set on a normal working day (Monday to Friday, excluding statutory holidays). Submissions that are delivered after the closing time must be returned unopened.
Evaluation criteria must be developed, reviewed and approved by the CEO or designate prior to commencement of the competitive procurement process.
- Competitive procurement documents must clearly outline mandatory, rated, and other criteria that will be used to evaluate submissions, including weight of each criterion.
- Mandatory criteria (e.g., technical standards) should be kept to a minimum to ensure that no bid is unnecessarily disqualified.
- Maximum justifiable weighting must be allocated to the price /cost component of the evaluation criteria.
- All criteria must ensure the organization does not discriminate or exercise preferential treatment in awarding a contract to a supplier as a result of a competitive procurement process.
- The evaluation criteria are to be altered only by means of addendum to the competitive procurement documents. Any alterations or updates to the evaluation criteria or additional information must be supplied to all interested proponents.
- Suppliers may be requested to provide alternative strategies or solutions as a part of their submission. Criteria must be established to evaluate alternative strategies or solutions prior to commencement of the competitive procurement process. Alternative strategies or solutions must not be considered unless they are explicitly requested in the competitive procurement documents.
- Competitive procurement documents must fully disclose the evaluation methodology and process to be used in assessing submissions, including the method of resolving a tie score.
- Competitive procurement documents must state that submissions that do not meet the mandatory criteria will be disqualified.
- An evaluation team must be established with the responsibility for reviewing and rating the compliant bids.
- Evaluation team members must be made aware of the restrictions related to utilization and distribution of confidential and commercially sensitive information collected through the competitive procurement process and refrain from engaging in activities that may create or appear to create a conflict of interest.
- Evaluation team members must sign a conflict-of-interest declaration and non-disclosure of confidential information agreement.
- Each evaluation team member must complete an evaluation matrix, rating each of the submissions. Records of evaluation scores must be retained for audit purposes.
- Evaluators must ensure that everything they say or write about submissions is fair, factual, and fully defensible.
- The submission that receives the highest evaluation score and meets all mandatory requirements set out in the competitive procurement document must be declared the winning bid.
- The agreement between the Agency and the successful supplier must be formally defined in a signed written contract before the provision of supplying goods or services commences.
- Where an immediate need exists for goods or services, and the Agency and the supplier are unable to finalize the contract as described above, an interim purchase order may be used. The justification of such decision must be documented and approved by the CEO or designate.
- The contract must be finalized using the form of agreement that was released with the procurement documents.
- In circumstances where an alternative procurement strategy has been used (i.e., a form of agreement was not released with the procurement document), the agreement between the Agency and the successful supplier must be defined formally in a signed written contract before the provision of supplying goods or services commences.
- All contracts must include appropriate cancellation or termination clauses with legal consultation. When conducting complex procurements, consideration should be given, as appropriate, to the use of contract clauses that permit cancellation or termination at critical project life-cycle stages.
- The term of the agreement and any options to extend the agreement must be set out in the competitive procurement documents. An approval by the CEO or designate must be obtained before executing any modifications to the terms of agreement.
- Extending the term of agreement beyond that set out in the competitive procurement document amounts to non-competitive procurement where the extension affects the value and/or stated deliverables of procurement.
- For procurements valued at $100,000 or more, the contract award notification must be posted in the same manner as the procurement documents were posted. The notification must be posted after the agreement between the successful supplier and the Agency has been executed. Contract award notification must list the name of the successful supplier, agreement start and end dates, and any extension options.
- All unsuccessful suppliers must be informed about their entitlement to a debriefing. Unsuccessful suppliers must be allowed 60 calendar days following the date of the contract award notification to request a debriefing.
- The Agency must monitor any conflict of interest that may arise as a result of the members of the Agency, advisors’, external consultants’, or suppliers’ involvement with the Supply Chain Activities. Individuals involved in the Supply Chain Activities must declare actual or potential conflicts of interest. Where a conflict of interest arises, it must be evaluated, and an appropriate mitigating action must be taken.
- Competitive procurement documents must outline bid dispute resolution procedures to ensure that any dispute is handled in an ethical, fair, reasonable, and timely fashion. Bid dispute resolution procedures must comply with bid protest or dispute resolution procedures set out in the applicable trade agreements.
- The Agency should employ a competitive procurement process to achieve optimum value for money. It is recognized, however, that special circumstances may require the use of non-competitive procurement. This may be used only in situations outlined in the exemption, exception, or non-application clauses of the AIT or other trade agreements.
- Prior to commencement of non-competitive procurement, supporting documentation must be completed and approved by the CEO.