Bid on Opportunities

The bidding process

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How to find out about bid opportunities

Many departments and agencies have the delegated authority to purchase their own goods and services valued at $25,000 or less without Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC). Therefore, it is important to promote your goods and/or services to them.

You should also consult the Tenders minisite to keep track of requirements that departments and agencies publicly advertise.

PWGSC's bidding process

In PWGSC, bid opportunities for most requirements valued at $25 000 or more are advertised on the Tenders minisite, including requirements subject to trade agreements.

For more information, please visit the Find Opportunities Web page.

PWGSC uses different databases to find potential suppliers for certain types of bidding opportunities, such as:

  • regional and some headquarters bid opportunities, valued at $25,000 or less;
  • specialized bid opportunities for which we invite pre-qualified suppliers to bid; and
  • construction, architectural and engineering services, and maintenance and consulting services; also real property opportunities for which we invite pre-qualified suppliers to bid.

For more information, please visit the Register as a Supplier Web page.

PWGSC methods of supply

PWGSC uses several methods to solicit bids:

Telephone buy (T-buy)

It is a form of Request for Quotation when the bids are solicited from one or more selected suppliers, either verbally (in person) or over the telephone, for requirements valued at $25,000 or less, including all applicable taxes. The order is confirmed in writing by issuing the applicable contract document.

Request for Quotation (RFQ)

This method is used to solicit bids for requirements valued at $25,000 or less (low dollar value), including all applicable taxes, from one or more suppliers. The bidder with the lowest-priced responsive bid will be awarded the contract. They are not publicly posted. The bid documents are kept simple in order to award a contract quickly.

Invitation to Tender (ITT)

This method is used when the requirement is valued at $25,000 and more; two or more suppliers are considered capable of supplying the requirement; the requirement is adequately defined to permit the evaluation of bids against clearly stated criteria; bids can be submitted on a common pricing basis; and it is intended to accept the lowest-priced responsive bid without negotiations.

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Request for Proposal (RFP)

This method is used for complex requirements, where the selection of a supplier cannot be made solely on the basis of the lowest price. It is used to procure the most cost-effective solution based upon established evaluation criteria.

Request for Standing Offer (RFSO)

This method is used to solicit standing offers to provide goods and services on an as and required basis, at firm prices, as per established terms and conditions. It clearly states the requirement, the evaluation method and selection criteria, the call-up procedures, the ranking methodologies, whenever applicable, to be used for making call-ups against the authorized standing offer(s), and all terms and conditions applicable to the contract that is brought into effect, as a result of any call-up.

For more information, please visit the Standing Offers Web page.

Request for Supply Arrangement (RFSA)

This method is used to solicit bids from a pool of pre-qualified suppliers for specific requirements. The intent is to establish a framework to permit expeditious processing individual bid solicitations which result in legal binding contracts for the goods and services described in those bid solicitations.

For more information, please visit the Supply Arrangements Web page.

Sole sourcing

Sole source is the supply of a good or service that is available from only one supplier. It implies that there is only one supplier that can fulfill the requirement and that any attempt to obtain bids would only result in one supplier being able to meet the requirement.

PWGSC tries to avoid using this sole source method. Under government policy, this non-competitive process, subject to obligations under the trade agreements, is used only under the following special circumstances:

  • the need is one of pressing emergency in which delay would be injurious to the public interest;
  • the estimated expenditure does not exceed:
    • $25 000 for goods and services (buyers are still expected to solicit bids below this value whenever it is cost effective to do so);
    • $100 000 for architectural, engineering and other services required in respect of the planning, design, preparation or supervision of the construction, repair, renovation or restoration of a work;
    • $100 000 for the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) service contracts related to international development assistance programs or projects;
  • only one person is capable of performing the work, such as when a supplier owns a copyright or a licence;
  • the nature of the work is such that it would not be in the public interest to solicit bids (for example, requirements dealing with national security, such as some military projects).

Advance Contract Award Notices (ACANs)

An ACAN is a public notice published on the Tenders minisite for 15 calendar days indicating to the supplier community that a department or agency intends to award a contract for goods, services or construction to a pre-identified supplier, thereby allowing other suppliers to signal their interest in bidding by submitting a statement of capabilities. If no supplier submits a statement of capabilities that meets the requirements set out in the ACAN, on or before the closing date stated, the buyer will proceed with the contract award.

When a department or agency claims that there is only one source for a requirement, PWGSC scrutinizes the situation very carefully. If you feel your company can fulfill the requirement set out in an ACAN, you can submit a statement of capabilities for this requirement. If in fact your statement meets the requirements, the buyer will then proceed with the competitive process.

For more information

The Office of Small and Medium Enterprises (OSME) offers free seminars to businesses interested in learning about the procurement process and how to sell your goods and services to the government.

To view the schedule or register for a seminar, call the national InfoLine at 1-800-811-1148. The line is staffed Monday to Friday from 07:30 to 17:00 Eastern Standard/Daylight time. You may also send your questions via our Web form found on the Contact Us page.