Types of Bid Solicitations

Departments use various types of bid solicitations which are the same or similar to the following:

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Invitation to Tender

You should use the Invitation to Tender (ITT) approach when all of the following applies:

  • Two or more suppliers are capable of filling the requirement;
  • The evaluation of tenders can be done against very clearly stated criteria;
  • Tenders are likely to all have a common pricing basis; and
  • The lowest-priced responsive tender is to be accepted without negotiations.

You should consider having a public opening for any tender where the contract award will attract publicity.

For more information, please see the PWGSC Supply Manual, Chapter 4: Section 4.10.10 Invitation to Tender.

Letter of Interest or Request for Information

Preparing proposals is often costly to business. To keep the total cost to business down and still ensure that all potential suppliers at least get to know about the requirement, and have a chance to compete, you could solicit proposals in two steps.

  • Before issuing an RFP, you ask suppliers to provide letters of interest and qualifications, from which a short list is developed. This process might be appropriate where many potential suppliers are known; suppliers not submitting letters of interest are perhaps not interested;
  • During the second step, you issue an RFP asking suppliers on the short list to submit detailed proposals;

For more information, please see the PWGSC Supply Manual, Chapter 4: Section 4.5.5 Request for Information or Letter of Interest.

Request for Proposal

A Request for Proposal (RFP) is the method you should use when:

  • Only one source is being solicited (remember that you send an Invitation to Tender (ITT) to more than one supplier); or
  • You expect to have to negotiate with one or more bidders about certain aspects of the requirement; or
  • The requirement is not clear-cut; suppliers are invited to propose a solution to a problem, requirement or objective and contractor selection is based on the effectiveness of the proposed solution rather than on price alone.

Proposals should be evaluated in accordance with specific criteria set out in the RFP.

For more information, please see the PWGSC Supply Manual, Chapter 4: Section 4.10.15 Bid Solicitation.

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Request for Quotation

When handling requirements estimated at $25,000 or less, including telephone bids, you should normally use the Request for Quotation (RFQ) method. Quotations are not technically offers to supply. To form a contract, there must be an offer and an acceptance of the offer.

But even for requirements of $25,000 or less, there may be times when it will be better to solicit bids using an Invitation to Tender (ITT) or a Request for Proposal.

For more information, please see the PWGSC Supply Manual, Chapter 4: Section 4.10.1 Request for Quotation.

Request for Standing Offer

A standing offer is not a contract but an administrative means to provide for the efficient supply of goods and services from suppliers at pre-arranged prices or pricing methods with set terms and conditions, for specific periods of time on an "as requested" basis.

A Request for Standing Offers is used when:

  • one or more clients repetitively order(s) the same goods or services, and the actual demand is not known in advance or
  • a need is anticipated for a range of goods or services for a specific purpose, but the actual demand is not known at the outset, and delivery is to be made when a requirement arises.

A Standing Offer should not be used when:

  • prices or terms are not stated or are subject to change at any time on the decision of the bidder (an exception to this is where ceiling unit prices, subject to downward adjustment, are specified).
  • it is intended that clients negotiate further from base level prices and/or terms that may have been established by PWGSC.

In these cases a Supply Arrangement should be used.

For more information, please see the PWGSC Supply Manual, Chapter 4: Section 4.10.20 Request for Standing Offers.

Request for Supply Arrangement

A Supply Arrangement (SA) is a method of supply where the client, may solicit bids from a pool of pre-screened vendors. An SA is not a contract and neither party is legally bound as a result of the signing of this document alone.

A Supply Arrangement should be considered if:

  • a commodity is procured on a regular basis (goods or services); and
  • a Standing Offer is not suitable, due to variables in resulting call-ups (e.g. varying methods/basis of payment, statement of work or commodity cannot be adequately defined in advance); and
  • the commodity or service value is best expressed as a ceiling price; and
  • clients can negotiate price reductions from the ceiling price; and
  • it is most efficient for PWGSC to operate as the provider of the framework, and not as contractual authority.

For more information, please see the PWGSC Supply Manual, Chapter 4: Section 4.10.25 Request for Supply Arrangements.

Telephone-Buy

A T-buy is a form of Request for Quotation (RFQ) in which you ask for price quotations over the telephone for requirements of up to $5,000 (competitive) and $10, 000 (non-competitive). Your bidder doesn't have to confirm the bid in writing, but you should record the details of the telephone bid on the procurement file. If you accept a bid over the phone, you must confirm the contract in writing.

For more information, please see the PWGSC Supply Manual, Chapter 4: Section 4.10.5 Telephone Buy

For more information

For more information, please see the PWGSC Supply Manual, Chapter 4: Solicitation Process.