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Standard Instructions - Request for Supply Arrangements - Goods or Services

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General information

A supply arrangement is a method of supply used by Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) to procure goods and services. A supply arrangement is an arrangement between Canada and pre-qualified suppliers that allows identified users to solicit bids from a pool of pre-qualified suppliers for specific requirements within the scope of a supply arrangement. A supply arrangement is not a contract for the provision of the goods and services described in it and neither party is legally bound as a result of signing a supply arrangement alone. The intent of a supply arrangement is to establish a framework to permit expeditious processing of individual bid solicitations which result in legally binding contracts for the goods and services described in those bid solicitations.

Except for those procurements where public advertising is not required or used, Requests for Supply Arrangements (RFSA) are posted on the Government Electronic Tendering Service (GETS) and suppliers who are interested in responding to individual bid solicitations issued under a supply arrangement framework are invited to submit an arrangement to become pre-qualified suppliers. The list of pre-qualified suppliers will be used as a source list for procurement within the scope of the supply arrangement and only suppliers who are pre-qualified at the time individual bid solicitations are issued will be eligible to bid. Supply arrangements include a set of predetermined conditions that will apply to subsequent bid solicitations and contracts. Supply arrangements may include ceiling prices which may be lowered based on an actual requirement or scope of work described in a bid solicitation.

01 (2016-04-04) Integrity provisions—arrangement

  1. The Ineligibility and Suspension Policy (the “Policy”) in effect on the date the Request for Supply Arrangements (RFSA) is issued, and all related Directives in effect on that date, are incorporated by reference into, and form a binding part of the RFSA. The Supplier must comply with the Policy and Directives, which can be found at Ineligibility and Suspension Policy.
  2. Under the Policy, charges and convictions of certain offences against a Supplier, its affiliates or first tier subcontractors, and other circumstances, will or may result in a determination by Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) that the Supplier is ineligible to be issued or is suspended from being issued a supply arrangement and to enter into a contract with Canada. The list of ineligible and suspended Suppliers is contained in PWGSC’s Integrity Database. The Policy describes how enquiries can be made regarding the ineligibility or suspension of Suppliers.
  3. In addition to all other information required in the Request for Supply Arrangements, the Supplier must provide the following:
    1. by the time stated in the Policy, all information required by the Policy described under the heading “Information to be Provided when Bidding, Contracting or Entering into a Real Property Agreement”; and
    2. with its arrangement, a complete list of all foreign criminal charges and convictions pertaining to itself, its affiliates and its proposed first tier subcontractors that, to the best of its knowledge and belief, may be similar to one of the listed offences in the Policy. The list of foreign criminal charges and convictions must be submitted using an Integrity Declaration Form, which can be found at Declaration form for procurement.
  4. Subject to subsection 5, by submitting an arrangement in response to this Request for Supply Arrangements, the Supplier certifies that:
    1. it has read and understands the Ineligibility and Suspension Policy;
    2. it understands that certain domestic and foreign criminal charges and convictions, and other circumstances, as described in the Policy, will or may result in a determination of ineligibility or suspension under the Policy;
    3. it is aware that Canada may request additional information, certifications, and validations from the Supplier or a third party for purposes of making a determination of ineligibility or suspension;
    4. it has provided with its arrangement a complete list of all foreign criminal charges and convictions pertaining to itself, its affiliates and its proposed first tier subcontractors that, to the best of its knowledge and belief, may be similar to one of the listed offences in the Policy;
    5. none of the domestic criminal offences, and other circumstances, described in the Policy that will or may result in a determination of ineligibility or suspension, apply to it, its affiliates and its proposed first tier subcontractors; and
    6. it is not aware of a determination of ineligibility or suspension issued by PWGSC that applies to it.
  5. Where a Supplier is unable to provide any of the certifications required by subsection 4, it must submit with its arrangement a completed Integrity Declaration Form, which can be found at Declaration form for procurement.
  6. Canada will declare non-responsive any arrangement in respect of which the information requested is incomplete or inaccurate, or in respect of which the information contained in a certification or declaration is found by Canada to be false or misleading in any respect. If Canada establishes after issuance of the Supply Arrangement (SA) that the Supplier provided a false or misleading certification or declaration, Canada may cancel the SA and terminate for default any resulting contracts. Pursuant to the Policy, Canada may also determine the Supplier to be ineligible for issuance of a supply arrangement for providing a false or misleading certification or declaration.

02 (2020-05-28) Procurement Business Number

Suppliers are required to have a Procurement Business Number (PBN) before issuance of a supply arrangement. Suppliers may register for a PBN on line at Supplier Registration Information.

03 (2008-05-12) Standard instructions, clauses and conditions

Pursuant to the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act (S.C. 1996, c. 16), the instructions, clauses and conditions identified in the RFSA and resulting supply arrangement by number, date and title are incorporated by reference into and form part of the RFSA and resulting supply arrangement as though expressly set out in the RFSA and resulting supply arrangement.

04 (2008-12-12) Definition of Supplier

"Supplier" means the person or entity (or, in the case of a joint venture, the persons or entities) submitting an arrangement. It does not include the parent, subsidiaries or other affiliates of the Supplier, or its subcontractors.

05 (2018-05-22) Submission of arrangements

  1. Canada requires that each arrangement, at RFSA closing date and time or upon request from the Supply Arrangement Authority, be signed by the Supplier or by an authorized representative of the Supplier. If an arrangement is submitted by a joint venture, it must be in accordance with section 16.
  2. It is the Supplier's responsibility to:
    1. obtain clarification of the requirements contained in the RFSA, if necessary, before submitting an arrangement;
    2. prepare the arrangement in accordance with the instructions contained in the RFSA;
    3. submit by the RFSA closing date and time a complete arrangement;
    4. send its arrangement only to the specified Bid Receiving Unit of Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) specified in the RFSA or, to the address specified in the RFSA, as applicable;
    5. ensure that the Supplier's name, return address, RFSA number, and RFSA closing date and time are clearly visible on the arrangement; and,
    6. provide a comprehensible and sufficiently detailed arrangement, including all requested pricing details, that will permit a complete evaluation in accordance with the criteria set out in the RFSA.
  3. Canada will make available Notices of Proposed Procurement (NPP), RFSA's and related documents for download through the Government Electronic Tendering Service (GETS). Canada is not responsible and will not assume any liabilities whatsoever for the information found on websites of third parties. In the event an NPP, RFSA or related documentation would be amended, Canada will not be sending notifications. Canada will post all amendments, including significant enquiries received and their replies, using GETS. It is the sole responsibility of the Supplier to regularly consult GETS for the most up-to-date information. Canada will not be liable for any oversight on the Supplier's part nor for notification services offered by a third party.
  4. Arrangements will remain open for acceptance for a period of not less than 60 days from the closing date of the RFSA, unless specified otherwise in the RFSA. Canada reserves the right to seek an extension of the arrangement validity period from all responsive suppliers in writing, within a minimum of 3 days before the end of the arrangement validity period. If the extension is accepted by all responsive suppliers, Canada will continue with the evaluation of the arrangements. If the extension is not accepted by all responsive suppliers, Canada will, at its sole discretion, either continue with the evaluation of the arrangements of those who have accepted the extension or cancel the RFSA.
  5. Arrangements and supporting information may be submitted in either English or French.
  6. Arrangements received on or before the stipulated RFSA closing date and time will become the property of Canada and will not be returned. All arrangements will be treated as confidential, subject to the provisions of the Access to Information Act (R.S., 1985, c. A-1), and the Privacy Act (R.S., 1985, c. P-21).
  7. Unless specified otherwise in the RFSA, Canada will evaluate only the documentation provided with the arrangement. Canada will not evaluate information such as references to Web site addresses where additional information can be found, or technical manuals or brochures not submitted with the arrangement.
  8. An arrangement cannot be assigned or transferred in whole or in part.

06 (2018-05-22) Late arrangements

PWGSC will return or delete arrangements delivered after the stipulated RFSA closing date and time, unless they qualify as a delayed arrangement as described in section 07.

For late arrangements submitted using means other than the Canada Post Corporation's epost Connect service, the physical arrangement will be returned.

For arrangements submitted electronically, the late arrangements will be deleted. As an example, arrangements submitted using Canada Post Corporation's epost Connect service, conversations initiated by the Bid Receiving Unit via the epost Connect service pertaining to a late arrangement will be deleted. Records will be kept documenting the transaction history of all late arrangements submitted using epost Connect.

07 (2018-05-22) Delayed arrangements

  1. An arrangement delivered to the specified Bid Receiving Unit after the RFSA closing date and time but before the supply arrangement issuance date may be considered, provided the supplier can prove the delay is due solely to a delay in delivery that can be attributed to the Canada Post Corporation (CPC) (or national equivalent of a foreign country). Private courier (Purolator Inc., Fedex Inc., etc.) is not considered to be part of CPC for the purposes of delayed arrangements.
    1. The only pieces of evidence relating to a delay in the CPC system that are acceptable to PWGSC are:
      1. a CPC cancellation date stamp;
      2. a CPC Priority Courier bill of lading;
      3. a CPC Xpresspost label;

      that clearly indicates that the arrangement was sent before the RFSA closing date.

    2. The only piece of evidence relating to a delay in the epost Connect service provided by CPC system that is acceptable to PWGSC is a CPC epost Connect service date and time record indicated in the epost Connect conversation history that clearly indicates that the arrangement was sent before the RFSA closing date and time.
  2. Misrouting, traffic volume, weather disturbances, labour disputes or any other causes for the late delivery of arrangements are not acceptable reasons for the arrangement to be accepted by PWGSC.
  3. Postage meter imprints, whether imprinted by the Supplier, the CPC or the postal authority outside Canada, are not acceptable as proof of timely mailing.

08 (2019-03-04) Transmission by facsimile or by epost Connect

  1. Facsimile
    1. Unless specified otherwise in the RFSA, arrangements may be submitted by facsimile.
      1. PWGSC, National Capital Region: The only acceptable facsimile number for responses to RFSAs issued by PWGSC headquarters is 819-997-9776 or, if applicable, the facsimile number identified in the RFSA.
      2. PWGSC regional offices: The facsimile number for responses to RFSAs issued by PWGSC regional offices is identified in the RFSA.
    2. For arrangements transmitted by facsimile, Canada will not be responsible for any failure attributable to the transmission or receipt of the faxed arrangement including, but not limited to, the following:
      1. receipt of garbled, corrupted or incomplete arrangement;
      2. availability or condition of the receiving facsimile equipment;
      3. incompatibility between the sending and receiving equipment;
      4. delay in transmission or receipt of the arrangement;
      5. failure of the Supplier to properly identify the arrangement;
      6. illegibility of the arrangement; or
      7. security of arrangement data.
    3. An arrangement transmitted by facsimile will constitute the formal arrangement of the Supplier and must be submitted in accordance with section 05.
  2. epost Connect
    1. Unless specified otherwise in the RFSA, arrangements may be submitted by using the epost Connect service provided by Canada Post Corporation.
      1. PWGSC, National Capital Region: The only acceptable email address to use with epost Connect for responses to RFSAs issued by PWGSC headquarters is: tpsgc.dgareceptiondessoumissions-abbidreceiving.pwgsc@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca, or if applicable, the email address identified in the RFSA.
      2. PWGSC regional offices: The only acceptable email address to use with epost Connect for responses to RFSAs issued by PWGSC regional offices is identified in the RFSA.
    2. To submit an arrangement using epost Connect service, the Supplier must either:
      1. send directly its arrangement only to specified PWGSC Bid Receiving Unit using its own licensing agreement for epost Connect provided by Canada Post Corporation; or
      2. send as early as possible, and in any case, at least six business days prior to the RFSA closing date and time, (in order to ensure a response), an email that includes the RFSA number to the specified PWGSC Bid Receiving Unit requesting to open an epost Connect conversation. Requests to open an epost Connect conversation received after that time may not be answered.
    3. If the Supplier sends an email requesting epost Connect service to the specified Bid Receiving Unit in the RFSA, an officer of the Bid Receiving Unit will then initiate an epost Connect conversation. The epost Connect conversation will create an email notification from Canada Post Corporation prompting the Supplier to access and action the message within the conversation. The Supplier will then be able to transmit its arrangement afterward at any time prior to the RFSA closing date and time.
    4. If the Supplier is using its own licensing agreement to send its arrangement, the Supplier must keep the epost Connect conversation open until at least 30 business days after the RFSA closing date and time
    5. The RFSA number should be identified in the epost Connect message field of all electronic transfers.
    6. It should be noted that the use of epost Connect service requires a Canadian mailing address. Should a supplier not have a Canadian mailing address, they may use the Bid Receiving Unit address specified in the RFSA in order to register for the epost Connect service.
    7. For arrangements transmitted by epost Connect service, Canada will not be responsible for any failure attributable to the transmission or receipt of the arrangement including, but not limited to, the following:
      1. receipt of garbled, corrupted or incomplete arrangement;
      2. availability or condition of the epost Connect service;
      3. incompatibility between the sending and receiving equipment;
      4. delay in transmission or receipt of the arrangement;
      5. failure of the Supplier to properly identify the arrangement;
      6. illegibility of the arrangement;
      7. security of arrangement data; or
      8. inability to create an electronic conversation through the epost Connect service.
    8. The Bid Receiving Unit will send an acknowledgement of the receipt of arrangement document(s) via the epost Connect conversation, regardless of whether the conversation was initiated by the supplier using its own license or the Bid Receiving Unit. This acknowledgement will confirm only the receipt of arrangement document(s) and will not confirm if the attachments may be opened nor if the content is readable.
    9. Suppliers must ensure that that they are using the correct email address for the Bid Receiving Unit when initiating a conversation in epost Connect or communicating with the Bid Receiving Unit and should not rely on the accuracy of copying and pasting the email address into the epost Connect system.
    10. An arrangement transmitted by epost Connect service constitutes the formal arrangement of the Supplier and must be submitted in accordance with section 05.

09 (2010-10-07) Customs clearance

It is the responsibility of the Supplier to allow sufficient time to obtain Customs clearance, where required, before the RFSA closing date and time. Delays related to the obtaining of customs clearance cannot be construed as "undue delay in the mail" and will not be accepted as a delayed arrangement under section 07.

The Supplier must have the legal capacity to contract. If the Supplier is a sole proprietorship, a partnership or a corporate body, the Supplier must provide, if requested by the Supply Arrangement Authority, a statement and any requested supporting documentation indicating the laws under which it is registered or incorporated together with the registered or corporate name and place of business. This also applies to suppliers submitting an arrangement as a joint venture.

11 (2008-12-12) Rights of Canada

Canada reserves the right to:

  1. reject any or all arrangements received in response to the RFSA;
  2. cancel the RFSA at any time;
  3. reissue the RFSA;
  4. if no responsive arrangements are received and the requirement is not substantially modified, reissue the RFSA by inviting only the suppliers who submitted an arrangement to resubmit arrangements within a period designated by Canada; and
  5. issue RFSAs and supply arrangements to suppliers who qualify throughout the entire period of the supply arrangement.

12 (2014-09-25) Rejection of arrangement

  1. Canada may reject an arrangement where any of the following circumstances is present:
    1. the Supplier is subject to a Vendor Performance Corrective Measure, under the Vendor Performance Corrective Measure Policy, which renders the Supplier ineligible to submit an arrangement for the requirement;
    2. an employee, or subcontractor included as part of the arrangement, is subject to a Vendor Performance Corrective Measure, under the Vendor Performance Corrective Measure Policy, which would render that employee or subcontractor ineligible to submit an arrangement for the requirement, or the portion of the requirement the employee or subcontractor is to perform;
    3. the Supplier is bankrupt or where, for whatever reason, its activities are rendered inoperable for an extended period;
    4. evidence, satisfactory to Canada, of fraud, bribery, fraudulent misrepresentation or failure to comply with any law protecting individuals against any manner of discrimination, has been received with respect to the Supplier, any of its employees or any subcontractor included as part of the arrangement;
    5. evidence satisfactory to Canada that based on past conduct or behavior, the Supplier, a subcontractor or a person who is to perform the Work is unsuitable or has conducted himself/herself improperly;
    6. with respect to current or previous transactions with the Government of Canada:
      1. Canada has exercised its contractual remedies of suspension or termination for default with respect to a contract with the Supplier, any of its employees or any subcontractor included as part of the arrangement;
      2. Canada determines that the Supplier's performance on other contracts, including the efficiency and workmanship as well as the extent to which the Supplier performed the Work in accordance with contractual clauses and conditions, is sufficiently poor to jeopardize the successful completion of any requirement to be bid on.
  2. Where Canada intends to reject an arrangement pursuant to a provision of subsection 1. (f), the Supply Arrangement Authority will so inform the Supplier and provide the Supplier 10 days within which to make representations, before making a final decision on the arrangement rejection.
  3. Canada reserves the right to apply additional scrutiny, in particular, when multiple arrangements are received in response to a request for supply arrangements from a single supplier or a joint venture. Canada reserves the right to:
    1. reject any or all of the arrangements submitted by a single supplier or joint venture if their inclusion in the evaluation has the effect of prejudicing the integrity and fairness of the process, or;
    2. reject any or all of the arrangements submitted by a single supplier or joint venture if their inclusion in the procurement process would distort the solicitation evaluation, and would cause a result that would not reasonably have been expected under prevailing market conditions and/or would not provide good value to Canada.

13 (2014-03-01) Communications—solicitation period

To ensure the integrity of the competitive RFSA process, enquiries and other communications regarding the RFSA must be directed only to the Supply Arrangement Authority identified in the RFSA. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in the arrangement being declared non-responsive.

To ensure consistency and quality of information provided to suppliers, significant enquiries received and their replies will be posted on the Government Electronic Tendering Service (GETS). For further information, refer to subsection 3 of the submission of bids section.

14 (2008-05-12) Arrangement costs

No payment will be made for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of an arrangement in response to the RFSA. Costs associated with preparing and submitting an arrangement as well as any costs incurred by the Supplier associated with the evaluation of the arrangement, are the sole responsibility of the Supplier.

15 (2008-12-12) Conduct of evaluation

  1. In conducting its evaluation of the arrangements, Canada may, but will have no obligation to, do the following:
    1. seek clarification or verification from suppliers regarding any or all information provided by them with respect to the RFSA;
    2. contact any or all references supplied by suppliers to verify and validate any information submitted by them;
    3. request, before issuance of any supply arrangement, specific information with respect to suppliers' legal status;
    4. conduct a survey of suppliers' facilities and/or examine their technical, managerial, and financial capabilities to determine if they are adequate to meet the requirements of the RFSA;
    5. verify any information provided by suppliers through independent research, use of any government resources or by contacting third parties;
    6. interview, at the sole costs of suppliers, any supplier and/or any or all of the resources proposed by suppliers to fulfill the requirement of the RFSA.
  2. Suppliers will have the number of days specified in the request by the Supply Arrangement Authority to comply with any request related to any of the above items. Failure to comply with the request may result in the arrangement being declared non-responsive.

16 (2012-03-02) Joint venture

  1. A joint venture is an association of two or more parties who combine their money, property, knowledge, expertise or other resources in a single joint business enterprise, sometimes referred as a consortium, to submit an arrangement together on a requirement. Suppliers who submit an arrangement as a joint venture must indicate clearly that it is a joint venture and provide the following information:
    1. the name of each member of the joint venture;
    2. the Procurement Business Number of each member of the joint venture;
    3. the name of the representative of the joint venture, i.e. the member chosen by the other members to act on their behalf, if applicable;
    4. the name of the joint venture, if applicable.
  2. If the information is not clearly provided in the arrangement, the Supplier must provide the information on request from the Supply Arrangement Authority.
  3. The arrangement must be signed by all the members of the joint venture unless one member has been appointed to act on behalf of all members of the joint venture. The Supply Arrangement Authority may, at any time, require each member of the joint venture to confirm that the representative has been appointed with full authority to act as its representative for the purposes of the RFSA and any resulting supply arrangement.

17 (2012-03-02) Conflict of interest—unfair advantage

  1. In order to protect the integrity of the procurement process, suppliers are advised that Canada may reject an arrangement in the following circumstances:
    1. if the Supplier, any of its subcontractors, any of their respective employees or former employees was involved in any manner in the preparation of the RFSA or in any situation of conflict of interest or appearance of conflict of interest;
    2. if the Supplier, any of its subcontractors, any of their respective employees or former employees had access to information related to the RFSA that was not available to other suppliers and that would, in Canada's opinion, give or appear to give the Supplier an unfair advantage.
  2. The experience acquired by a supplier who is providing or has provided the goods and services described in the RFSA (or similar goods or services) will not, in itself, be considered by Canada as conferring an unfair advantage or creating a conflict of interest. This supplier remains however subject to the criteria established above.
  3. Where Canada intends to reject an arrangement under this section, the Supply Arrangement Authority will inform the Supplier and provide the Supplier an opportunity to make representations before making a final decision. Suppliers who are in doubt about a particular situation should contact the Supply Arrangement Authority before the RFSA closing date. By submitting an arrangement, the Supplier represents that it does not consider itself to be in conflict of interest nor to have an unfair advantage. The Supplier acknowledges that it is within Canada's sole discretion to determine whether a conflict of interest, unfair advantage or an appearance of conflict of interest or unfair advantage exists.

18 (2008-12-12) Entire requirement

The RFSA contains all the requirements relating to the request for arrangements. Any other information or documentation provided to or obtained by a supplier from any source are not relevant. Suppliers should not assume that practices used under previous contracts will continue, unless they are described in the RFSA. Suppliers should also not assume that their existing capabilities meet the requirements of the RFSA simply because they have met previous requirements.

19 (2017-04-27) Further information

  1. For further information, suppliers may contact the Supply Arrangement Authority identified in the RFSA.
  2. For RFSAs issued out of PWGSC headquarters, enquiries concerning receipt of arrangements may be addressed to the Bid Receiving Unit, Procurement Operational Support Division, telephone 819-420-7200. For RFSAs issued out of PWGSC regional offices, enquiries concerning receipt of offers may be addressed to the Supply Arrangement Authority identified in the RFSA.

20 (2016-04-04) Code of Conduct for Procurement—arrangement

The Code of Conduct for Procurement provides that Suppliers must respond to Requests for Supply Arrangements (RFSA) in an honest, fair and comprehensive manner, accurately reflect their capacity to satisfy the requirements set out in the RFSA and resulting supply arrangement, submit bids and enter into contracts only if they will fulfill all obligations of the Contract. By submitting an arrangement, the Supplier is certifying that it is complying with the Code of Conduct for Procurement. Failure to comply with the Code of Conduct for Procurement, may render the arrangement non-responsive.