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2.1. Requirements definition

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  1. Defining the requirements of a procurement is the cornerstone of a successful procurement process. The contracting officer must understand completely what he/she is about to procure. There are many aspects to consider.
  2. When defining the requirement, client departments must keep in mind not only the goods and services needed, but also the legal framework regulating the goods and services being procured (see 1.15 The Legal Framework of Contracting). Client departments can save significant time and money if there is a clear and well-prepared description of what is required. Early involvement of Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) contracting officers in the process can help achieve this.
  3. Identifying the needs and carefully developing the requirements at the earliest stages of requirements definition are the greatest contribution in obtaining the right good or service and best price, and can minimize the need for changes later.
  4. Requirements are best defined in a manner that allows competition and ensures best value. Contracting officers may be able to suggest wording, which defines requirements in terms of operational requirements rather than using brand names or proprietary technical specifications.
  5. PWGSC can help client departments identify special requirements related to accessibility, green procurement, security, progress reports, special packaging, transportation, bonding, etc. that suppliers may need to address in their bids.
  6. The contracting officer and the client department must work together to ensure that all concerns are addressed from the beginning of the process to receipt of the final deliverable.
  7. Writing clear and concise contractual documents, using the right words and plain language, is the best method to adopt, to obtain satisfaction and avoid disputes.
  8. For more information on the requirements definition, consult the Statement of Work Guide (available on GCpedia - Acquisitions Program Policy Suite - Procurement ProcessThe information is only accessible to federal government department and agency employees.).