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4.30. General Instructions for the Preparation of a Solicitation

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4.30.1 Requirement and Statement of Work

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The requirement must be clearly identified, the deliverables and the delivery schedule defined and the tasks must be included in the Statement of Work.

For more information, 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.).

4.30.10 Industrial security in contracts

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  1. For all proposed procurement with security requirements, including pre-contractual agreements, contracts, call-ups and service agreements, the Security Requirements Check List (SRCL) must be prepared by the client department and provided directly to the Canadian Industrial Security Directorate (CISD) prior to sending the TPSGC-PWGSC 9200 Requisition for Goods and Services and Construction form to PWGSC Allocation Unit. Therefore, for every proposed procurement, the department identifies the security requirements by completing an SRCL or by certifying in writing that there are no security requirements. CISD will then provide the security clauses to the client department. The SRCL and the security clauses, or the Certification, must be provided along with the TPSGC-PWGSC 9200 Requisition for Goods and Services and Construction form and must be on file and available upon demand.
  2. A Request for Private Sector Organization Screening (PSOS) form may also be included with the SRCL if the client knows of possible bidders that are not registered with CISD. This form is prepared by the client department, the contracting officer or prime contractor (where subcontracting is required) to initiate registration with CISD.
    Note: To request a copy of the PSOS form, please contact the Contract Security Program's Security and Information Services at ssi-iss@pwgsc-tpsgc.gc.ca.
  3. The PSOS form provides CISD with mandatory information not included in the SRCL to conduct background and security screenings. As CISD is now under a cost recovery regime, costs will be associated with all screening requests the client departments/contracting officers are sponsoring.
  4. The role of CISD is to:
    1. review the SRCL, Request for Private Sector Organization Screening (PSOS) form if applicable and any attachments which contain security provisions, such as the Statement of Work, for accuracy, completeness, and authorized signatures;
    2. for potential international contracts, ensure that the participating countries have the appropriate industrial security Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), arrangements, or agreements with Canada (see 4.30.25 Industrial Security and International Contracts). If foreign-based suppliers are expected to bid, a list of the applicable country of origin should be provided to CISD, and the appropriate clauses related to foreign-based suppliers will be provided;
    3. sign the SRCL form as the Contracting Security Authority and provide the applicable security clauses to the client department;
    4. provide information to the contracting officer on the security status of each potential bidder, contractor, or offeror, as applicable;
    5. provide to Canadian-based bidders, contractors, or offerors, information on the preparation and transmission of classified or protected information or assets. Classified information and assets must be forwarded to the Document Control Section (DCS).
  5. The fully signed SRCL must contain the following signatures:
    1. the Organization Project Authority must sign the form to indicate that the SRCL properly reflects the security requirements of the requirement;
    2. the Organization Security Authority must also sign the form to indicate that the SRCL properly reflects the industrial security requirements of the requirement. CISD will not process the SRCL and provide the applicable clauses if the above two signatures are not provided;
    3. the contracting officer must sign block 16 "Procurement Officer" only after CISD have advised that the successful bidder has received their security clearance, which means just prior to award. That signature on the SRCL confirms that:
      1. all information on file relating to the industrial security requirement has been provided to CISD for their review prior to solicitation stage;
      2. the contracting officer intends to attach the fully completed and signed SRCL, as well as, insert the security clauses provided by CISD into the contract; and
      3. CISD has provided confirmation that the proposed contractor meets the security requirements.
        Important: When security clearances such at IT, Production and/or COMSEC are required, seek assurance of these specific security types from CISD as they are contract specific and not blanket clearances held by the organizations.
    4. CISD signs as indicated in (a) (iii) above.
  6. Client departments may provide the hard copy of the SRCL form Security Requirements Check List (SRCL) (form TBS/SCT 350-103) or use the online security requirements checklist (SRCL) service. To use the online service register online or contact the Contract Security Program.
  7. If a requirement is cancelled, the contracting officer must advise CISD immediately so that the file can be appropriately closed out.
  8. Contracting officers may not reuse previously approved clauses, except in processes or instruments that have been approved by CISD.

4.30.15 Industrial Security in Solicitations

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  1. When there are industrial security requirements, the evaluation section or the security requirements section of the solicitation documents must clearly state whether security requirements must be met before solicitation closing date or before contract award. The contracting officer should be fully aware of the time frames required for the required security clearances to be granted, and whether or not the solicitation document will contain conditions or a time limit in which suppliers must obtain the required security clearance, following the solicitation closing date. The choice of such time frames must not unfairly discriminate between potential suppliers.
  2. The completed SRCL must be attached as an annex to the solicitation, though the signature page may be omitted.
  3. Contracting officers should specify in their solicitation document whether or not suppliers must include information in their bid to allow the security verification process or clearance process to begin. Contracting officers may contact CISD for assistance in determining the best approach.
  4. For procurements with security requirements for work to be performed or documents safeguarded at the contractor’s facilities, security clearance has to be obtained for those facilities before any work can start. The contractor’s address indicated in the bid document is not necessarily the location of where the contractor intends to perform work or keep documents. It is important for the Canadian Industrial Security Directorate (CISD) to know, as early as possible in the process, in which of the contractor’s facilities the work will be performed or the government's sensitive information/assets will be safeguarded if issued a contract, standing offer or supply arrangement.
  5. In the solicitation document, the Contracting Officer needs to add, under the Security references "Location(s) of Work Performance" for the contractor to complete.

4.30.20 Industrial Security in Standing Offers and Supply Arrangements

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  1. When the contracting officer and the client department have determined that it is appropriate to use a standing offer or supply arrangement method of supply for requirements with an industrial security requirement, the solicitation documents should specify the minimum level of security clearance required as well as the circumstances under which a higher level would be required. Instructions to users of the arrangement must be clear on:
    1. how to identify which level of security applies in resulting contracts; and
    2. the client department's responsibility in confirming with CISD, prior to issuing a contract or call-up, that the suppliers meets the security requirement.
    IMPORTANT: When security clearances such as IT, Production and/or COMSEC are required, seek assurance of these specific security types from CISD as they are contract specific and not blanket clearances held by the organizations.
  2. Once the solicitation phase is complete, the contracting officer must provide CISD with a copy of the Request for Standing Offers or Request for Supply Arrangements, as well as a list of proposed suppliers so that CISD can validate that the selected suppliers meet the minimum security requirements stipulated in the arrangement.
  3. Resulting call-ups and contracts, which have security requirements, must identify the applicable security requirement, and the applicable SRCL must be attached to the call-up or contract.
  4. A copy of all such call-ups and contracts must be sent to CISD. It is not necessary to send the "authorization to use" document to CISD.

4.30.25 Industrial Security and International Contracts

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  1. For contracts with foreign-based suppliers, the contracting officer must advise CISD of the country of origin for each foreign-based supplier that is interested in participating in the procurement activity. CISD will then verify if there is an industrial security MOU or arrangement in place with the relevant foreign country. If so, the appropriate equivalent security clauses will be provided to the contracting officer.
  2. Protected/classified information or assets for transmittal outside of Canada must be sent to the Document Control Section (DCS) of CISD who will then forward it to the recipient. Onward transmission and receipt through approved security channels will be undertaken by DCS.
  3. The contracting officer must submit the Statement of Work to CISD for review of any security wording to ensure compliance with the terms of the bilateral agreement.

4.30.30 Foreign ownership, control or influence

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  1. A Foreign Ownership, Control or Influence (FOCI) evaluation must be done in all situations where a third party individual, firm or government is assumed to possess dominance of, or authority over, a Canadian facility to such a degree that a third party individual, firm or government may gain unauthorized access to extremely sensitive information (INFOSEC). A FOCI evaluation is an administrative determination of the nature and extent of foreign dominance over the contractor's management and/or operations.
  2. Requirements involving the potential release of extremely sensitive information (INFOSEC), a special category of classified Communications Electronic Security (COMSEC) information, are subject to a FOCI review by the Contract Security Program (CSP). Recommendations regarding the use of FOCI will then be submitted to the procurement directorate.
  3. Suppliers must be informed of the requirement for a FOCI evaluation in the solicitation; however, completed packages from suppliers should only be requested after the bid evaluation process has determined which supplier(s) will be awarded a contract. The material that a supplier has to provide for such an evaluation is often extensive and time consuming to provide.
  4. Contracting officers must provide two copies of the FOCI submission for the successful supplier(s) to CSP. Verification of the FOCI and the required Facility Security Clearance of the potential Canadian or United States-based supplier must be obtained from CSP before contract award.
  5. Any irregularity known to contracting officers regarding compliance with the INFOSEC access approval of the contractor involving extremely sensitive INFOSEC must be immediately reported to the Director of CSP.

4.30.35 Information on Comprehensive Land Claims Agreements

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For more information on Comprehensive Land Claims Agreements, consult 9.35 Comprehensive Land Claims Agreements (CLCAs).

4.30.40 Information on the Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business

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For more information on the Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business, consult 9.40 Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business.

4.30.45 Standard Instructions, Clauses and Conditions

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Standard instructions, clauses and conditions set out in the Standard Acquisition Clauses and Conditions (SACC) Manual issued by PWGSC may be added in the solicitation documents to meet specific commodity needs. Contracting officers must ensure that there are no inconsistencies with the applicable general conditions.

4.30.45.1 Equivalent products

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  1. When there is no alternative to specifying a particular manufactured product, the solicitation should, whenever possible, include SACC Manual clause B3000T for equivalent products. Before issuing the solicitation, the contracting officer should contact the client department to discuss the potential for equivalent products and any mandatory performance criteria related to the item being specified that must be included in the solicitation to ensure proper evaluation of a substitute product's equivalency. Contracting officers must ensure that all references to a manufacturer's brand name, model and/or part number contained anywhere within the solicitation are followed by the words "or equivalent".
  2. For procurements subject to the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) or to any of Canada’s international trade agreements, provision for equivalent products must be made. Contracting officers must give consideration to supplier claims of equivalence and have some way to determine if the proposed products are, indeed, equivalent.

4.30.45.5 No Substitute Products

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When a manufacturer's brand name, model and/or part number are used in the item description and substitutes will not be considered in a solicitation, SACC Manual clause B4024T should be used. This clause must not be used in solicitations subject to the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) or to any of Canada’s international trade agreements.

4.30.45.10 Multi-Item Bids/Offers

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  1. A requirement can either be on an aggregate basis or an item-by-item basis or a combination of the two. If it is on aggregate basis, the entire requirement will be awarded to a single supplier. An item by item basis will be used, for example to obtain better prices for certain products or to provide complete coverage when one supplier cannot meet the entire requirement.
  2. The evaluation of multi-item bids/offers should be governed by cost-benefit considerations.
  3. The savings generated from the split of a requirement into more than one contract should be compared with the additional costs usually associated with the award of multiple contracts or issuance of multiple standing offers:
    1. costs to PWGSC, for example, the costs of awarding, administering and closing-out contracts;
    2. costs to the client department, for example, extra billing and inspection, and other related administrative costs; and
    3. costs to the contractor, for example, transportation costs, price per unit.
  4. Sectors/regions should determine their own administrative premiums for costs such as those identified in paragraphs (i) and (ii) above.
  5. The savings from awarding more than one contract must also be weighed against possible disadvantages, such as:
    1. the difference in delivery times for components provided by different suppliers;
    2. the compatibility of items supplied by different suppliers; and
    3. the service or maintenance of items after delivery.
  6. While the standard instructions of the bids and offers provide for their acceptance "in whole or in part", it is sometimes appropriate to emphasize the option to award a contract or issue a standing offer, on either an aggregate or an item-by-item basis. When using the aggregate or item-by-item basis, SACC Manual clause A0272T should be used for bid solicitations and M0032T for Request for a Standing Offer (RFSOs).

4.30.45.15 Bidders' Conferences and Site Visits

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  1. The purpose of a bidders' conference is to provide information to suppliers and to ensure that all suppliers receive the same information. For detailed information on bidder’s conferences, refer to section 3.115 Bidders' Conference.
  2. Site visits are meetings held on site to provide suppliers with opportunities to view and assess aspects of the work that cannot be adequately described in performance specifications or the statement of work. For more information on site visits, please see section 3.116 Site Visits.

4.30.45.20 Intellectual Property

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  1. It is the policy of the Government of Canada that the contractor be the owner of any foreground information (as defined in the conditions applicable to the contract) created by the contractor in performance of the contract. This is however subject to some exceptions set out in Section 6 of TB Policy, ARCHIVED - Title to Intellectual Property Arising Under Crown Procurement Contracts.
  2. Client departments should be requested to fully justify any requests to retain ownership of intellectual property (IP), as provided for in the policy, except for the case of non-software copyright, where the practice of PWGSC practice is to make Canada ownership the norm.
  3. The solicitation should make clear to suppliers the ownership of any IP rights, as determined by the client department. SACC Manual clauses may be used in conjunction with the general conditions and supplemental general conditions to meet the requirement of the client department. See Annex 4.2: Intellectual Property.

4.30.45.25 Former Public Servants

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  1. Former public servants must comply with the Conflict of Interest Act. This is a term of all general conditions and forms part of all solicitations.
  2. For service contracts, Standard Acquisition Clauses and Conditions (SACC) Manual clauses A3025T, A3026T, M3025T and M3026T, as applicable, must be used in all solicitations to ensure compliance with former public servant policies. Suppliers are required to self-identify as a former public servant, if applicable, and to make available to Canada any additional details of their status with respect to cash-out amounts and time equivalents, pension payment details and status of ownership.
  3. Former public servants must provide the required information identified in the SACC clause (A3025T, A3026T, M3025T, or M3026T) before contract award or issuance of a standing offer. Canada will declare a bid or offer non-responsive if the required information is not completed and submitted as requested.
  4. The required information will be a condition precedent to contract award, as opposed to a mandatory requirement for evaluation purposes.
  5. All information that suppliers provide to Canada is subject to verification by Canada during the evaluation period (before award of a contract) and after award of a contract to ensure compliance. For more information on definitions and exceptional contracting authorities, consult Chapter 3 Procurement Strategy and Chapter 6 Approvals and Authorities.

4.30.50 Taxes and Duties

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For more information on taxes and duties, consult annexes Annex 4.3: Taxes and Duties, Annex 4.4: Supplies Exempt from Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax and Annex 4.5: Goods Subject to Excise Tax.

4.30.55 Ontario Labour Legislation

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Solicitations for janitorial, food catering and security services must include SACC Manual clause A0075T whenever information concerning each employee of a previous supplier must be provided to other suppliers, in accordance with the Ontario labour legislation. See 4.70.105 Ontario Labour Legislation and Annex 4.6: Ontario Labour Legislation.

4.30.60 Communications Notification

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Process cancelled as per direction from Communications Branch in July 2010.