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7. Chapter 7 - Award of Contracts and Issuance of Standing Offers and Supply Arrangements

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7.1 Overview of contract award and issuance of standing offers and supply arrangements

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  1. This chapter describes the process of contract award to a successful bidder, as well as the issuing of the authorization to use a standing offer (SO) or a supply arrangement (SA) received from a successful offeror or supplier. It also provides general instructions for release of information to the public about the results of the bid solicitation.
  2. Before award/issuance of the document, the contracting officer must ensure that the following elements have been appropriately addressed:
    1. industrial security requirements (see 3.55 Industrial Security Requirements (Personnel or Organization) and 5.15 Verifying Compliance with Security Requirements);
    2. vendor performance corrective measures (see 8.180 Vendor Performance Policy);
    3. supplier financial capability or financial security (see 5.60 Financial Capabilities of Contractor);
    4. award/issuance is in accordance with the approval obtained and any exceptions to internal approval authorities (see article 1.1. of Annex 6.4.1: Approval Authorities and Additional Signing Authorities in Support of Clients' Programs Only - Other than for Canadian Commercial Corporation);
    5. Integrity Provisions (see 5.16 Integrity Compliance);
    6. Federal Contractors Program for Employment Equity (see Annex 5.1 Federal Contractors Program for Employment Equity).
  3. Electronic Signatures: When awarding a contract or issuing a standing offer or supply arrangement, the contracting officer may choose to electronically sign the front page of the document using their MyKey (or a Public Key Infrastructure [PKI] certificate) to self-authenticate. The contracting officer must save the completed document outside of the Automated Buyer Environment (ABE) as a PDF document. The contracting officer can then electronically sign the document using Adobe Acrobat or another PDF writer software after being prompted to self-authenticate using their MyKey (or a PKI certificate).

7.5 Contract Award

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  1. Contract award may take place at any time, after bid closing and completion of the evaluation, and before the bid validity expiry date. The contract document will depend on the type of bid solicitation.
  2. A purchase order will be issued when quotations are received, either by way of a Request For Quotation (RFQ) or a telephone buy. If quotations were solicited by telephone, the supplier must confirm, in writing, the terms of the purchase order.
    Note: Prior to issuing a purchase order, contracting officers must follow the integrity verification process outlined in section 5.16 Integrity Compliance.
  3. A "Your Tender/Proposal is accepted" document will be issued when tenders/proposals are requested, and the bid is received in writing and accepted. This type of document is used when the contract reflects those conditions proposed, or agreed to in writing, by the successful bidder. The document should make reference to the bid and any amendments to it.
    Note: Construction contracts are awarded under a true bid and acceptance process. The bidder submits the completed bid and acceptance form, and Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) sends an acceptance document.
  4. A "You are Requested" document is issued where the proposed contract may reflect a condition not agreed to in writing by the successful bidder. This constitutes a counter-offer by PWGSC, and must be accepted by the successful bidder in writing to constitute a legally binding contract.
    Note: The "You are Requested" documents, and in some cases purchase orders, are not contracts but only offers by PWGSC to potential contractors. Although a legal contract does not exist, such offers usually reflect the contracting officer's understanding of the conditions, which are agreeable to the successful bidder. If the successful bidder does not accept the PWGSC offer, or proposes modifications to the contract, the matter should be referred to Legal Services.
  5. Formal Agreements. Contracting officers must consult with Legal Services when considering this type of contract.

7.10 Issuance of Supply Arrangements and Standing Offers

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Following a Request for Standing Offers (RFSO) or a Request for Supply Arrangements (RFSA) process, an authorization document is issued, which gives contracting officers and client departments, when applicable, the authority to use the instrument. For more information on the use of these instruments, see 3.5 Existing Procurement Instruments, 3.15 Non-competitive Contracting Process, 4.10.20 Request for Standing Offers and 4.10.25 Request for Supply Arrangements.

7.10.1 Standing Offers

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  1. The authorization document for standing offers, entitled "Standing Offer and Call-Up Authority", may take one of the following forms:
    1. a "National Master Standing Offer (NMSO)", which is generally issued for the use of all departments. PWGSC contracting officers and client departments are both authorized to make call-ups;
    2. a "Departmental Individual Standing Offer (DISO)", which is generally issued for the use of a single client. Only PWGSC contracting officers are authorized to make call-ups. However, software DISOs, which are structured more like NMSOs, are an exception as they authorize the client to make call-ups;
    3. a "National Individual Standing Offer (NISO)", which is generally issued for the use of a single client. Both PWGSC contracting officers and client department are authorized to make call-ups;
    4. a "Regional Master Standing Offer (RMSO)", which is generally issued for the use of many clients within a specific geographic area; and
    5. a "Regional Individual Standing Offer (RISO)", which is generally issued for the use of a single client within a specific geographic area.
  2. Call-ups must be made in accordance with the procedure set out in the SO and, in the case of multiple SOs, in accordance with the call-up methodology described in all of the SOs being referenced. Call-ups cannot exceed the contracting limit set out in the standing offer. For more information on allowable call-up limitations, see 4.10.20.1(a).
  3. A call-up against a standing offer carried out by an identified user constitutes acceptance of the offer. The SO (offer) and call-up (acceptance) form a binding contract between Canada and the offeror. Several options can be used to issue a call-up under a SO:
    1. the Canada acquisition card (Visa or MasterCard) for low dollar value requirements
    2. PWGSC-TPSGC 942 Call-up Against a Standing Offer
    3. PWGSC-TPGSC 942-2 Call-up Against a Standing Offer - Multiple Delivery
    4. PWGSC-TPSGC 944 Call-up Against Multiple Standing Offers (English version)
    5. PWGSC-TPSGC 945 Commande subséquente à plusieurs offres à commandes (French version)

7.10.5 Supply Arrangements

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  1. The authorization to use a supply arrangement insert (SA) will take the form of a SA document that is generally issued for use by all client departments. Client departments may or may not be authorized to award contracts or issue bid solicitations. If authorized, they will award contracts under their own contracting authority within their own financial contracting authority. For contracts beyond client departments' contracting authority, PWGSC will be the contracting authority.
  2. Resulting contracts must be awarded in accordance with the procedures, and within the contracting limits, described in the supply arrangement.

7.15 Legal Entity

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  1. Whatever the form of procurement document, the contracting officer must ensure that it is with a supplier that is a legal entity having the legal capacity to contract, and that the supplier's legal name is used.
  2. Possession of a Procurement Business Number (PBN) is not equivalent to having the legal capacity to contract. The contracting officer must still verify that the supplier has the legal capacity to contract.
  3. For example, a contract may not be awarded to a division of a corporation, as it is not a legal entity. Be aware that computerized source lists may include an abbreviated name for a supplier. In some cases, a legal entity (for example a numbered company) will use a business name to do business. In such cases, the legal name (the number of the company) must be used and it could be followed by "doing business as ______(insert the business name)".

7.20 Letter of Intent

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  1. When the timely delivery of goods or services would be jeopardized by lengthy negotiations, a Letter of Intent authorizes commencement of the work before the contract is awarded. It is a binding commitment to place a contract with a designated supplier.
  2. Letters of Intent can only be used in exceptional circumstances, and must not be issued without prior approval of the Deputy Minister (DM).
  3. A Letter of Intent is issued subsequent to DM approval of the conditions already agreed to by the proposed contractor, but before obtaining contract approval of all the conditions of the proposed contract.
  4. Letters of Intent are prepared by Legal Services with the cooperation of the contracting officer.
  5. No contractual commitment may be made that would constitute the first step of a procurement that might require subsequent Treasury Board approval.
  6. The Letter of Intent must accurately describe the work authorized, state the maximum liability of Canada, expressed as funds to be spent by the contractor, and specify how the payment will be made. The contract serial number that will be assigned to the subsequent contract must be indicated on the Letter of Intent.
  7. After DM approval is received, the original Letter of Intent must be signed by the appropriate contract signing authority and distributed in the same manner as a contract.
  8. On completion of negotiations of all the conditions of the proposed contract, the contract approval document will be submitted for review and approval at the appropriate level.
  9. The contracting officer must clearly indicate in the contract that the work authorized under the Letter of Intent is not to be duplicated.

7.25 Go-Ahead Letters

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Go-ahead letters may be issued after obtaining final approval of the contract approval document, provided all appropriate conditions of the proposed contract are known and accepted by the proposed contractor. Go-ahead letters are subject to the appropriate signing authorities. After issuing the go-ahead letter, the contract must be sent to the contractor in a timely manner.

7.30 Procurement Reporting and Posting of Award Notices

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The following sections describe procedures that contracting officers must follow to meet departmental responsibilities for award notices and contract activity reporting. These requirements stem from legal requirements, corporate and government policies, parliamentary needs and departmental procedures. The following is a summary of reporting requirements:

  1. Award Notices posted on the Government Electronic Tendering Service (GETS);
  2. Purchasing Activity Reports (government-wide annual reporting);
  3. Contract History database (published on Buyandsell.gc.ca);
  4. Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement contract reporting;
  5. Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business reporting;
  6. Trade agreements reporting requirements; and;
  7. Specific procurement activities such as contracts with task authorizations, terminations and conditional amendments related to vendor performance.

Note: The above section is not written to address the complete reporting requirements of client departments or suppliers, but only of contracting officers in the Acquisitions Program of Public Works and Government Services Canada.

7.30.1 Award notices on the Government Electronic Tendering Service

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  1. For procurements subject to the international trade agreements and the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), an award notice must be posted on the Government Electronic Tendering Service (GETS) within 72 days of contract award. Although there are no minimum time periods identified for the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT), the 72-day limit applies for reasons of consistency.
  2. For all contractual documents issued through the Automated Buyer Environment (ABE), award notices are generated automatically through ABE, with the release of the completed Procurement Summary, and posted on Buyandsell.gc.ca, except when the "National Security" indicator is checked. See 7.30.30 Use of the National Security Indicator for more details.
  3. For more information on completing the Procurement Summary, see the Automated Buyer Environment Blue BookThe information is only accessible to federal government department and agency employees. (PDF 1.58 MB) (Help with PDF files).
  4. For procurements subject to the trade agreements where ABE is not used for contract award, contracting officers must create award notices using the Tender Management Application (TMA) on Buyandsell.gc.ca. For more information about obtaining an account to use TMA, please contact the InfoLine at: 1-800-811-1148.

7.30.5 Procurement Activity Reporting to Treasury Board Secretariat

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  1. In 1996, Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) agreed with the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) that PWGSC would be responsible for collecting contract data from other government departments and agencies to generate the annual procurement activity reports. This annual activity entails the reporting of the following:
    1. federal contracting (on behalf of the Treasury Board Secretariat);
    2. federal contracting in respect of all Trade Agreements to which Canada is a signatory (on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade);
    3. federal contracting in respect of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement, the Agreement on Internal Trade, and the Ownership of Intellectual Property (on behalf of the Department of Industry); and
    4. all procurements related to the Procurement for Aboriginal Business (on behalf of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada).
  2. The Office of Small and Medium Enterprises and Strategic Engagement (OSME-SE) is responsible for assembling contract activity data based on input submitted from all departments and agencies. This information is then provided to TBS to support the publishing of the government's Purchasing Activity Reports for each calendar year.
  3. On completion and release of the procurement summary in the Automated Buyer Environment (ABE), the award data is sent automatically to the Acquisition Information System (AIS) and will be included in the contract activity reporting.
  4. PWGSC Contract Activity Outside of ABE: Contracts done outside of ABE must be reported to OSME-SE at NCRReporting.RCNRapportage@pwgsc-tpsgc.gc.ca on an annual basis. The reports, summary or detail, should be submitted by the end of February. Such reports should include contract activity such as formal agreements, confirming orders, security sensitive contracts and any other contract or call-up not otherwise captured in automatic reporting in ABE.
  5. Standing Offers and Supply Arrangements: In the past, departments and agencies have reported only the total contract activity under standing offer agreements instead of reporting details on individual call-ups as quite a number of departments did not have the capability to report against call-ups. Beginning in 2011, departments and agencies phased in the reporting of standing offer call-ups as part of the Purchasing Activity Reports. Effective January 2011:
    1. all call-ups issued by PWGSC contracting officers are captured in the Government Contract Activity Report assembled by OSME-SE. Contracting officers must release the procurement summary in ABE for all call-ups to ensure the data is captured;
    2. the value entered for the total estimated value, appearing on the front page of Standing Offers is no longer used as part of the contract activity report, regardless of the type of standing offer. Contracting officers within AB are not responsible for reporting client departments' contracts/call-ups which utilizes PWGSC SOs and SAs. This is reported to OSME-SE directly from the departments;
    3. call-ups done within PWGSC/AB but outside of ABE must be reported separately to OSME-SE per subsection d. of this section.

7.30.10 Contract History on Buyandsell.gc.ca

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  1. The Contract History database for Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) common services procurement was originally launched to facilitate requests about contracts awarded by PWGSC, and is accessible to both suppliers and government buyers. Making this data readily available supports a reduction in access to information and privacy (ATIP) requests for information on contract awards. On March 8, 2013, this database was added to the Procurement Data section on BuyandSell.gc.ca, along with other data such as Standing Offers and Supply Arrangements (SOSA), and also Goods and Services Identification Number (GSIN) on June 1, 2013.
  2. On completion and release of the procurement summary in the Automated Buyer Environment (ABE), the award data is sent automatically to the Contract History database and published on Buyandsell.gc.ca, except when the National Security indicator is checked. There is no requirement for buyers to report in this system for contracts done outside of ABE.

7.30.15 Comprehensive Land Claims Agreement Reporting

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  1. As detailed in Treasury Board Secretariat Contracting Policy Notice 2008-4, the government monitors and reports on procurements that are subject to Comprehensive Land Claims Agreements (CLCAs). Therefore, contracting officers must ensure that the coding for procurements subject to CLCAs is done accurately. See section 7.70.30 Comprehensive Land Claims Agreement (CLCA) Coding for instructions for the Automated Buyer Environment (ABE).
  2. Contracting done outside of ABE must be reported as described in subsection d. of 7.30.5 Procurement Activity Reporting to Treasury Board Secretariat.

7.30.20 Procurement Strategy of Aboriginal Business Reporting

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  1. Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) ARCHIVED - Aboriginal Business Procurement Policy Performance Objectives - (Contracting Policy Notice 1996-6) sets out details of department's responsibilities with respect to developing performance objectives relating to procurements from aboriginal businesses and to develop related reporting mechanisms. The establishment of, and reporting on, annual objectives in support of the program, includes value and numbers of contracts awarded to Aboriginal businesses, supplier promotion activities, and increased representation of Aboriginal businesses on department source lists.
  2. Therefore, contracting officers must ensure that reporting on procurements subject to a Procurement Strategy of Aboriginal Business (PSAB) set-aside is done accurately. All procurements subject to PSAB must be coded as such; in the Automated Buyer Environment (ABE), this involves clicking on "Trade Agreement" and selecting "Set-Aside Program for Aboriginal Business (SPAB)".

7.30.25 Trade Agreements Reporting

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  1. Some trade agreements, including the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement (WTO-AGP) require that parties report on covered procurement. In response to this obligation, Public Works and Government Services Canada provides statistics to the Treasury Board Secretariat who is responsible for the government-wide report.
  2. Contracting officers are to ensure that the procurement summary in the Automated Buyer Environment (ABE) is coded properly when their procurement is covered by CFTA, AIT, NAFTA and/or the WTO-AGP. ABE selection choices, which include NAFTA, also include the bilateral trade agreements that have reporting obligations.
  3. Contracts done outside of ABE must be reported as per subsection d. of 7.30.5 Procurement Activity Reporting to Treasury Board Secretariat. Such reports must identify whether the procurement was covered by the CFTA, AIT, NAFTA and/or the WTO-AGP.

7.30.30 Use of the National Security Indicator

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  1. There may be circumstances other than National Security where posting an award notice could reasonably be expected to compromise government confidences, cause economic disruption, or similarly be contrary to the public interest.  On the other hand, there are procurements for which a National Security Exception (NSE) was approved in accordance with paragraph 3.105 National Security Exceptions of the Supply Manual, but it is still appropriate to post an award notice.
  2. A contracting officer may suppress the posting of an award notice by checking the box for the National Security Indicator in the ABE Procurement Summary. Contracting officers must treat this indicator as if it were labeled “Suppress Posting”. 
  3. For amendment documents in ABE, the value of the National Security Indicator always defaults to “No” (unchecked) regardless of the value on the original document.  If the National Security indicator was “Yes” (checked), on the original award, the contracting officer must remember to choose “Yes” (by checking the box) for subsequent amendments.  If the National Security indicator was “No” (unchecked) on the original award, the contracting officer must leave the box set to “No” (unchecked) for subsequent amendments.  Changing the value of the National Security Indicator on an award amendment can result in awards being posted in error on the Buy and Sell website.
  4. Therefore, the following procedures apply with regard to the National Security Indicator on the ABE Procurement Summary:
    1. when an NSE is invoked for a procurement in accordance with paragraph 3.105 of the Supply Manual, and posting an award notice is contrary to the public interest, the contracting officer must check the National Security Indicator box for the original contractual document and for any subsequent amendments, thus no award notices will be posted for any documents.
    2. when an NSE is invoked in accordance with paragraph 3.105 National Security Exceptions of the Supply Manual, and posting an award notice is not contrary to public interest, the National Security Indicator must be left unchecked for both original and subsequent amendment documents and the award notice will be posted.
    3. if an NSE does not apply, but the contracting officer’s management has advised that it is not in the public interest to post an award notice, the contracting officer must check the National Security Indicator box for the original contractual document and for any subsequent amendment documents.
    4. if during the life of a contract, it is decided and approved that the National Security Indicator must be changed (as not being the same as for the original), contracting officers must first contact the Acquisitions Systems Service Desk (ITSB) either by phone at 819-956-3325 or via e-mail at: assd.basa@pwgsc-tpsgc.gc.ca, to have them modify the indicator from the original contractual documents.  This is a complex process that, if not followed properly, can cause reporting issues, so contracting officers should not attempt to make the change without ITSB’s assistance.

7.30.35 Reporting of Contract with Task Authorizations

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After issuing a contract with task authorizations (TAs) or an amendment to this type of contract, contracting officers must report on the procurement. See section 7.70.35 Contracts with Task Authorizations - Coding for instructions.

7.30.40 Reporting of Emergency Requirements

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Use of the emergency contracting authority is subject to the reporting requirement for such contracts as set out in the TB Contracting Policy (see section 11.2.9 Emergency Contracting for details).

7.35 Notification to Unsuccessful Bidders/Offerors/Suppliers

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Contracting officers should notify unsuccessful bidders/offerors/suppliers as soon as possible after contract award and issuance of a standing offer or supply arrangement. Samples of regret letters are provided in Annex 7.1: Samples of Regret Letters.

7.40 Debriefing and Feedback Session to Bidders/Offerors/Suppliers

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  1. Debriefing
    1. The purpose of a debriefing is to explain to unsuccessful bidders/offerors/suppliers why their bid/offer/arrangement was not accepted, allowing them to improve their future documents. A debriefing demonstrates the fairness, openness, and transparency of the federal government contracting process. Also, contracting officers can improve future solicitations by using the comments and suggestions provided by bidders/offerors/suppliers.
    2. Every solicitation must include a provision stating that bidders/offerors/suppliers may request a debriefing about the results of the solicitation. The departmental standard procurement templates include a provision to this effect.
    3. Following the award of a contract or issuance of a standing offer (SO)/supply arrangement (SA), a debriefing will be provided upon request. A written debriefing is usually done in the form of a regret letter that is sent out to each unsuccessful bidder/offeror/supplier. See samples of regret letters in Annex 7.1 Samples of Regret Letters.
    4. In the case of a complex procurement, when a solicitation is conducted in phases, the contracting officer will notify unsuccessful bidders/offerors/suppliers at the end of each phase and provide a debriefing upon request.
    5. Within the limits expressed at section 7.45 Disclosure of information, a debriefing will include the following, as applicable:
      1. the name(s) of the successful bidder(s)/offeror(s)/supplier(s);
      2. the total estimated cost of the contract(s), the unit price(s)/labour rate(s) of an SO, or (where applicable) the firm/ceiling unit price(s) or labour rate(s) of an SA;
      3. the total evaluated price of the successful bidder(s)/offeror(s)/supplier(s) and the total score, if applicable;
      4. very general information on the relative strengths of the successful bid(s)/offer(s)/arrangement(s), ensuring that confidential and commercial information is not divulged; and
      5. an outline of the reasons the bid/offer/arrangement of the bidder/offeror/supplier being debriefed was not successful according to the evaluation criteria and selection methodology. In addition, scores achieved on all rated criteria will be provided with sufficient detail for the bidder/offeror/supplier to understand why those scores were assigned.
  2. Feedback Session
    1. A feedback session is a form of debriefing. A feedback session will be provided, upon request, when a solicitation is to be cancelled and reissued. The purpose of a feedback session is to provide the bidder/offeror/supplier with information specific to their bid/offer/arrangement. As an example, a feedback session will provide the bidder/offeror/supplier with information on which mandatory criteria they passed or failed or their overall technical score or their score for each technical criterion. This information will allow the bidder/offeror/supplier to understand why their bid/offer/arrangement failed to meet the requirements. No information regarding other bids/offers/arrangements or the solicitation to be reissued must be divulged.
    2. In order to ensure the fairness, openness, and transparency of the solicitation process, all bidders/offerors/suppliers must have access to the same information on the solicitation to be reissued. Therefore, all information provided in a feedback session must be documented by the Contracting Authority. The information communicated during the feedback session, where pertinent, will be provided in a generic form in the solicitation to be reissued to maintain fairness to all potential bidders/offerors/suppliers. One or both of the following measures will be taken to provide bidders/offerors/suppliers with this information:
      1. The particular area of concern will be highlighted more prominently with additional instructions to bidders/offerors/suppliers in the solicitation to be reissued (for example, by adding text to inform or focus attention).
      2. A bidders' conference will be held for the solicitation to be reissued. For further information on bidders' conferences, see section 4.30.45.15 Bidders' Conferences and Site Visits.
    3. In determining which of these two measures, b. ii. A. and/or B., to use, contracting officers should consider the following factors:
      1. the complexity of the procurement or solicitation documents;
      2. the likelihood of an unsuccessful reissued solicitation, e.g. if no responsive bids/offers/arrangements had been received;
      3. the nature of the issues that created a need to cancel and reissue the solicitation;
      4. the sensitivity of the procurement; and
      5. the estimated dollar value of the procurement.
    4. Both measures listed in, b. ii. A. and B. above, must be undertaken when Treasury Board (TB) contract approval is required.
    5. In accordance with subsection f. of section 4.100 Cancelling and Reissuing a Solicitation , all solicitations to be reissued must include Standard Acquisition Clauses and Conditions (SACC) clause A9043T Reissue of Bid Solicitation, informing bidders/offerors/suppliers that the reissued solicitation cancels and supersedes the previous solicitation and that a debriefing or feedback session will be provided, upon request, to bidders/offerors/suppliers who bid on the previous solicitation.
  3. Cancelled Solicitations
    1. When a solicitation is cancelled prior to the bid solicitation closing date, the Contracting Authority must adhere to the procedures addressed in section 4.100 Cancelling and Reissuing a Solicitation.
    2. When a solicitation is cancelled after the bid closing date but prior to completing the evaluation of mandatory or rated criteria, the Contracting Authority will inform bidders/offerors/suppliers of the cancellation and that the evaluation of the bids/offers/arrangements was not completed.
    3. When a solicitation is cancelled after the bid closing date, following the evaluation of mandatory or rated criteria, and a new solicitation is not planned or will not be issued, a debriefing will be provided upon request in accordance with section 7.40 Debriefing and Feedback Session to Unsuccessful Bidders/Offerors/Suppliers.
    4. When a solicitation is cancelled following the evaluation of mandatory or rated criteria and will be reissued, then a feedback session will be provided upon request.
      1. If the solicitation is cancelled because all bids/offers/arrangements are non-responsive or do not represent fair value and the Statement of Requirements of the solicitation to be reissued is significantly modified, bidders/offerors/suppliers will only be informed of which mandatory criteria(s) or rated criteria(s) requiring a minimum score were failed but no detail is to be provided as to why the bidders/offerors/suppliers failed each criteria. No information on other rated criteria(s) is to be provided.
      2. If the solicitation is cancelled because all bids/offers/arrangements are non-responsive or do not represent fair value and the Statement of Requirements of the solicitation to be reissued is not significantly modified, bidders/offerors/suppliers will be informed of which mandatory criteria(s) or rated criteria(s) requiring a minimum score were failed with sufficient detail for bidders/offerors/suppliers to understand why they failed each criteria. No information on other rated criteria(s) is to be provided.
      3. If the solicitation is cancelled for reasons other than those mentioned above, bidders/offerors/suppliers will only be informed of which mandatory criteria(s) or rated criteria(s) requiring a minimum score were failed but no detail is to be provided as to why the bidders/offerors/suppliers failed each criteria. No information on other rated criteria(s) is to be provided.
      Bidders/offerors/suppliers will be advised not to make any assumptions from the information received regarding the cancelled solicitation when bidding on the solicitation to be reissued as evaluation criteria(s) may change.
  4. Bidders/offerors/suppliers should request a debriefing or feedback session within fifteen (15) working days of receipt of the results of the solicitation process or cancellation of the solicitation process.
  5. A debriefing or a feedback session should be provided within ten (10) working days from the date a request was received.
  6. A debriefing or feedback session can be provided in writing, by telephone or in person. Contracting officers are to determine which method will be most effective in the context of a particular procurement. To the extent possible, any request for an in-person debriefing or feedback session, or for the information to be provided in a particular way, should be accommodated.
  7. Contracting officers should consult with management and, if required, legal services prior to providing a debriefing or feedback session for a requirement that is sensitive or high risk.
  8. If a fairness monitor was present during the evaluation process, then the contracting officer will advise the fairness monitor of the date and time of any telephone/in-person debriefing or feedback session or bidders' conference.
  9. If legal counsel is to accompany the bidder/offeror/supplier to any in-person debriefing or feedback session, or participate in any telephone debriefing or feedback session, the contracting officer will inform Legal Services and discuss their participation.
  10. Contracting officers must keep a record of the debriefing or feedback session information provided including, but not limited to, minutes or a record of any meeting and comments and suggestions from the bidders/offerors/suppliers.
  11. Upon request, contracting officers should provide to bidders/offerors/suppliers the following general information about the judicial and quasi-judicial bodies to which bid protests can be made. For any given procurement, one or more of the following avenues may be available to a bidder/offeror/supplier that wishes to make a claim regarding the conduct of the procurement:
    1. Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT): Whether or not the CITT has jurisdiction to conduct an inquiry regarding any particular procurement will depend on factors such as the government institution conducting the procurement, the estimated value of the procurement, and the nature of the goods, services, or construction services being procured. More information can be obtained by visiting the How to File a Complaint section on the CITT Web site.
    2. Office of the Procurement Ombudsman (OPO): If the value of the procurement is below the monetary thresholds established under the Agreement on Internal Trade, the OPO may have jurisdiction to conduct a review. More information can be obtained by visiting the Make a Complaint section on the OPO Web site.
    3. An action in a Provincial/Territorial Superior Court or in Federal Court.
    Note: There are strict deadlines for bringing bid protests, and the time periods vary depending on where the bid protest is brought. Suppliers may wish to consult their own lawyers on the appropriate forum for bringing a bid protest.

7.45 Disclosure of Information

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  1. The following information can be released by contracting officers on a routine basis, after award of a contract or issuance of a standing offer (SO) or supply arrangement (SA):
    1. for all solicitations for goods and services, the name of the successful and unsuccessful bidders/offerors/suppliers, responsive and non responsive, together with the total evaluated price of the successful bidder/offeror/supplier and total score, if applicable. Since information on bidders/offerors/suppliers who are individuals may qualify for exemption under the Privacy Act, such requests should be directed to the Access to Information and Privacy Office as indicated in 7.45.b.;
    2. for all goods and services requirements subject to public opening, information which was released at the public opening of bids; for example, name of each bidder and the total amount of each bid; and
    3. individual unit pricing information including labour rates contained in standing offers (see instructions at 7.45.c.).
  2. The following types of requests for bid, contract or standing offer and supply arrangement information should be referred to the Access to Information and Privacy Office:
    1. names of bidders/offerors who are individuals and the content of their bids/offers, including prices, since such information may be subject to an exemption under the Privacy Act;
    2. copies of bids/offers, including any accompanying catalogues, handbooks or pricing guides;
    3. copies of contracts, purchase orders or standing offer documents, including any accompanying PWGSC-produced catalogues, handbooks, or acquisition guides;
    4. bid and contract information pertaining to classified requirements;
    5. information contained in bids/offers/arrangements that have been cancelled or superseded by later bids/offers;
    6. individual unit pricing pertaining to contracts or purchase orders for goods and services and construction; and
    7. any other information not covered in (a) above.
    Any disclosures not referred to the Access to Information and Privacy Office should first be discussed with Legal Services.
  3. To ensure a consistent approach to the public disclosure of information, PWGSC will release on a routine basis the unit prices and labour rates contained in standing offers for goods and services. Offerors must be informed of PWGSC's intention to disclose unit prices and labour rates contained in successful offers in the event of a resulting standing offer. General conditions 2005 of the Standard Acquisition Clauses and Conditions (SACC) Manual include a provision to this effect.
    There may be circumstances where the provisions related to the disclosure of information, as set out above, cannot be applied. Such circumstances must be handled on a case-by-case basis and would require the approval of the manager or higher, depending on the approval authority, before issuing the RFSO or RFSA.

7.50 Bid and Contract Security

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  1. Surety bonds lapse automatically on expiration of the purpose or period for which they were required. Security deposits (government guaranteed bonds, bills of exchange, irrevocable standby letters of credit) must be returned to bidders. The bidder must return the letters of credit to the issuer to complete the discharge.
  2. Lapsing of surety bonds or return of security deposits (government guaranteed bonds, bills of exchange, irrevocable standby letters of credit) must occur in the following way for all requirements except construction:
    1. for all bidders, at the expiration of the bid validity period, either as originally set or as extended;
    2. for unsuccessful bidders, prompt notification or return of a security deposit, immediately after a contract is awarded, is essential in such cases so as not to constrain the their ability to make new bids;
    3. for a successful bidder, if no contract security is required, immediately upon award of a contract or, if contract security is required, once the contract security is received; and
    4. if contract security is required, the contract must be awarded before bid security lapses, if applicable, but not before the contract security has been received.
  3. Lapsing of surety bonds, or return of security deposits (government guaranteed bonds, bills of exchange, irrevocable standby letters of credit) for construction requirements must occur as soon as practical following:
    1. the bid solicitation closing date, for those bidders submitting non-compliant bids;
    2. the administrative bid review, for those bidders submitting compliant bids ranked fourth to last on the schedule of bids;
    3. the award of contract, for those bidders submitting the second and third ranked bids; and
    4. the receipt of contract security from the successful bidder; or
    5. the cancellation of the bid solicitation, for all bidders.
    6. If one or more of the bids ranked third to first is withdrawn or rejected for whatever reason, then Canada should reserve the right to hold the bid security of the next highest ranked compliant bid in order to retain the bid security of at least three valid and compliant bids.
  4. For construction services requirements, if contract security is required, the security must be received within 14 days after contract award and before bid security lapses.

7.55 Industrial Security Requirements

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  1. For every proposed procurement, the client departments must identify the security requirements by completing a Security Requirement Check List (SRCL) or else certify in writing that there are no security requirements (date of no security requirement must be included).
  2. The contracting officer must verify with the Canadian Industrial Security Directorate (CISD), and not by using the security indicator from the VIM system, that the proposed contractor meets the security requirements before contract award. For more information, see 5.15 Verifying Compliance with Security Requirements.
  3. Contracting officers must include a comment on the front page of the contract, standing offer, or supply arrangement, as follows:
    "THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS A SECURITY REQUIREMENT (specify date of statement)"
    Or
    "THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS NO SECURITY REQUIREMENT (specify date of statement)"
  4. If applicable, the document index shall contain the block entitled:
    "Security Requirement(s)"
    AND, if applicable
    "Location(s) of Work Performance"
  5. If the contract, standing offer or supply arrangement contains security requirements, the contracting officer must forward a copy of the contract, standing offer or supply arrangement, and any amendments, or revisions, to CISD within two working days of the document being issued. Contracting officers may send a PDF version of the document by e-mail to sncrcontracts@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca. For procurements using the Automated Buyer Environment (ABE), a copy of the contract is automatically sent to CISD.
  6. When contracting for destruction of protected and classified government materials, contracting officers must be aware of the additional measures required and manage the risks associated with the destruction of protected and classified government materials. The Corporate Security Technical Standard defines PWGSC corporate policy and procedures relating to classified waste destruction, and should follow the interim standard, regarding classification levels of shredders, and complete the appropriate form ARC 0203, Request for Non-Accessioned Disposal, for the destruction of sensitive documents.
    PWGSC threshold may be exceeded when administering destruction contracts on behalf of other client departments, based on the client's threat risk assessment. If such is the case, the client may develop a security guide as amplifying instructions, which is to be attached to the Security Requirements Check List (SRCL).
  7. For foreign classified information, consult with the Canadian Industrial Security Directorate before undertaking destruction.

7.60 Environmental Considerations

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Information on environmental considerations is found in sections  3.4 Contract Award and 3.5 Contract Performance Clauses of the Guideline for Integration of Environmental Performance Considerations in Federal Government Procurement.

7.65 Proactive Disclosure

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  1. Client departments are required to report on a quarterly basis on contracts awarded with a value over $10,000, an amendment with a value over $10,000, and an amendment when it modifies the initial value of a contract to an amended contract value that is over $10,000. After January 1, 2013, departments will be required to include information on contracts and contract amendments over $10,000 awarded to a former public servant in receipt of a Public Service Superannuation Act (PSSA) pension on the Disclosure of Contracts departmental websites.
  2. Contracting officers for common services should be providing the required information to client departments in a timely manner to facilitate their reporting process. For further information, consult the Guidelines on the Proactive Disclosure of Contracts on the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat website.

7.70 Coding Procedures

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Statistical information pertaining to PWGSC contracting activities is required to meet corporate and parliamentary needs. Contracting officers are responsible for ensuring the complete and accurate recording of all contracts.

7.70.5 Public Works and Government Services Canada Reporting (Common Services)

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  1. The Acquisition Information System (AIS) database contains over 16 full years of historical contracting data beginning with calendar year 1993. AIS is a relational database. It is a collection of information organized in related tables. A table is a collection of information about a certain topic. It contains data about contracts, requisitions, solicitations, notices, organizations, vendors and customers. AIS feeds data to the Contract History application on Buyandsell.gc.ca. Most procurement-related data comes from the Automated Buyer Environment (ABE), but for those organizations who don't have access to ABE, there is a limited front end user interface called Automated Data Capture (ADC). From ABE, the working copy requisition, contract and line item information is sent upon release of the procurement summary for original contracts, and upon coding an amendment, an assignment or the termination of a contract. Within the ABE environment, there are several fields that are mandatory or that cannot be changed to protect data integrity.
  2. Contracting officers must follow the coding procedures in the Contract Coding Reference GuideThe information is only accessible to federal government department and agency employees..
  3. The Contract Coding Reference Guide contains a list of elements and definitions found in the Procurement Summary Release Document. The Procurement Summary Release Document is completed by the contracting officer and the information it contains is then released to AIS.

7.70.10 Coding of Advance Contract Award Notice Results

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  1. In the Automated Buyer Environment (ABE) Procurement Summary, when the requirement is competitive, choose the blank when selecting a choice from the ACAN Result box. This will create the response "Not Applicable" in the No ACAN Reason box.
  2. Where an ACAN is not published for other reasons, users are directed to choose only the option "No ACAN", when selecting a choice for this box. The choices of "ACAN not required" has been removed, and leaving it blank should only be selected as per a. above.
  3. The No ACAN Reason box then requires the user to select one No ACAN reason to explain why a competitive process cannot be followed, so an ACAN must not be used. See section 3.15.5.15 Advance Contract Award Notice Exceptions for details.

7.70.15 Coding of Region of Delivery

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When entering the delivery points information for a standing offer or supply arrangement within the Procurement Summary in the Automated Buyer Environment (ABE), contracting officers must select only those provinces or territories where potential deliveries may occur. The "national button" in the Procurement Summary must only be selected if it is for a National (Master or Individual) Standing Offer, and if potential deliveries may take place in all of the provinces and territories.

7.70.20 Coding of Call-ups

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Call-ups are coded as competitive or non-competitive depending on the procurement strategy used on the underlying Standing Offer.

  1. If a Standing Offer is issued competitively, with a clear ranking methodology for issuing call-ups in accordance with section 4.10.20.5 Ranking and Methodology for Standing Offers, then the resulting call-ups are considered competitive and must be coded accordingly.
  2. A Standing Offer that uses the Advance Contract Approval Notice is considered competitive for approval purposes only; call-ups resulting from a Standing Offer subject to an Advance Contract Award Notice (ACAN) posting must be coded as non-competitive.
  3. If a Standing Offer is issued using a non-competitive (sole-source) procurement strategy, or does not have a clear ranking methodology (e.g. the client can choose which firms to issue call-ups), then the resulting call-ups are considered non-competitive and must be coded accordingly.

7.70.25 Coding of Terminations and Conditional Amendments

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Contracting officers must do procurement coding in the Automated Buyer Environment (ABE) in support of the Vendor Performance Corrective Measures Policy (VPCMP) as follows:

  1. Terminations for Default: When terminating contracts, purchase orders, or call-ups (sole source or competitive), contracting officers must select one of the two new codes, "Full Termination for Default" or "Partial Termination for Default", from the drop down list in the Document Type field of the Procurement Summary. The code "Termination for Default" is no longer available in the Document Type drop down list.
  2. Conditional Amendments: When amending contracts, purchase orders or call-ups (sole source or competitive) conditionally, contracting officers may now select the new code "Conditional Amendment" from the drop down list in the Document Type field of the Procurement Summary.
    Note: A conditional amendment is triggered by an event as defined in the VPCMP. For more information on when you can use a conditional amendment, see section 8.180.10 Definitions.

7.70.30 Comprehensive Land Claims Agreement Coding

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Contracting officers using the Automated Buyer Environment (ABE) must properly code all procurements subject to Comprehensive Land Claims Agreements (CLCAs) by following these steps:

  1. Click the checkbox for CLCAs on Part I of the Procurement Summary.
  2. On Part II of the Procurement Summary, under "Project ID", select all applicable CLCAs.
  3. On Part II of the Procurement Summary, under "Project ID", select either "CLCA bid criteria included in the solicitation? -- Yes" or "CLCA bid criteria included in the solicitation? -- No" as appropriate.
  4. If bidding on a procurement restricted to CLCA beneficiaries under a CLCA right of first refusal, then the procurement must be coded, on Part I of the procurement summary, as "Only CLCA Beneficiaries Solicited" for the Trade Agreement field and as "Set-asides for Small and Minority Businesses" for the Derogation field.

7.70.35 Contracts with Task Authorizations - Coding

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Contracting officers must code contracts with Task Authorizations (TA)s as follows:

  1. For Automated Buyer Environment (ABE) users: on the main page of the Procurement Summary, click on "Program ID", and select "Contract that allows Task Authorizations".
  2. For Automated Data Capture (ADC) users: include the following statement when submitting the ADC procurement report: "Program ID: Contract that allows Task Authorizations".

Annex 7.1: Samples of Regret Letters

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Appendix A 7.1.1: Regret Letter to Unsuccessful Bidders/Offerors/Suppliers - Responsive Bid/Offer/Arrangement

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Note to Contracting Officer: Because the evaluation methodology for different procurements varies, this letter will have to be tailored to the individual requirement. This letter has been drafted assuming that this bidder/offeror/supplier, although unsuccessful, its bid/offer/arrangement was declared responsive because it has met all mandatory requirements. Contracting officers should use the other sample regret letter in Appendix B 7.1.2: Regret Letter to Unsuccessful Bidders/Offerors/Suppliers - Non-responsive Bid/Offer/Arrangement if the bid/offer/arrangement was declared non-responsive.

________(insert date)

____________(insert department address)

Attention: ___________(insert name of addressee)

_____________(insert supplier's name and address)

Dear Mr./Mrs. ____________(insert the addressee's last name):

Subject: Solicitation No. ________

Thank you for your ____________(insert "bid" or "offer" or "arrangement") submitted in response to our request for ____________(insert brief description of goods/services).

This is to inform you that a ___________(insert "contract" or "Standing Offer (SO)" or "Supply Arrangement (SA)") will not be ___________(insert "awarded" or "issued") to you for this requirement. A __________(insert "contract" or "SO" or "SA") has been ____________(insert "awarded" or "issued") to the successful __________(insert "bid" or "offer" or "arrangement") submitted by ____________(insert name of successful bidder/offeror/supplier) in response to the above-noted solicitation. The price of the awarded _________(insert "contract" or "SO" or "SA") is $_________(insert value of awarded contract or issued SO or SA), excluding Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax, as applicable.

Although your _______(insert "bid" or "offer" or "arrangement") was found to be responsive to the mandatory requirements of the solicitation, it did not achieve the highest-ranking under the evaluation methodology described in the solicitation.

For your information and to assist you in responding to future solicitations, you are informed that your _________(insert "bid" or "offer" or "arrangement") was evaluated as follows in comparison to the successful ___________(insert "bid" or "offer" or "arrangement"):

Appendix A - This table shows the point rating scored by the successful and unsuccessful bidders.
Comparison Technical Score Financial Score
Successful_______(insert "bid" or "offer" or "arrangement")    
Your _______(insert "bid" or "offer" or "arrangement")    

I would like to thank you for submitting your _________(insert "bid" or "offer" or "arrangement") and your interest in being a supplier to the Government of Canada. Your participation is appreciated, and I hope that you will continue to bid on procurement opportunities offered by Public Works and Government Services Canada.

Should you require further information regarding the evaluation of your ___________(insert "bid" or "offer" or "arrangement"), please do not hesitate to contact me.

If you have any concerns relating to the procurement process, please refer to the Recourse Mechanisms page on the Buyandsell.gc.ca website. Please note that there are strict deadlines for filing complaints with the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) or the Office of the Procurement Ombudsman (OPO).



_________________(insert name of contracting authority)
Contracting Authority

Telephone: _____-_____-______
E-mail: ________@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca

cc: ________(insert any additional names of people who should receive a copy)

Appendix B 7.1.2: Regret Letter to Unsuccessful Bidders/Offerors/Suppliers - Non-responsive Bid/Offer/Arrangement

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Note to contracting officer: Because the evaluation methodology for different procurement varies, this letter will have to be tailored to the individual requirement. This letter has been drafted assuming that the bid/offer/arrangement was declared non-responsive because it has not met one or more mandatory requirements. Contracting officers should use the other sample regret letter provided in Appendix A 7.1.1: Regret Letter to Unsuccessful Bidders/Offerors/Suppliers - Responsive Bid/Offer/Arrangement if the bid/offer/arrangement was declared responsive but simply wasn't the highest-ranked.

____________(insert department address)

________(insert date)

_____________(insert supplier's name and address)

Attention: ___________(insert name of addressee)

Dear Mr./Mrs. ____________(insert the addressee's last name):

Subject: Solicitation No. ________

Thank you for your ____________(insert "bid" or "offer" or "arrangement") submitted in response to our request for ____________(insert brief description of goods/services).

This is to inform you that a _________(insert "contract" or "Standing Offer (SO)" or "Supply Arrangement (SA)") will not be issued to you for this requirement. A _________(insert "contract" or "SO" or "SA") has been awarded to the successful ________(insert "bid" or "offer" or "arrangement") submitted by ________(insert name of successful bidder/offeror/supplier) in response to the above-noted solicitation. The price of the awarded/issued _________(insert "contract" or "SO" or "SA") is $_________(insert value of awarded contract or SO or SA) excluding Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax, as applicable.

As indicated in the solicitation, a ______(insert "bid" or "offer" or "arrangement") was required to meet each and every mandatory requirement. Unfortunately, the evaluating team determined that your ______(insert "bid" or "offer" or "arrangement") did not comply with all the mandatory requirements of the solicitation, including the following:

__________________(insert description of non-compliance)

To provide you with information on the characteristics and relative advantages of the successful _________(insert "bid" or "SO" or "SA"), you are informed that the successful _______(insert "bid" or "SO" or "SA") has satisfied all the mandatory requirements of the solicitation and scored on the technical point-rated requirements (insert table below if relevant), as follows:

Appendix B - This table shows the point rating scored by the successful and unsuccessful bidders
Comparison Technical Score Financial Score
Successful_______(insert "bid" or "offer" or "arrangement")
Your _______(insert "bid" or "offer" or "arrangement")

Instruction to contracting officer:

  1. If you did not score the bid/offer because it was disqualified early in the process, add the following sentence (i.e. As a result of finding your …) and delete the second row in the above table (i.e. Your ____...).
  2. If you are providing the unsuccessful bidder/offeror/supplier with its score, delete the following sentence (i.e. As a result of finding your …).

As a result of finding your ______(insert "bid" or "offer" or "arrangement") to be non-responsive, your ______(insert "bid" or "offer" or "arrangement") was disqualified and Canada did not proceed with your evaluation and did not determine a technical score for your ______(insert "bid" or "offer" or "arrangement").

I would like to thank you for submitting your ______(insert "bid" or "offer" or "arrangement")) and your interest in being a supplier to the Government of Canada. Your participation is appreciated, and I hope that you will continue to bid on procurement opportunities offered by Public Works and Government Services Canada.

Should you require further information regarding the evaluation of your ________(insert "bid" or "offer" or "arrangement"), please do not hesitate to contact me.

If you have any concerns relating to the procurement process, please refer to the Recourse Mechanisms page on the Buyandsell.gc.ca website. Please note that there are strict deadlines for filing complaints with the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) or the Office of the Procurement Ombudsman (OPO).

___________(insert name of contracting authority)
Contracting Authority

Telephone: ____-____-______
E-mail: ________@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca

cc: ________(insert any additional names of people who should receive a copy)