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Public Works and Government Services Canada

9.10. Real Property Contracting

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  1. This section describes the responsibilities for real property contracting and provides some of the related procedures and methodologies.
  2. Acquisitions Branch, Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC), provides procurement services related to real property contracting for federal departments and agencies. Real Property Contracting (RPC), Acquisitions Branch, is responsible for contracting real property services such as architectural, engineering and facility maintenance services as well as construction services. It is separate and has different responsibilities from Real Property Branch (RPB), PWGSC, which manages a portfolio of real estate in Canada and is the Government of Canada's real property expert.

9.10.1 Real Property Contracting Procedures


  1. Although most of the generic practices and policies of the department apply to real property contracting, there are differences. Some of these differences are a result of complying with applicable legislation, or adapting to industry practices, or simply the realities of the services being procured. Many fundamental review processes do not apply to real property requirements and some examples follow. The Procurement Review Committee does not apply to the acquisition, modification and routine maintenance of real property. The Expense Management Tool (EMT) Application for Registration form PWGSC-TPSGC 514The information is only accessible to federal government department and agency employees. does not apply to architectural and engineering nor construction requirements.
  2. Clauses specific for real property contracting can be found in subsection 5-R of the Standard Acquisition Clauses and Conditions (SACC) Manual. Departmental standard procurement templates and many policies exclude some or all of real property contracting requirements and do not apply to real property requirements. SACC Manual clauses identified as mandatory may not apply to real property requirements. Standard Real Property Contracting (RPC) templates provide guidance to their contracting officers.
  3. All real property contracting work performed by Acquisitions Branch (AB) must be in accordance with the Government Contracts Regulations. The Federal Real Property and Immovables Act applies to the sale and purchase of real property, and leases, including all work performed through a lease. Real Property Branch (RPB), not AB, is responsible for requirements carried out under the Act. In order to protect the integrity of AB's system data, no requirements under the Act should be entered into the AB system, that is, the Automated Buyer Environment (ABE).

9.10.5 SELECT


  1. SELECT is a database of pre-approved suppliers such as architects, engineers and construction trade contractors identified by their expertise and the services they provide. It is used by Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) to invite suppliers to bid on real property services procurements up to certain thresholds. SELECT provides a systematic rotation functionality that matches the specifics of the requirement with suppliers having the required expertise that are within a geographic range. Depending on the requirement, a supplier may be given the opportunity to accept or decline the work, or multiple suppliers may be given the opportunity to compete the requirement.
  2. For consulting services estimated at $10,000 or less, SELECT generates a short list of three qualified suppliers. The most suitable and readily available supplier may be contacted directly. For consulting services estimated between $10,000 and the NAFTA threshold, SELECT identifies a single supplier that meets the discipline and experience profile requirements. In both of these cases, the approval authority is based on non-competitive contract entry. For consulting services below the NAFTA services threshold value, the SELECT system may also be used to pre-select suppliers from which bids can be solicited.
  3. For construction services estimated at $10,000 or less, SELECT generates a short list of three qualified suppliers. The most suitable and readily available supplier may be contacted directly. For construction services estimated between $10,000 and $101,100, SELECT generates a short list of five qualified suppliers; however, the business practice in some locations is to select five to eight qualified suppliers, all of which are invited to bid. The supplier who submits the lowest-priced responsive offer is usually awarded the contract. Use of SELECT for Requirements Subject to Comprehensive Land Claims Agreements (CLCAs)


  1. CLCAs are law. The CLCA obligations are legally binding because they are contained in agreements signed by Canada and backed by legislations.
  2. If a requirement is subject to CLCAs, the contracting officer must either:
    1. Not use SELECT and proceed with the procurement process explained in section 9.35 Comprehensive Land Claims Agreements (CLCAs);


    1. Use SELECT and follow the more tailored process described in section 9.35.91 SELECT.

9.10.10 Architectural and engineering services


The contracting officer must determine the procurement strategy in consultation with the client. The main method of supply for architectural and engineering services is the standard contract, but Real Property Contracting also uses alternative methods of supply like standing offers and supply arrangements. Due to the qualitative nature of the architectural and engineering industry, the submission of full design proposals represents a large investment of time, effort, and money on the part of consulting suppliers. In order to reduce the possibility of consulting firms spending large amounts of money preparing such proposals for Public Works and Government Services of Canada projects, the Department uses both one and two phase request for proposals for architectural and engineering services.

9.10.15 Construction Services


  1. There are three primary methodologies used in the procurement of construction services for projects:
    1. Design-Bid-Build (D-B-B);
    2. Design-Build (D-B);
    3. Construction Management (CM).
  2. The roles, relationships and responsibilities of the contracting parties vary considerably for each methodology. Choosing the optimum methodology is a key consideration for the project team. For construction services, the project team is composed of Real Property Contracting (RPC) of the Real Property Branch (RPB) and the client.
  3. Many variations exist for each approach and the selection of one methodology over another should be carefully analyzed by all stakeholders during the development of the risk management plan, well in advance of the procurement, in order to determine the inherent risks, advantages and disadvantages associated with each methodology. The selection of a particular methodology for the delivery of construction services is based upon an analysis of those risks identified in the plan that may impact the priority objectives of the project during the project's planning and implementation stages.
  4. Each methodology has advantages and disadvantages and one may be more suitable than another for any given project. The project team must weigh both the benefits and the shortcomings of using a specific methodology on their project. Traditionally, PWGSC has accepted the D-B-B methodology as the standard delivery process for construction projects. Although it may be time consuming, D-B-B provides the project team with a better 'comfort level' concerning costs and quality. Since design is 100 percent complete before construction begins, changes should be minimal.
  5. CM and D-B have been used extensively in the private sector, but used sometimes in PWGSC. A bid solicitation, in the form of a Request for Proposal, is used for both these methodologies in order to determine the successful supplier. Design-Build solicitations should also include an honorarium for at least three suppliers that continue to the phase two of the selection process to compensate them for work not normally required in the submission of a proposal.
  6. RPC generally uses an invitation to tender for construction contracts, with a public opening shortly following the specified closing time. The tenders are generally evaluated on the basis of the lowest priced responsive tender. Suppliers must submit their tenders in accordance with the invitation to tender and associated specifications and drawings. Contracting officers should consult the Standard Acquisition Clauses and Conditions (SACC) Manual clause R2710T for information on the submission of bids.
  7. Prequalification of suppliers is not normally done. If required, justification should be provided for prequalification and the criteria established to ensure that the industry can respond appropriately. Although a two-stage prequalification process may be necessary, a two-envelope process is the preferred method in construction. Suppliers are asked to submit two sealed envelopes, where envelope "A" will include the response to the prequalification requirements (almost always a pass/fail type of criteria). If the content of envelope "A" demonstrates that the supplier is qualified, the envelope "B", including the price and bid security, is normally opened publicly with other responsive bids.
  8. For requirements over $100,000, contracting officers must use the construction terms and conditions imposed by Treasury Board Secretariat (see clauses in subsection 5-R of the Standard Acquisition Clauses and Conditions [SACC] Manual). Bid security and contract security (clause R2890D) are also requirements above this threshold. The client should identify if additional or specialized insurance is required in the Insurance Terms for the contractor.
  9. The Federal Contractors Program for employment equity and the review by the Procurement Review Committee do not apply to construction contracts.
  10. The Minister of PWGSC has delegated to Real Property Branch (RPB) the ability to amend construction and maintenance contracts awarded by Acquisitions Branch (AB). This authority must be deducted from AB authorities to ensure that PWGSC does not exceed its overall authority from Treasury Board. The RPB Project Manager will submit, with the requisition, a risk management plan that will identify items that may result during the construction project. This plan will include a suggested dollar value called the "Risk Management Contingency". AB will review the plan and the suggested dollar value, and will establish an amount to seek approval for a Pre-approved Amount for Anticipated Amendments (PAAA).This amount will be used for subsequent amendments to the contract.

9.10.20 Elevator maintenance services


This section of the Supply Manual has been removed. For reference purpose only, section 9.10.20 is available in the Supply Manual ArchiveThe information is only accessible to federal government department and agency employees., Version 2016-2.