Phase 2 of 3: Bidding and contract award

Once you’ve planned your procurement, you can move on to the bidding and contract award phase of the process. This includes everything from soliciting and evaluating bids, to selecting the right contractor for your needs and awarding the contract.  

Solicit bids

There are two ways you can solicit bids:

Procurements that are subject to trade agreements must be advertised on CanadaBuys. 

Learn more about the types of bid solicitations

Publishing solicitation documents

You must publish solicitation documents for each publicly advertised competitive solicitation. Do not send documents directly to businesses. If you are posting a Notice of Proposed Procurement (NPP), all solicitation documents must be published at the same time that the NPP is posted on CanadaBuys.

Finding a supplier

You can use the Supplier Information (SI) service to find suppliers, which provides a list of more than 110,000 companies registered to do business with the federal government. Search the system by legal or operating name, address, Procurement Business Number and more.

Browse the Supplier Information service (accessible only on the Government of Canada network)

Evaluate bids

Proper bid evaluation and contractor selection methods ensure that all contractors are treated fairly and justly in the procurement process.

Preparing a bid evaluation plan

Establish your bid evaluation plan in consultation with the client department or agency, before issuing the bid solicitation. Under no circumstances can the proposal evaluation plan be changed after the proposal closing date.

The bid evaluation plan clearly documents:

  • the bid evaluation criteria and their respective weighing factors
  • the scoring method that will be used to determine which bid best meets the requirement
  • the scoring grid against which these evaluation criteria will be evaluated

The completed evaluation plan must include:

  • the evaluation method
  • the evaluation criteria, sub-criteria, and respective weight factors if applicable
  • the contractor selection method

This plan will be the basis for auditing the fairness of the evaluation process. The details of the evaluation plan will be for departmental internal use only.

Developing bid evaluation criteria

The client authority and the client to establish the evaluation criteria before issuing a bid solicitation. The development of bid evaluation criteria should include, but are not restricted to:

  • the nature of the requirement
  • the ability of the client authority to express the requirement in a clear and concise manner
  • the ability to identify relevant evaluation criteria
  • how realistic and measurable are the criteria

The evaluation criteria and contractor selection method must be tailored to the specific requirements to ensure the clients needs are met.

Using bid evaluation methods

The evaluation team must evaluate the technical proposal according to evaluation criteria outlined in the solicitation document. Three methods of evaluation may be used:

  • Minimum mandatory criteria requirements, where a proposal must meet all the mandatory criteria specified in the solicitation document
  • Point-rated criteria requirements, where a bid must obtain the required minimum score on the point-rated criteria
  • Combination of minimum mandatory and point-rated requirements

Select a contractor

The following are the most common methods for selecting contractors at Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC).

Lowest price

These proposals need to meet the minimum mandatory and move on to further considerations where price becomes the determining factor. The lowest price will be what determines who is selected. It is recommended to be as competitive as possible because success can come down to as little as a few cents.

Best overall value

The requirements usually include mandatory and point-rated criteria where a point-rating scale is developed. The selection is often based on the bidder offering the lowest compliant cost-per-point proposal. This is determined by dividing the bid price by the total points achieved in the technical evaluation of the bidder’s proposal. Other methods may also be used and will be set out in the solicitation document.

Highest technical proposal within a stipulated budget

This method is used when seeking the best possible technical solution within a stipulated budget. A supplier is invited to propose a solution to a problem or a method of achieving an objective.

Award a contract

Contract award may take place after bid closing and completion of the evaluation, but before the bid validity expiry date. The contract document will depend on the type of bid solicitation.

Types of contract documents include:

  • acquisition cards, which are basically credit cards with a maximum of $5000 and are used to buy goods or services
  • purchase orders, which are issued when quotations are requested
  • Your tender/proposal is accepted, which is issued when the accepted tender or proposal is received in writing
  • You are requested, which is issued when proposals are requested or in any circumstances where the proposed contract reflect a term or condition not agreed to in writing by the selected contractor 

Notification to unsuccessful bidders

Notify unsuccessful bidders as soon as possible after contract award or issuance of a standing offer or supply arrangement. As outlined by the Treasury Board Contracting Policy, unsuccessful bidders can request a debriefing after a contract is awarded. 

For more information see the following sections of Chapter 7 of the Supply Manual:

Basis of payment

The basis of payment should reflect the commodity, contract duration, and how well the requirement was defined. You may use multiple bases of payment in one contract. In descending order of preference, these are:

  1. firm price
  2. firm price subject to economic price adjustment
  3. cost reimbursable with fixed time rate
  4. cost reimbursable with incentive fee
  5. cost reimbursable with fixed fee
  6. cost reimbursable with fee based on actual costs
  7. cost reimbursable with no fee

Methods of payment

Methods of payment are based on the value and term of a contract. These include:

  • a single payment made on completion of all work and deliveries
  • multiple payments made on completion of each delivery when multiple deliveries are required
  • a progress payment, which only occurs when a payment cannot be made in the current fiscal year for a contract that starts in the next fiscal year; holdbacks can be applied to ensure performance and to avoid overpayment
  • an advance payment made by or on behalf of the Crown under the terms of a contract before the contract is fulfilled (only done in certain circumstances)

For more information

If you need additional help with understanding the bid solicitation process, refer to the following sections of the Supply Manual:

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