Procurement Services strives to obtain goods and services in an open, competitive, and fair way that provides the best value to SFU and ensures the optimal balance of overall benefits to the University and to British Columbia’s taxpayers.
There are a number of factors that govern the competitive bidding process:
- SFU Purchasing Policy (AD 11.01) requires competitive bidding for goods and services valued at $50,000 CAD or greater.
- By law, British Columbia’s trade agreements require SFU to conduct a public competitive bidding process for all goods or services valued at $75,000 CAD or greater.
- All purchases must be in compliance with applicable trade agreements, including the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), and the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA).
- An Advance Contract Award Notice (ACAN) may be posted by Procurement Services for any direct award being considered to a pre-identified supplier (on the assumption that that supplier is the only one capable of providing or fulfilling the good, service or construction), thereby allowing other suppliers to signal their interest in bidding by submitting a statement of capabilities.
Competitive Bidding Process
There is a well defined process for procuring goods and services through competitive bidding, which is explained in full in the Guide to Competitive Bidding PDF.
We strongly advise that you download and review the guide as early as possible in your project. As the process typically takes 4-12 weeks, you should also contact your Procurement Services officer as early as possible so that they can assist you in the process, including advising you on any exemptions and exclusions that might apply to your particular situation.
In essence, there are eight steps to the process across two distinct stages:
Stage I – Gathering Information and Creating the Document
- Initiating: Contact your Procurement Officer as early in the project as possible to ensure sufficient time for planning and conducting the competitive bidding processes.
- Preliminary Meeting: The Procurement Officer and Project Team meet to discuss your project, the competitive bidding process, and your role in creating Appendix D, a detailed outline of your requirements.
- Outlining Requirements: With assistance from your Procurement Officer, the Project Team will complete the outline of your project’s requirements using the Appendix D guidelines.
- Finalizing the Solicitation Document: Upon receiving your completed Appendix D, your Procurement Officer will consolidate the full Solicitation Document.
Stage II – Selecting a Vendor
- Posting and Closing: Your Procurement Officer will post your project publicly to offer all vendors a fair and transparent opportunity to submit a proposal. Procurement posts notices on BC Bid and MERX and runs the competition using the MERX eBidding system.
- Evaluating: Your Procurement Officer will record the opening of all bid submissions and the Evaluation Committee will rate all compliant submissions according to criteria established by the Project Team in Appendix E.
- Negotiating: In consultation with the Project Team, your Procurement Officer may negotiate with the selected vendor to further meet your project needs.
- Contract Award: In consultation with the Project Team, your Procurement Officer will draft the contract documents and obtain the necessary internal approvals to award the contract to the selected vendor. The Procurement Officer will notify unsuccessful bidders and provide debriefings as requested.
Bid Resolution Process
In the case of disputes over an awarded bid, the unsuccessful bidder must follow a specific course of action.
The first step is to schedule a debriefing with the designated Procurement Officer. Debriefings must take place within fifteen (15) business days following notice of the contract award. Requests received after this time frame will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
If the matter is not resolved in the debriefing and the unsuccessful bidder still has concerns with a procurement process following a debriefing and wishes to formally dispute the outcome, they must file a written bid dispute notice with the Director of Procurement Services, by registered mail, within fifteen (15) business days of the debriefing.
The bid dispute notice must include:
- The name and address of the bidder
- Reference number and title of the bid solicitation
- Detailed and factual statement of the grounds for the dispute
- Supporting documentation
- Designated contact during the bid dispute process
For full details of what must be included in the complaint, as well as the subsequent actions and responsibilities of all parties, please review the SFU Bid Dispute Resolution Guide (PDF).