Bidding process

What kinds of purchases are subject to the bidding process?
All acquisitions over $5000.00 in value are subject to competitive bidding. This is to ensure that the University gains the best possible price within the context of legal and purchasing directives, while practicing open and fair business policy. Purchases less than $5000.00 may be bid at the discretion of Procurement Services where competition warrants such action.

How long are bids valid?
Bids are normally valid for 30 days. Some suppliers honour bids for as long as 60 to 90 days.

How long does the bid process take?
Depending on the complexity of the bid, the bid process may take from 1 day to a month. Most University purchases that exceed $100 000.00 are subject to considerations outlined in the Canadian Internal Trade Agreement which ensures that any firm, in any province should have fair and equal opportunity to our business. Although one of the requirements, to electronically post the bid opportunity for 15 days can slow the process, we have had great success in the past of finding new and often superior sources of supply.

Does the lowest bidder always get the bid?
The lowest bidder usually gets the bid. The lowest bidder may not get the bid because of lack of capacity, quality considerations, time requirements, reputation, or inability to meet the bid specifications.

Is there anything special I should know about preparing bid specifications?
You should try to describe the desired items as completely and accurately as possible. If you have particular requirements, specify them on the requisition, it is best to describe the requirement in terms of functional needs. Describe what you want the item to do, and how it should perform.

If there is a requirement that the item be compatible with a piece of equipment that you already own, indicate on the requisition and attach all pertinent details or a supplier's specification sheet.

If you have found an item that fulfills your requirements, reference the manufacturer, model number, and catalogue number (if available).

Are there exceptions or exemptions to the bid process?
Situations requiring a certain item, or a rush delivery may justify an exception to the bid process. The secret is to involve Procurement Services in the process as early as possible.

Is there a bid dispute resolution process?
Yes, we do have a bid dispute resolution process (PDF). It is always our goal to ensure that we operate in an open and fair business environment.

How do I request an exception to bid policy?
If the reason is sole source related, an explanation, with sufficient justification should accompany the purchase requisition. A request to "PLEASE RUSH OR PLEASE PHONE IN" will not generate the desired results without any accompanying written explanation.

Could a purchase under $5000.00 be bid?
If Procurement Services, in consultation with the requisitioner, determines that a "better buy" situation will result, we may obtain competitive bids.

Can I use supplier A's quote to reduce supplier B's price?
All quotations and tenders are held in strict confidence. University employees should not discuss details with other suppliers. Price disclosure is unethical. All enquiries for information regarding the award or potential award should be referred to Procurement Services.

Can I start the bid process before I actually receive my grant?
It is possible to obtain bids before a grant or contract is awarded. This can save time when it is important to receive equipment as soon as possible after a grant begins. To initiate this process please issue a Request for Pricing available through the Procurement Website, or contact the appropriate buyer. Once the grant or Departmental approval has been given, we can immediately place your order.