On the bid evaluation criteria, if I think of some criteria later and it’s missing from the bid document already posted, can I cancel the bid and do a new one so I can include the criteria?

If the bid is still open, we can use bid amendment to change the evaluation criteria before the bid closing date.

If the bid is closed, we need to be very careful in the consideration of whether to shut down the bid or not. Keep in mind that suppliers put a lot of effort and resources in the bid preparation. We ask the market to respect our established bid process and we should respect the suppliers’ effort too. We recommend taking this approach only when the criteria are absolutely critical for the outcome of the bid.

Do we have to accept the lowest priced bid?

No, we don’t have to accept the lowest priced bid.

In a formal competitive bidding process, the bid with the highest score should be awarded. In a process where we obtain three quotes or proposals, we need to justify our supplier selection as the best value for the money.

I have suppliers that I regularly interact with during my work. What should I do if suppliers ask me about bidding that is currently going on and I’m not part of the evaluation team?

During a competitive bidding process, any supplier’s inquiry should be directed to Purchasing Services.  Even if we’re not part of the evaluation team, we should follow this process. 

Explain to the supplier about this process. Being frank and honest upfront is the approach the supplier would appreciate.

During a competitive bidding process, I sign the confidentiality agreement. Can I disclose the information later once the bid process is over? Isn’t it that the supplier has right to know how much we spend anyway because we’re spending public funds?

Not all information can be disclosed freely even if a competitive bidding process is over, such as pricing. We don’t recommend volunteering information related to the tendering process to suppliers once the bid process is over.

The University is required to handle, store and maintain the supplier’s confidential or commercially sensitive information. The University is also held accountable to the public by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and Personal Health Information and Protection of Privacy Act (PHIPPA).

While a RFP is open, can I contact suppliers to let them know about this? Who can notify them?

No.  Once a RFP is open, all communications with potential suppliers is only to be managed by Purchasing Services. If there is any supplier that should be notified of the RFP, Purchasing Services is responsible to invite them to the opportunity.

What happens if we don’t receive any bid to our RFP?

The RFP will be cancelled.   Depending on reasons we don’t receive any response, we might decide on different actions. 

In the case if there is no supplier in the market who can provide the goods or services we are looking for, we might want to review our specification or scope of work, or we wait until the market is believed to be mature to re-bid.

How to work with Purchasing Services on RFP process? Is there any template we can use?

At the beginning of each competitive bidding project, the Purchasing Lead will discuss the RFP process and all related issues including dos and don’ts with the project team.

Yes, the University uses standard bid templates for different type of competitive bidding. The Purchasing Lead of the project will work with the team to tailor the templates to meet the requirements of each project.

There are a lot of rules about the competitive bidding process. If a team member makes a mistake, for example, receives a supplier’s phone call, what can we do?

Competitive bidding process is a formal business process governed by Laws and government regulations. Inappropriate handling of business case could lead to disputes and legal actions by unsuccessful suppliers.

It is imperative that each team member follows the RFP process and communicates with the Purchasing Lead about any situation that comes up during the process.

What liability do I have on decisions like whether this is consulting or not?

It is up to the organization to determine whether the services we require are consulting services or not.

There is currently no specified personal liability in determining whether it is consulting or not.  However, the University expects faculty and staff to make the best judgment based on the information available. This would mean that, if challenged, faculty and staff could demonstrate accountability and provide a sound justification for the business case.


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