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Procedure for Open Call for Bids

Approval Date: 2021-07-09

Effective Date: 2021-07-09

Responsible Unit: Department of Financial and Administrative Services

Procedure

1. Preparing an Open Call for Bids

1.1 All Open Call for Bids notices must be routed through the Department of Financial and Administrative Services - Strategic Procurement Office (FAS-SPO)

1.2 Procedures for preparing Open Call for Bids Notice:

1.2.1 Obtain Open Call for Bid number from FAS-SPO (or the purchasing section of the Finance Office at the Marine Institute). Open Call for Bids normally close a minimum of fifteen (15) calendar days after they are posted.

1.2.2 Departments to send only detailed specifications to FAS-SPO and a completed Open Call for Bid Justification Form.

FAS-SPO will:

  • Assign Bid Number & name 
  • Assign time and date for closing 
  • Provide the acceptable methods for bid submission 
  • Identify the time at which the opening will take place and virtual opening information.
  • Format the specifications into the appropriate open call for bid template and return to department for final review prior to posting

1.2.3 All open call for bid notices will be advertised electronically with the Service Provider (Bids, Pods, Merx and/or https://www.mun.ca/finance/strategic_procurement/). 

2. During the active open call period

2.1 FAS-SPO will be the official source of communication. All correspondence will be directed to FAS-SPO via opencalls@mun.ca.


2.2 Vendors will ask questions or obtain clarification by using the open calls email. No phone calls or meetings will be accepted.

2.3 FAS-SPO will direct correspondence where appropriate to the requesting department. The requesting department will advise FAS-SPO of response via the open calls email. FAS-SPO will advise the vendor and will post all addenda if required. 

3. The Development of Specifications by Department 

3.1 Development of an accurate set of specifications for the bidders to review is imperative. Inadequate specifications will cause problems for the bidders in developing accurate bids and may result in the acquisition of goods and/or services that do not meet the standards desired by the end user or necessitate the cancelling and resubmission of an Open Call for Bids, adding delays to the process.

When developing the open call specifications, ensure that the following points are considered (as applicable):

  • The minimum warranty requirements the University will accept.
  • The quality of the product expected to be purchased. For example, specifying just a LCD panel monitor for a computer system may not be adequate if you expect a contrast ratio of 600:1 w/digital interface or better and you are quoted 350:1 w/analog, which is not acceptable. Specify precisely your minimum requirements.
  • Delivery date.
  • Brand name of a product, where required. You are permitted to reference a "brand" name of an acceptable product, however, the words "or approved equivalent" are also required.
  • The use of the words “must” or “shall” should only be used if the specification is mandatory. 

4. Bid Opening

4.1 All bid openings must be attended by at least two (2) University representatives. These members will be from the FAS-SPO. All departments are welcome to send a representative to the opening, but it is not required. Any member of the public is allowed to attend. Public openings are conducted virtually through WebEx for Memorial representatives and vendors attend via telephone.

4.2 The public opening attendance sheet will be completed by a member of FAS-SPO identifying all individuals attending the public opening.

4.3 Bids will be opened individually and the following information disclosed:

  • Bid Name
  • Price when readily available 
  • Prices will not be read for Request for Proposals or Request for Expressions of Interest.

Note: Information released at the opening is not confirmation of the compliance or validity of any bid nor of Memorial University’s acceptance of any bid. 

As all submissions are electronic and bid openings are virtual, the email sent to opencalls@mun.ca from the bidding vendor will be filed electronically to identify time stamp of when the bid was received. 

4.4 FAS-SPO will keep all original bid documents after the opening. No original documents will be given to any department at the time of opening or there after.

5. Bid Evaluation

FAS-SPO will conduct the following bid evaluation prior to submitting what it deems as the preferred bidder. 

  • Completeness of bids. 
  • Ensure that each bidder has signed all required documentation. 
  • Evaluate each bid to ensure that the bidders are in compliance with all specifications that can be clearly identified.
  • Ensure all addenda are acknowledged.
  • Document reasons for disqualification of any bid.
  • Complete a bid analysis spreadsheet identifying prices and mandatory specification review.

FAS-SPO will forward compliant bids to the requesting department. The requesting department will perform the following:

  • Complete a technical evaluation.
  • Document reasons for disqualification of any bid.

6. Notification of Award

7. Notification of Exceptions - Open Call for Bids Not Required

7.1 An Open Call for Bids Exemption Form is required as per Section 6 of the Public Procurement Act when: 

6(a)(ii) An open call for bids could reasonably be expected to compromise security (3 quotes are still required).

6(a)(iii) Commodity is available from a Public Body.

6(a)(iv) An emergency or situation of urgency exists and an open call for bids cannot reasonable be made in time (obtain more than one quote where the situation allows).

6(a)(v) Only one source is reasonably available for the commodity, in the following circumstances:

  • Compatibility with existing products, to recognize exclusive rights or to maintain specialized products that must be maintained by the manufacturer or representative;
  • An absence of competition for technical reasons, no alternative or substitute exists;
  • Supply is controlled by a statutory monopoly;
  • Purchase of goods on a commodity market;
  • Work on or about a leased property that can only be performed by the lessor without giving rise to a significant risk for the public body;
  • Work to be performed under a warranty or guarantee;
  • Winner of a design contest;
  • A prototype or a first good or service to be developed in the course of and for a particular contract for research, experiment, study or original development, but not for any subsequent purchases;
  • Original works of art; and
  • Subscriptions to newspapers, magazines or other periodicals.

6(a)(vi) A list of pre-qualified suppliers has been established using a Request for Qualification process (quotations to be requested from all qualified suppliers on the list).

6(a)(vii) Acquisition of a commodity is for the purpose of resale or for incorporation into a product for resale.

6(b) Set rates established by the Public Utilities Board acting under the Public Utilities Act or another Act.

7.1.1 Open Call for Bid Exemption forms must be sent to opencalls@mun.ca email prior to completing a Purchase Order or entering into a contract. This exemption will be reviewed by the Associate Director for Strategic Procurement, Department of Financial & Administrative Services, and then forwarded to the Vice President – Administration & Finance (President’s delegate) for approval. Once approved, FAS-SPO will provide the requesting department with an Open Call for Bid Exception number (i.e.: OCBE-001-20). This number is to be entered on the Purchase Order and the vendor is to be directed to indicate the number on its invoice.

7.1.2 When an emergency or situation of urgency exists and pre-approval cannot be obtained, the Open Call for Bids Exception Form must be received by FAS-SPO within 5 days of contract award.

7.1.3 An exception WILL NOT be granted AFTER an award has been made. 

7.1.4 FAS-SPO will report within 15 days of award, pursuant to Public Procurement Regulations, Section 32, all instances where an open call for bids exception was applied. This report is posted on https://www.mun.ca/finance/strategic_procurement/

7.3 Completion of Open Call for Bids Exception Form

Section 1 - This area will indicate the University unit making the award.

Section 2 - This section will briefly describe the nature of the services or supplies purchased. The purchase order number is documented.

Section 3 - This section will contain the complete mailing address of the contractor, supplier or lessor to whom the award will be made.

Section 4 - The full value of the contract, exclusive of taxes but including freight and any other associated costs is to be shown here.

Section 5 - Tick the appropriate exception clause of the Public Procurement Regulations 2018 for which this purchase is exempt.

Section 6 - Clearly outline why an open call for bids was not required. This explanation will have to undergo the scrutiny of the Auditor General's Office, Public Procurement Agency and the general public, so sound justification is critical.

Section 7 - In all cases, the appropriate Unit Head is required to sign the form prior to it being forwarded to the Department of Financial and Administrative Services for review and recommendation to the President or delegate for approval

Policies using this procedure: