This is an important update on procurement changes resulting from the introduction of new and updated trade agreements that are now in effect.
As York receives government funding, York University is required to adhere to several trade agreements and is required to comply with procurement related commitments as described in the applicable legislation. Similarly, York continues to be subject to the Ontario Broader Public Sector (“BPS”) Procurement Directive in effect since April 2011 as part of the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act of 2010.
Canadian Free Trade Agreement (“CFTA”)
The Agreement on Internal Trade (“AIT”), in place since 1995, has been replaced by the new Canadian Free Trade Agreement. This inter-provincial (domestic) trade agreement is now in force and, as with the AIT, York University must conduct its procurements in compliance with the CFTA.
Ontario-Quebec Trade and Cooperation Agreement (“OQTCA”)
York is also bound by the Ontario-Quebec Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which is a bi-lateral agreement between these two (2) provinces. It has recently been revised to align with the CFTA.
Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (“CETA”)
In addition, York is subject to the new Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement which came into force on September 21, 2017.
Summary of Key Legislative Changes:
- With respect to the issuance of tenders:
- Revised and/or expanded rules and procedures around tender posting information and duration;
- Evaluation criteria, scoring and weighting;
- Bidder debriefings; and
- Bid dispute procedures.
- BPS entities are now permitted to disqualify or exclude suppliers from tender competition due to false declarations, final judgements in respect of serious crimes or other serious offences, such as, failure to pay taxes.
- The Supplier Prequalification process and Vendor of Record arrangements have been clarified with additional requirements which include, term limits with conditions.
- Under the CFTA, licenced professionals such as Architects and Engineers, are no longer exempt from the tendering process.
- The total estimated purchase value including the value of all options and all contract extension periods must be calculated and disclosed.
- With the introduction of CETA, open tender competitions that meet or exceed the CETA dollar thresholds, must be accessible to European Union suppliers and be posted for a longer period of time. Dollar thresholds and posting periods are provided in the Procurement Trade Agreements Dollar Thresholds Table (PDF)
- Sole/Single Sourcing, currently known as a non-competitive procurement, has been replaced by the term “Limited Tendering” and each trade agreement carries its own exceptions and non-application provisions. Limited tendering includes Sole and Single sourcing as well as invitational competitive procurement.
- When a Limited Tendering Exception or Non-Application Provision is requested, the rationale for its use must be provided for review and consideration for approval by Procurement Services prior to the purchase of goods or services.
- Effective January 1, 2017, the University is required to annually collect and report on the number and aggregate value of contracts for goods, services, and construction to the province beginning in 2018.
- The University is also required to publicly post the name of the successful bidder and the total value of the award.