To provide a best value and cost effective supply system with an innovative institutional focus.
The College of New Caledonia purchases a wide variety of goods and services to support the delivery of its programs. In acquiring these goods and services, the College will use the open market and will seek to receive the greatest value possible through a combination of quality, price, timeliness of delivery, product and service suitability, compatibility with environmental objectives, suitability of payment terms and such other factors as the College may deem desirable.
The methods used to notify suppliers will vary depending upon the complexity and size of the requirements, delivery dates and availability of potential suppliers.
For other than small dollar purchases/quotes, as many suppliers as possible are to be made aware of the College's needs by either direct notification or public announcement. As the College's standard for advertising competitive bids, the Purchasing Department's web page and the Regional Marketplace website will be used to provide awareness to the public of the College's requirements and opportunities. The Provincial Government's website, BCBid, will be used when required for advertisments under the Agreement on Internal Trade.
2.2 Fair Treatment
Vendors will be treated fairly and without preference. Dealings with vendors will conform to those practices conducted with the highest level of integrity, in full compliance with the law, and in accordance and compliance with generally accepted public sector purchasing practices, as well as relevant policies of the College. The College will use the Purchasing Management Association of Canada's code of ethics as a standard (www.pmac.ca/about/ethics.asp)
In the College's evaluation of suppliers, consistent failure to meet specifications, delivery dates, no response to competitive bids, or previous breach of any College contract, or other terms and conditions of tenders, shall be regarded as sufficient reason for disqualification from future business. The College's Dispute Resolution process will be followed for any or all appeals.
2.4 Dispute Resolution
Any dispute arising out of a College vendor evaluation, contract or award should be dealt with in a just, prompt and cost effective manner. Most issues can be resolved by contacting the Manager of the Department in charge of the contract. If necessary, the Manager of the Department will consult with the Manager of Purchasing, and if still unresolved, the resolution should be pursued in writing through the Directors level, and finally if necessary through to the President. Ultimately, any unresolved dispute will be resolved by arbitration administered by the British Columbia Commercial Arbitration Centre, under its rules.
A debriefing may be held either at the request of the College or an individual bidder. The purpose of a debriefing is to discuss, in general, the strengths of the bid(s) and where the bidder(s) may improve performance for future submissions. Under no circumstances will individual bids be discussed or compared with other bids.
3.0 Internal Processes
3.1 Definition of Requirements
Specifications for requirements are usually defined by the user division/department and will be expected to be generic, clear and easily interpreted by qualified suppliers. On complex projects, the College may engage consultants to assist in developing the specifications to convey our requirements to the supplier community.
Total cost of ownership, including standardization to current equipment may be evaluated in determining requirements, evaluating comparative products, and developing standards.
3.2 Standard Requirements
The College has determined that the primary responsibility for defining specifications for certain products and services will be administered as follows:
Computer Hardware & Software Manager, Computer Services
Furniture(classroom/common area/ergonomics) Manager, Facilities
Textbooks Manager, College Store
Library Collections Director, Library
Multimedia Director, Library
Construction/renovation Specifications Manager, Facilities
All agreements between the College and third parties for services will be supported by a written contract on College approved documentation.
For other than standard contracts, consultation with the Purchasing Manager is required before a contract is offered to a third party.
Contracts will be forwarded to the supplier in all cases where a contract is formed and forwarding the contract is not dependant on any particular method of payment.
To maintain efficiencies, thresholds for methods and value of purchases will be reviewed by the College periodically. This review will look at the internal and external costs of the method of purchase compared with the value of the purchase. Current procedures are:
$0.01 to $5,000.00 At the discretion of the initiator, direct purchase may be used.
Items must not be part of the Standard Requirement list.
$5,001.00 to $15,000.00 A minimum of 3 quotes are to be received and lowest quote will be awarded the order. The initiator should keep a record of the quotes including the date and contact name. Items must not be part of the Standard Requirement list.
$15,000.00 to $25,000.00 At the discretion of the Director Administrative Services and
Purchasing Manager. May include quotes or public competitive bids depending on the complexity.
$25,000.00 + Public competitive bids issued by the Purchasing Department.
3.5 Unsolicited Proposals
To be considered for evaluation, an unsolicited offer must;
- Be in writing
- Be sufficiently detailed to allow a judgement to be made concerning the potential benefit/utility of the offer to the College;
- Be unique or innovative to the College's use;
- Demonstrate that the proprietary character of the offer warrants consideration of the use of sole procurement;
- May be subject to testing (e.g. cost/benefit analysis) under terms and conditions specified by the College;
- Must show clearly significant value or monetary savings;
- The maximum term of a contract resulting from an unsolicited proposal is one year;
- Must not be for routine goods or services or where a competitive market exists, as determined by the College.
The receipt of unsolicited proposals is not intended to be a way:
- To justify sole-source contract or to avoid a competitive bid process;
- A subsidy or grant vehicle;
- A method of pirating or use of ideas by the College; or
- A mechanism to offload the College's responsibilities to the private or other public sector.
3.6 Competitive Bid Processes
In some instances it will be necessary to pre-qualify vendors in advance of a particular tender/proposal. All vendors currently on the register that pertain to the supply of the required services or products, as well as others selected from industry will be requested to submit a request for pre-qualification for the specific tender/proposal.
All tenders will be publicly opened. Proposals will not be opened in public due to their complex nature.
Tenders will be opened at the specified time and date by the Purchasing Manager or delegate and witnessed by one other person. Any competitive bid received after the specified closing time will be returned to the vendor unopened. A report, with all spreadsheets and information, will be forwarded to the Director, Finance for approval with the Purchasing Manager's recommendation for award and the justification.
Competitive bids will only be cancelled for reasons that were unknown and outside the control of the College at the time the competitive bid was let.
Addendums to competitive bids will only be issued a minimum or twenty-four hours prior to the closing time and date. No addendums will be issued in the twenty-four hour period before the closing time.
The following will govern the use of the various methods of competitive bidding:
Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI)
This process will be used for purposes of determining whether there is sufficient interest in the marketplace to proceed with the development of competitive bids. It is to be used for exploration only and must reflect the fact that this is not, in any way, to be construed as an invitation for competitive bidding. The Request for Expressions of Interest must contain a clause that in the event that an expression of interest is clearly outstanding or superior, in the College's discretion, we reserve the right to go directly to a contract award and bypass the competitive bid process.
Request for Qualifications (RFQ)
Request for qualifications will be used when the College wishes to determine a select list of qualified contractors to bid on our particular requirements. Request for Qualifications will only be requested on a project by project basis.
Request for Tender
The College will use the tender process when detailed specifications can be drawn up for a particular good or service. This can be clearly stated to the supplier community and while there may be other minor influences (clearly stated), price will be the most determining factor for award.
Quotations will be requested for straight forward items with a price based determination of award, to encourage competition in the marketplace.
Request for Proposals (RFP)
This process will be used when the College requires a solution to a problem, and the solutions are expected to be quite varied and/or difficult to evaluate. The factors the College will use to evaluate the submissions, as well as the format for the evaluations will be provided in the documents. Any areas that we will negotiate and the methods to be used if initial negotiations are unsuccessful will also be described.
3.7 Evaluation and Award
The College will provide transparency in processes and practices. This will include:
- warning of all known dangers
- full disclosure of all pertinent information
- fair and equal treatment of all bidders
- accurate representation
- the criteria that will be used to evaluate all bids
- the method of evaluation, and;
- release of relevant information on award
3.8 Exceptions to the Competitive Bid Processes:
Exemptions from the competitive bidding process may be granted under the following conditions.
A sole source is an item where the specifications of that item limits its purchase to only one known source of supply. A brief statement must accompany the requisition (in the comments field) stating the reason(s) for the specifications and why alternatives are not to be considered.. End users should be aware that although the item may not be tendered to a number of vendors, the Purchasing Department may still issue an Request for Proposal to the vendor to establish specific contractual requirements that would benefit both the end user and the College.
In an emergency a Dean, Director or Manager (or designate) may authorize the immediate purchase of any item or service without recourse to the provision of the policy, these situations will include, but are not limited to:
- where staff, students or public safety is in question;
- prevention of damage to College assets
This is an alternative but infrequent method that may be used by College to contract for long term relationships with third parties where senior management is supportive of negotiating contracts as the solution is being developed and fair market value versus lowest cost is clearly understood.
The joint solutions method selects a capable supplier rather than a fixed solution. It is suitable for projects where there is a common benefit for each party, examples may include:
- the project involves a technology component
- industry or economic development opportunities exist
4.0 Conflict of Interest
The College's approach to avoiding conflicts of interest in purchasing and selling, is to deal at arm's length with suppliers and customers by appointing individuals authorized to make decisions on purchasing and selling who are separate from areas and individuals standing to benefit from the purchase/sale. Any College personnel who has decision making authority or who is in a position to influence a decision about a purchase or contract must disclose in writing any personal material interest in a prospective vendor to the Manager of Purchasing and withdraw from the decision making process if that is deemed appropriate. (Reference also HR policy # Conflict of Interest)
In order to obtain the best value for the College's dollars, specifications should be constructed in as generic a way possible. This will avoid the appearance of tailor-making a purchase request to favour a particular supplier. However, it is entirely appropriate to specify considerations relevant to the purchase, such as the quality or service expected, delivery time and method and timing of billing.
Caution should be exercised in dealings with vendors during the decision-making process and acceptance of gifts, travel or other incentives is prohibited.
Acceptance of gifts, entertainment, travel and services for personal use from people or companies who do business with the College could impede objectivity and create a conflict of interest.
There are many instances when members of faculty, staff and administration are presented with small gifts or hospitality because of their work or the position they hold at the College. Tokens
of appreciation of insignificant value may be accepted at the discretion of the individual. However, when gifts or hospitality of significant value are offered (or are about to be offered), it is incumbent on the individual to initiate a discussion with the administrative head of the area so that issues surrounding obligation may be completely disclosed and approval to accept the gift or hospitality received. Administrative heads of areas, in considering requests, should take into account the source, value, purpose and frequency of offering. Any potential detriment to the College should be grounds for denial of the request to accept hospitality or the gift for personal use .
5.0 Ethics and Standards
Ethics and standards refers to those practices conducted with the highest level of integrity, in full compliance with the law and in conformity with generally accepted public sector purchasing practices, as well as relevant policies of the College. The Purchasing Management Association of Canada's code of ethics will be followed as the standard practice. Reference website:(www.pmac.ca/about/ethics.asp)
Refer to Finance Policies and Procedures for specifics on processes and authorizations for :
1. Signing authorities (approval to commit/requisition funds to be expensed against a general leger account)
2. External Contract signing authorities (approval to sign external contracts for instructional purposes)
7.0 Disposal of Assets and Disposition of Proceeds
A list showing make, model, serial number, and CNC asset number should be sent to the Purchasing Manager with an authorization by the appropriate signing authority to dispose of the item(s)
If we will be purchasing a replacement piece of equipment, a trade in value should be requested. If no replacement is being purchased in the immediate future, the Purchasing Manager will seek the best value for the College in disposing of the asset(s)
Individual departments/divisions may dispose of surplus miscellaneous parts or supplies, or may arrange a donation to a charitable agency.