There are two important bid dispute resolution stages outlined in the Province’s Bid Dispute Resolution Guide; Stage 1 Consultations and Stage 2 Formal Bid Dispute Resolution Process. The Province’s Bid Dispute Resolution Guide was developed in accordance with the bid dispute requirements in the CFTA and the CETA. The table below outlines how OECM aligns with the stages.
|Stage||Guide Requirement||OECM Process and Alignment|
|Supplier Consultations |
RFX Question and Answer Periods
|OECM engages suppliers early in the sourcing project process by conducting supplier consultations. The supplier consultation process provides OECM with knowledge, expertise, insight into market trends, and signals the industry that an RFX is being planned.|
After issuing the RFX, OECM also holds an information session for potential suppliers which provides an opportunity for them to enhance their understanding of the RFX.
In all RFX documents, OECM has two question and answer periods – where suppliers can ask questions on the RFX document. These question and answer periods provide ample opportunity for the suppliers to raise questions or concerns and address issues related to the procurement document.
|Debriefing Meeting||Once the award announcement has been made, OECM allows bidders (successful and unsuccessful) sixty (60) calendar days to request a debriefing (per the BPS Procurement Directive). These meetings provide an opportunity to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of a supplier’s submission.|
Formal Bid Dispute Resolution Process
|A supplier who is not satisfied after the stage 1 process should be provided with an opportunity to submit a complaint to the Review Body.||OECM has a bid dispute process to respond to complaints from suppliers that ensures they are addressed and resolved promptly, efficiently and in accordance with the CFTA and CETA requirements.|
The Ontario government is currently developing a new Vendor of Record (“VOR”) arrangement for bid dispute processes whereby public sector organizations will have access to independent, third party review. The anticipated implementation date is summer 2018 and further details will be shared in the future, following which OECM will confirm if it will adopt the Province’s VOR arrangement for bid dispute resolution.