Recently, a number of procurement processes have been undertaken and/or entertained in connection with various high profile initiatives such as the Tourism RFP, IMICO properties, Wilson Farmhouse, etc that have spurred questions at Committee and Council over the City’s Purchasing policies and practises. To assist Council with its deliberations over these files, staff felt it timely to provide a brief reminder of the City’s current procurement policies and the importance of maintaining a fair, open and transparent process.
In short, guided by provincial legislative and regulatory requirements the Council approved Purchasing by-law (2009) – 18777 is built upon, and specifically states, the following: “The guiding principle for purchasing Goods and Services for the City is that purchasing decisions will be made using fair, transparent and accountable purchasing processes.” Under the tenets of the By-Law, accountability and transparency is accomplished through an open, competitive procurement process that ensures fair, equitable and ethical treatment of bids from all suppliers. In short allows all interested parties to provide a submission to the requirements outlined in the solicitation document (whether RT, RFP, REOI or other approach), complete with all required documentation requested, to compete fairly for work required by the City. The practice of adopting a fair and equitable procurement process helps to retain trust in both internal and external customers and suppliers and demonstrates that the City follows rules and guidelines to obtain the best price, delivery options and quality.
For these reasons, the City does not entertain unsolicited and/or non-compliant submissions, since this could be viewed as tainting the process and providing an unfair advantage. Instead, individuals wanting to submit a response to a procurement call are directed to do so through the process outlined in the procurement documents (e.g. RFP) issued by the Purchasing Department. As confirmed in the recent Audit Committee Report CAO-A-1307, Internal Audit Report – Procurement Controls and Compliance, received by Audit Committee at its meeting of September 18, 2013 staff are very diligent and effective in managing these processes in a fair and equitable manner which greatly assists in maintaining trust with all parties internal and external to the process.
A copy of the current By-Law is attached for your interest and reference. Staff