Find out how the government finds suppliers of goods and services

We use a number of different ways to find the right suppliers of goods and services for projects. These are some of the most common procurement methods.

Request for expression of interest (RFEI)

  • This is used to get more information about the market for a particular good or service.

  • We get a better understanding of business capacity to respond to a possible future procurement.

  • Gives you the chance to say you're interested in competing for this work if it comes up in the future.

  • This is not a legally binding agreement or a promise of a contract.

  • This is a form of market research.

Request for information (RFI)

  • This is used to get more information about a good or service to better define requirements before moving to the competitive stage of procurement.

  • Your response to an RFI helps educate and shape the solutions a department may need in the future.

  • This gives you the opportunity to review and comment on the requirements for this work if it comes up in the future.

  • This is not a legally binding agreement or a promise of a contract.

  • This is a form of market research.

Request for proposals (RFP)

We use this when we:

  • need a supplier to propose a solution to a problem, need or objective; and

  • where the decision is not based on price only.

An RFP describes:

  • the project;

  • the requirements;

  • what information you need to give to the government; and

  • how your proposal should be formatted.

An RFP includes criteria which will be used to evaluate your proposal, such as:

  • experience;

  • skills; and

  • expertise.

We often ask for a proposed methodology and price.

Some RFP criteria are more important than others. These are weighted or scored accordingly, for example:

  • your proposed method may be worth 25 per cent; and

  • experience may be worth 10 per cent.

In your proposal you will need to show how you can:

  • meet the requirements; and

  • fulfill the criteria.

The contract for the project will be given to the supplier whose proposal best:

  • meets the requirements;

  • fulfills the criteria; and

  • offers the highest overall value.

Request for qualifications (RFQ)

This is used to create lists of pre-qualified suppliers to bid on future opportunities. Your submission is evaluated against the evaluation criteria. You'll describe:

  • your skills;

  • your experience; and

  • your qualifications.

Submitting a successful RFQ means you're eligible to be invited to bid:

  • in the next procurement stage; or

  • when a relevant project comes up.

An RFQ can be the 1st step in the procurement process. It's not a legally binding agreement, or a promise of a contract.

Request for bids (RFB)

This is a price-driven tender. Once minimum standards are met, the price generally determines who is awarded the contract.

An RFB:

  • is more commonly used for construction-related services; but

  • can be used for other types of goods or services.

An RFB follows a standard format that:

  • describes the work to be done; and

  • asks for pricing for specific parts of the work.

The supplier is awarded a contract for the project if:

  • they give the lowest price; and

  • their bid is technically acceptable.

Invitational Price Request (IPR)

An invitational price request is used for simple, low-risk procurement where price is the only evaluation criteria:

  • goods procurement up to $26,400; or

  • services procurement up to a $105,700

This request will not be advertised publicly. We directly invite at least 2 suppliers. Any interested supplier may ask for a copy of the tender documents, and to be included in the tendering process. Requirements are described in a fill-in-the-blank form.

The contract is awarded to the supplier whose quote is:

  • the lowest total price;

  • compliant with bid submission requirements; and

  • technically acceptable.

Invitational Request for Proposal (IRFP)

The invitational RFP is intended for simple, low-risk procurement:

  • for services or construction up to $105,700; and

  • where the decision is not solely based on price.

This request will not be advertised publicly. We directly invite at least 2 suppliers. Any interested supplier may ask for a copy of the tender documents, and to be included in the tendering process.

The contract is awarded to the supplier whose proposal best:

  • meets the requirements;

  • fulfills the criteria; and

  • offers the highest overall value.

Supplier Directory

We maintain a directory of individuals and businesses that want to do business with us. It includes:

  • contractors;

  • suppliers of goods or services; and

  • consultants.

 

Go to the Supplier Directory