Municipal Procurement Policy Required in Ontario

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| Published , updated April 23, 2024

The Municipal Act requires municipalities and local boards to have a Procurement of Goods and Services Policy:

Adoption of policies

270 (1) A municipality shall adopt and maintain policies with respect to the following matters:

3. Its procurement of goods and services.

Section 270 of the Municipal Act

Policies of local boards

(2) A local board shall adopt and maintain policies with respect to the following matters:

3. Its procurement of goods and services.  2006, c. 32, Sched. A, s. 113.

Section 270 of the Municipal Act

A procurement policy outlines the processes to buy goods or hire services for the municipality in a timely, cost-effective, and objective manner that is open, fair and transparent.

Generally, the purchasing process becomes more involved as the dollar value of the purchase increases:

  • Low Dollar Value Procurements (LVP) – up to $15,000
  • Informal Request for Quotation (IRFQ) – $10,000 to $50,000
  • Request for Quotation (RFQ) – $50,000 to $100,000
  • Request for Proposal (RFP)
  • Request for Tender (RFT) – more than $100,000

Bids and tenders platforms used by municipalities in Ontario

To see what your municipality is purchasing, for how much and what company they buy from, find where they post their bids and RFPs. Here are some of the most popular platforms for municipalities in Ontario:

Example municipal Procurement of Goods and Services policies

Non-competitive purchases

  • Emergency procurement – buying goods and services during an event that is an immediate threat to public health, or persons, property, or the environment.
  • Single sourcing – buying goods or services from only one recommended source due to predetermined and approved specifications, even though there are more than one source of supply in the open market
  • Sole sourcing – buying unique goods or services from a seller that cannot be obtained from other sources.

Definitions

Request for Quotations (RFQ) means a form of Bid solicitation whereby the City publishes the specifications, terms, conditions and details concerning the proposed Agreement, to submit sealed Bids in response to detailed specifications.

Request for Proposal (RFP) is an invitation to submit proposals to provide goods and/or services based on an approved format of the City containing terms and conditions, the acceptance of which may be subject to further negotiation. Other factors, in addition to price, will
be considered in the selection of the contract and there may be no clear or single solution.

Request for Tender (RFT) is a process whereby the municipality publishes the specifications, terms, conditions and details concerning the proposed Agreement.

How can I find the details of a municipal contract or agreement?

If you are unable to find your municipality’s bids and tenders platform, or the platform does not publish the details you are looking for, you may submit a municipal freedom of information act request to access it.

All responses to requests for bids or proposals as well as correspondence are subject to the provisions of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA), with some exceptions such as proprietary information contained within a proposal or quotation.

Sources

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