On June 17th, 2009 the Premier of Ontario announced important measures to ensure transparency and accountability in the acquisition of consulting services by the Government of Ontario and its agencies. The two key areas of focus are competitive procurement of consulting services and the payment of expenses for consultants.
A competitive procurement process must be used for all consulting services, irrespective of the value of the contract.
In addition, consultants will not be paid for any hospitality, food or incidental expenses.
Previously, ministries and agencies were permitted to use non-competitive methods for contracts valued under $25,000.
The requirements apply to all ministries, clusters and agencies of the Government of Ontario. The changes will apply to agencies such as eHealth Ontario, Infrastructure Ontario, the LCBO, the WSIB, Hydro One, Ontario Power Generation, Infrastructure Ontario and Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.
Consulting service refers to the provision of expertise or strategic advice that is presented for consideration and decision-making. The new requirements apply to all types of consulting services including but not limited to:
Yes. VOR arrangements are established using open competitive procurement processes.
Yes. Ministries may use an invitational competitive procurement process for services valued at under $100,000. This process requires a minimum of three (3) qualified vendors to submit a written proposal in response to the ministry’s written requirements. Ministries have been directed to ensure that only qualified vendors are invited to participate in an invitational competitive procurement process.
Travel expenses directly related to an assignment will continue to be reimbursed by the government and its agencies in accordance with the Travel, Meal and Hospitality Expenses Directive. These expenses must be pre-approved.
Vendors interested in doing business with the Ontario Government can access www.doingbusiness.mgs.gov.on.ca for information on becoming a Vendor of Record and more generally on doing business with Ontario.