[PAGENAME]

Supply Chain Ontario Logo
Untitled Document

Interested In Doing Business With The Ontario Government?

Introduction

Want to sell your goods and services to Ontario government ministries and agencies? This brochure will show you how.

The Ontario Government spends more than $6 billion a year on goods and services. We work with more than 50,000 vendors of all sizes and types annually and we welcome new vendors to do business with us.

Our principles and policies

The process is conducted in a fair, open and transparent manner where all vendors are treated equally.

Exceptions

Certain procurements may require successful bidders to undergo contractor security screening. Review the rules and forms carefully.

Electronic tendering

How to respond to a Request for Bids

Describe how you would do the work

Introduce your team

Explain your quote

Once you’ve completed your proposal

When in doubt, ask questions of the designated contact within the allowable period for questions and answers.

Have others within your organization review your response to ensure it is accurate and the information provided is complete.

Questions?

If you have a question or require clarification, contact the designated person noted in the procurement document. Do not ask questions of your other government contacts as this could jeopardize your eligibility.

Ask questions early as they must be received within a specified timeframe prior to the closing date.

Addenda

What will happen after the bid submission?

Who evaluates my bid?

Responses are usually evaluated by a team of ministry staff, which could include procurement officers and potential users of the goods and services required. Contract awards are reviewed and approved by one or more senior officers depending on the ministry.

How will I know if my bid is successful?

The name of the successful bidder, the term of the contract and the total bid price can be provided upon request. To protect vendor confidentiality, no further vendor information will be disclosed. Additional information may be available through a Freedom of Information request in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), R.S.O. 1990.

Watch for the publication of the contract award

The government must clearly specify the selection factors, such as lowest price or best value, used to evaluate bids and determine the winner. All unsuccessful bidders in procurements valued at $25,000 or more are offered a de-briefing to explain why their bid was not successful.

The contract

A successful vendor requires a contract for all procurements. Typically the contract sets out responsibilities of the vendor and the purchaser. Contracts also describe how the vendor’s performance will be evaluated and include a termination clause.

How do vendors receive payment?

Resolving bid disputes

Vendor of Record (VOR) Arrangement

Who establishes them?

Like any other major procurement opportunity, Vendor of Record (VOR) arrangements are established through Requests for Bids (RFB) posted on the Ontario Tenders Portal, and followed by a transparent and competitive procurement process.

A VOR arrangement authorizes one or more vendors to offer ministries specific goods or services for a defined time period under specific terms, conditions and pricing.

VOR arrangements allow ministries to obtain commonly-procured goods and services in a shorter time frame than if they had to initiate the procurement process from scratch.

Types of VOR arrangements

The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, Supply Chain Ontario may establish VOR arrangements used by all ministries:

How does my company qualify for a VOR arrangement?

Bidders who successfully meet all RFB requirements are awarded VOR status and sign a Master Agreement with the ministry that issued the RFB.

The Vendor of Record Program – Three-Year Outlook provides vendors with advance notice of upcoming enterprise-wide VOR arrangements by category, planned posting date, start date and client users. Find it in the Doing Business with Ontario website.

Once I qualify for a VOR, do I have to compete again for contract work?

For a VOR arrangement with multiple vendors, a second selection process is required to ensure buyers obtain the best value for money. If you are a vendor on such a VOR arrangement, you should continue to market your company’s abilities to individual ministries and agencies.

If the estimated procurement value is below $25,000, the ministry may use the VOR arrangement to select one vendor or ask more than one vendor to bid on the specific project/assignment under the specified terms and conditions.

For procurements valued between $25,000 and $249,999, three or more vendors must be invited to bid. For assignments between $250,000 and $599,999, five or more vendors must be invited to bid. For assignments of $600,000 up to the VOR ceiling price, all eligible vendors must be invited to bid.

Other types of procurement

Procurement of Information Technology (IT)

The Management and Use of Information & Information Technology Directive governs how the Ontario government procures Information Technology. Architecture design and standards have been established to procure hardware and software. Ministries may procure commercial off-the-shelf software and related services, custom software, open source software and maintenance and support.

Items not included under the IT Directive

Individual ministries procure their own electronic equipment to process or communicate information. These include:

Consulting Services

Ministries use external consultants only when it is not possible to use their own staff.

Ontario buys a variety of consulting services. Here are some examples:

How does the buying process work?

Ministries may use an invitational competitive procurement process for services valued under $100,000. Under this process, at least three qualified vendors are invited to submit a written proposal in response to the ministry’s written requirements.

Ministries must use an open competitive procurement process for consulting services valued at more than $100,000. Assignments for consulting services must have a start and end date.

Do you ever hire more than one consultant for a project?

Yes. A large or complex project may be divided into several smaller parts. Specifications for each part are provided in the individual tendering documents.

A ministry or agency may also decide to hold a competition for part of a larger project. If the contract includes options for successive stages, the successful vendor may be awarded more parts of the same project without further competition.

How will I be paid? Can the price change after the agreement is signed?

Fees are established in advance and are based on the contract's terms and conditions. Ministries do not calculate fees based on the results of a consultant’s work (i.e. a percentage of savings achieved through the introduction of a recommended system). In general, the ceiling price stated in the agreement cannot be exceeded.

The terms and conditions affecting the price of a contract may change after the consultant’s work has started. This is allowed, as long as the procedure for changing the original terms and conditions are followed.

Consultants will not be paid for any hospitality, food or incidental expenses.

How to market yourself to the Ontario Government

Consider marketing your goods and/or services directly to government ministries to create awareness for your business and ensure you're invited to participate in future procurement opportunities.

Come to Supply Ontario, our annual reverse trade show, where you can meet ministry staff and learn about their buying needs.

Another way to learn more about ministries’ buying needs is by visiting ministry websites to review their Ministry Mandate Letters, business plans, budget cycles, press releases and other relevant documents. You may also want to review Ontario government’s Provincial Budget and Throne Speech.

You can also start marketing your goods/services by contacting the appropriate individuals in the ministry of your choice. This will require some effort on your part to research and find the appropriate contacts.

To help you identifying appropriate contacts, you can search INFO-GO, the government's online directory.

Once on INFO-GO, you can search by employee name or organization, and also find a breakdown for each ministry. You can search contacts by using the following methods:

If you need more information or have questions, email to us:
doingbusiness@ontario.ca