Directed contracts in ProServices
Learn more about this simplified approach and how a Government of Canada client department may direct a contract using it.
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About directed contracts
In this section
- Directed contract:
- A contract awarded to a pre-qualified supplier in circumstances where the contracting authority has justifiably set aside the requirement to solicit bids under the provision of 1 or more of the exceptions to competitive solicitation in Section 6 of the Government Contracts Regulations.
Steps required before issuing directed contracts below $40,000
You may issue a directed contract below $40,000 (includes all applicable taxes, travel expenses and amendments) under ProServices provided you conduct a search within the Centralized Professional Services System (CPSS) ePortal to determine the eligible suppliers for your requirement. You may approach any eligible supplier from the search list.
For directed contracts below $40,000, in accordance with Government Contracts Regulations and in accordance with Treasury Board Contracting Policy (10.2.3 and 10.2.6), clients must document on file as to why it wasn't cost effective to follow the competitive process.
Steps to issuing direct contracts through ProServices
Use of ProServices for directed contracting
Treasury Board (TB) policy requires the use of mandatory tools for any procurements of mandatory good and services. This policy is understood to apply for all values, including those below $40,000. While the Government of Canada Contracting Policy also provides for exemptions up to $40,000, there is no clarification on the priority of these 2 policies; accordingly it has been understood that the tools are mandatory for the specified goods and services for all values.
Requirement to run a search in the ePortal if directing a contract
Even in the case of directed contracts, a search via CPSS is mandatory to make sure that a given supplier has been pre-qualified against the various criteria in your requirement.
Amending directed contracts above $40,000
Departments should not amend directed contracts (or competitive contracts) above the limits that are set by the method of supply. A directed contract should not be amended above the $40,000 threshold. If requirements run close to or have the potential to exceed the financial limitations established within ProServices for a directed contract, it may be of value to encourage the client to consider an alternate process (for example: competitive process vs. a directed process) as it will allow for more flexibility in terms of amending the contract, should it be required.
However, justification to proceed with amending such a contract is entirely up to the department/management, but does go against the established rules within the ProServices method of supply. This becomes an internal decision and depending on the departmental process, can sometimes be escalated to a procurement review committee to revise and make the decision to either proceed or not with the amendment based on the justification given. The risk or consequences if any, are then handled internally by management. The contracting file should include all the pertinent documentation to support this request for any future assessments that may be done on the file.
Use of flex grids for directed contracts
The flexible grid must be used for directed contracts. This information can then be put into the procurement file to assist in demonstrating that the selected supplier was able to perform the work and fulfill the requirement, should an assessment occur on that file in the future.
Steps to issuing directed contracts through ProServices
Directed contracts may be issued using the ProServices supply arrangement in the following manner:
- 1. Requirements below $40,000
- 2. Conduct a search within the ePortal
- 3. Communicate with the supplier
1. Requirements below $40,000
When using ProServices contracting officers from departments with appropriate delegated contracting authority may issue directed contract for requirements valued below $40,000 (all applicable taxes, travel and living expenses, anticipated amendments included).
Departments are expected to assess each situation to determine whether requirements should be competed when below $40,000.
This is possible following recently approved changes, to the Government Contracts Regulations by the Governor in Council, which came into effect on June 10, 2019. The changes are published in the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat Contracting Policy under the Section 10.2, Exceptions. As part of this set of amendments, the $25,000 threshold for soliciting bids for services and construction contracts was increased to $40,000.
2. Conduct a search within the ePortal
You must conduct a search within the Centralized Professional Services System ePortal to determine the eligible suppliers for your requirement (for the specific category, security level, etc.). To conduct a search:
- Select “Existing user”, located at the top right corner of the screen
- Enter your user ID and password and then select “Submit”
- Select “Perform search”, located at the left-hand navigational menu
- From the drop-down menu, select ProServices and then select “Submit”
- Choose between information technology (IT) or non-IT procurement, then select “Below CKFTA” and then select “Submit”
- Select your category/categories
- On the ProServices Supply Arrangement (SA) search criteria page, enter the level of the category, the desired number of resources, and the various criteria of your requirement. At the end of the form, choose “Less than $40,000 (directed contract)” and then select “Search”
- Print this results page for inclusion in your procurement file
- You may approach any eligible supplier from the search list. Choose the supplier you wish to direct the contract to and select “Submit”
- Print this results page also for inclusion in your procurement file
- Select either the supplier legal name or the supplier email addresses link to obtain contact information for the supplier in question
3. Communicate with the supplier
You must communicate the following to the supplier:
- Minimum mandatory qualifications for the category
- Security requirements check list
- Statement of work
- Resulting contract clauses
Minimum mandatory qualifications for the category
Most of the ProServices categories are broken down into 3 levels of expertise (for example: junior, intermediate and senior) and each level of expertise has a minimum mandatory qualification associated with it. This means that before a pre-qualified supplier includes a resource in its proposal, the resource must meet the minimum mandatory qualification associated with the level of expertise of the category.
Streams 1 to 7 (IT categories) the submitted resource must meet the minimum years of experience for the category/level of expertise required.
Streams 8 to 12 (non-IT categories) that have a flexible grid, the submitted resource must meet the required points for the category/level of expertise required.
Stream 13: Alternative dispute resolution services and Stream 14: Health services, the submitted resource must meet the specific mandatory professional criteria.
It is important to ensure that the supplier is aware of the minimum mandatory qualifications associated with the requirement.
Security requirements check list
If there is a security requirement involved, a security requirements check list (SRCL) reflecting the security requirements associated with the work must be included in your communication with the supplier. You may use a list of pre-approved common security requirement check lists or a custom SRCL. Each SRCL used must contain the departmental security officer's signature.
Statement of work
A completed statement of work (SOW) is needed to define your requirement and deliverables. Please do not include the name of the selected supplier for the requirement, nor the justification of the decision to direct a contract, in your statement of work.
Resulting contract clauses
A list of the ProServices resulting contract clauses may be found in section C resulting contract clauses and include the following: 2010B (client to insert date) General conditions—Professional services (medium complexity).
If your directed contract is subject to the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for Supplier Personnel and you are not using a ProServices request for proposal (RFP) template, it is suggested that you include, in your statement of work, the clauses from the Standard Acquisition Clauses (SACC) Manual for the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for Supplier Personnel, these could be placed under “Constraints.”
All the above should be added to your procurement file along with the proposal received. Once a contract has been awarded, a copy of the contract, including the SRCL, must be sent to the Industrial Security Sector (ISS) at email@example.com. Should any issue arise regarding the supplier’s security clearance, ISS will be able to contact you to.
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