Vendor Concerns and Complaints

An overview of how vendors can make their concerns or feedback known, and voice a complaint about a ministry’s competitive process or contract award.

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The Province of B.C. is committed to fair, open and competitive procurement processes.

Informal Concerns or Complaints About Solicitations

If you have concerns about how the Province managed a procurement process that was competed, email the government contact for that solicitation. If the solicitation was posted on BC Bid, you can search for it by following these steps:

  1. From the main screen, select "Browse for Bid Opportunities or Bid Results"
  2. In the next screen, select "Browse Using the Advanced Search"
  3. Change the radio button on this screen from “Open” to “Closed” if the solicitation closing date and time has passed
  4. You can either type in the solicitation name in the box “Title Search Word” or the solicitation number in the box “Document Number” (a partial name or number will work, although you may get additional results)
  5. Check the dates in the fields for “Issued Dates between” to ensure that the posting date of the solicitation falls between those dates
  6. Click on Search

This process will give you links to those opportunities that fit your search criteria.  If no results are shown or the list doesn’t include the solicitation you are searching for, check steps 3 to 5 above as you may have used an incorrect name or number, or the opportunity was posted outside of the dates indicated.

If the solicitation was not posted on BC Bid, contact the ministry contact named in the solicitation, or contact the applicable ministry’s procurement specialist (or the appropriate government office if it’s not a ministry solicitation) and ask to be directed to the appropriate person.

 

Request More Information

You can request more information from the applicable ministry or government office to help you understand the circumstances better. If the information you need isn’t routinely released, you can make a formal Freedom of Information request to request its release.

 

Informal Concerns or Complaints About Contract Awards

If your concern is related to a contract award that wasn’t competed (e.g. a direct award), contact the applicable ministry’s procurement specialist to direct you to the appropriate person. You may also visit the open information site which lists contracts that have been directly awarded and may contain additional information for you about the contracts.

If you are directly involved in a solicitation with a B.C. government ministry, or you missed a business opportunity because you had no opportunity to compete for it and your business interests were affected, you can have your concerns and questions addressed by email, phone or in person.

You may find that your questions or concerns can be satisfied through an informal discussion where the Province can try to:

  • answer your questions
  • provide further explanation; and
  • help to resolve your concerns.

Start by getting in touch with the appropriate government contact, such as the ministry contact named in the solicitation or the Notice of Intent (if one was issued) for a direct award as soon as possible. If you’re still unsure about who to contact or can’t locate the right contact, contact the appropriate ministry’s procurement specialist or email us for further assistance.

 

How to Submit a Formal Vendor Complaint

If your concerns still haven’t been resolved through this informal process, find out how to submit a formal vendor complaint for contract awards made by ministries. You’re entitled to a consistent, fair, impartial and timely review of your complaint.

 

Objecting to NOIs

Notices of Intent (NOIs) are posted on BC Bid to inform vendors of the Province’s intent to award a contract without competition because only one vendor is known to be capable and interested.  They are an opportunity for others who are in the business of providing the goods, services or construction described to make themselves known to the government buyer.  Refer to Objecting to NOIs for more information.

 

Providing Feedback

Sometimes, you may want to provide feedback to the Province that you believe would be helpful with their contracting activities, or you may want to commend the Province on what is working well.  Look here (Coming Soon) for more information on how to do this, and what information the Province may find useful.

 

Disagreements About Deliverables

If you have a contract with the Province, you may occasionally have a difference of opinion with the government contract manager about what has or should be delivered. This type of issue is not handled by the Province’s vendor complaint review process Refer to Disagreements About Deliverables (Coming Soon) for information on how to resolve these issues.