Respond to Opportunities
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Many vendors (both companies and individuals) are qualified and interested in doing business with the Province of B.C. The Province strives to be a good steward of the taxpayers’ money by contracting with vendors who demonstrate good value for money.
One way the Province determines value for money is by inviting vendors to bid on contract opportunities and awarding the contract to the vendor who best meets the criteria described in the solicitation (i.e. the lowest price or highest score). For vendors with no or limited experience with these competitions, this page provides a step-by-step overview of how to respond to contract opportunities:
Find an opportunity that fits what you or your organization provides. The Province of B.C. and many other public sector organizations publicly post most of their contracting opportunities for goods, services and construction on BC Bid. Vendors can:
- Browse the site without any fees or registration;
- Search for bid opportunities by category, organization or other criteria;
- Find out about potential upcoming opportunities that might be competed over the next three years; and
- Register for enhanced services, such as email notifications and eBidding (noting that there is an annual cost for these services).
When reviewing BC Bid, some opportunities could result directly in a contract or purchase order with the successful vendor, whereas others will result in a pre-qualification list or standing offers. Some postings are actually market research, used to assist in planning for what is needed rather than directly purchasing from a vendor. Refer to Types of Solicitations and Other Opportunities for information on the various options available to government purchasers, and the intended outcome for each solicitation type.
Not all contract opportunities are posted on BC Bid. Refer to Opportunities That May Not Be Posted to BC Bid for more information.
After an opportunity is identified, decide whether or not the chances of being successful are worth the effort of responding. Not every opportunity will be the right opportunity for you or your company. Refer to Decision to Respond to a Solicitation for information that may help with this decision.
Once the decision is made to respond to a specific solicitation, ensure that you carefully review all the information available related to it. Ask questions if anything is unclear or if there are gaps in the information. Refer to What to Expect When Responding for more information on how the Province manages the competitive solicitation process.
Plan who will be involved in the development of the response, including timelines when information or draft content is due. Designate someone to “hold the pen” and develop the final version of the response. Determine what approvals are required internally prior to submitting the response. Refer to Writing Submissions for guidance on what to consider when writing a response.
Submit the final response, being sure that it is delivered as per the instructions in the solicitation document (i.e. on time and in the right format). Vendors participating in competitive solicitations will be informed of the results once the Province completes its evaluation process. Unverified Bid Results may also be posted to BC Bid. Refer to Submission Evaluations and Debriefs for more information on what is involved in evaluating submissions, and how participating vendors can obtain feedback on their submissions.
For general questions about the competitive solicitation process (i.e. those that are not related to a specific opportunity), contact Shared Services BC. Questions about a specific opportunity should be directed to the government contact identified in the solicitation document.