Award

The Award phase results in a contract being signed with a service provider. 

All service providers are to be treated respectfully and thanked for submitting an offer or proposal. It is important to remember that the process of submitting the proposal may have been a complex and expensive endeavour. The successful service provider should be notified as soon as possible, at which time contract negotiations will begin.

 
Contract Award

It is important that ministry staff notify the successful service provider as soon as possible after a decision has been made, to tell them when the contract is expected to be written and walk through any additional steps.

It is also important that ministry staff notify the unsuccessful bidders – in writing – as soon as the contract has been signed. Unsuccessful bidders may request feedback on the solicitation process and their bid; this is called a Bidder Debriefing.

If the opportunity was posted on BC Bid®, ministry staff must post a Contract Award Summary after the contract is signed. This enables anyone to check BC Bid® to find the results of a competition.

For information on how to post Contract Award Summaries, please see the guide on posting contract award summaries.

At this point in the process, there are two main areas - documentation and negotiation - in which the contract manager plays an important role:

  • The documentation of the process used to award the contract. This is used to describe the award process in response to:
    • Audits
    • Requests for information
    • Inquiries and representations from unsuccessful bidders
    • Public inquiries
    • The media

Ministry staff may need to negotiate when they set up a new service contract or when they amend, modify or renew an existing contract. Efforts to negotiate a contract should be proportionate to its value.

Contract negotiation is an opportunity to:

  • Improve communications
  • Clarify the terms and conditions of the contract

The goal of negotiation is to reach an agreement that meets the needs of both parties and provide quality service to clients. When an agreement is reached, both parties must understand the terms and be prepared to sign the contract.

The Negotiation Protocol sets out the basic responsibilities of those involved in negotiations. This includes principles that support effective, balanced and respectful communication and reinforce consensus building and accountability.

Ministry staff with the appropriate expense authority can negotiate and approve contracts. An Expense Authority may delegate authority to another ministry staff member to negotiate a contract on their behalf; however, the Delegated Negotiator does not have the authority to sign the contract or commit the ministry to the expenditure of funds. Before negotiations begin, the service provider must be informed that the negotiator’s authority is limited to the negotiation and that the Expense Authority’s approval and signature will be required.


NOTE: The Expense Authority and negotiator(s) should evaluate themselves for conflicts of interest before entering into negotiations with the service provider. For more information, see Conflict of Interest


If an agreement cannot be reached during negotiations, and a solicitation has occurred, it is best to obtain a legal opinion to ensure both parties are abiding by the terms of the solicitation. If an agreement is not possible, notify the service provider in writing when negotiations have ceased. The ministry may negotiate with the next highest scoring proponent once negotiations have ceased with the original party.

Ministry Actions to Negotiate the Contract

  • Be prepared – understand the solicitation and the offer or proposal
  • Explain that a negotiator’s authority is limited to the negotiation of the contract and that the Expense Authority’s approval and signature will be required
  • Use collaboration not coercion, recognize the needs of both parties and strive for a win-win outcome
  • Build an atmosphere of trust and respect
  • Acknowledge each other’s skills and abilities
  • Ensure that all parties understand the contract terms, conditions and processes

Debriefings are learning opportunities and should be approached in a respectful and thoughtful manner. Debriefings are:

  • Opportunities for bidders to find out how they may improve their proposals so they can submit better bids in future solicitations
  • Opportunities for ministry staff to learn ways that the system of awarding contracts could be improved

Debriefings are not:

  • An appeal
  • The opportunity for unsuccessful bidders to challenge the selection decision

Ministry Actions to Bidder Debriefs

  • Offer debriefing sessions to all service providers who responded to the solicitation
  • Give debriefing sessions individually to each service provider who requests them
  • Prepare for the debriefing by reviewing the solicitation file and the evaluation notes
  • Share the evaluation form showing how the service provider scored on each of the criteria
  • Do not compare offers to one another; ministry staff must not share other offers with the service provider being debriefed to protect the confidentiality of the offers
  • Feedback should be as specific as possible
  • Discuss both what was good and what could be improved in the proposal
  • Accept feedback on how the ministry could have made the process clearer for the service provider or improve future solicitations
  • Be prepared to direct the service provider to the Vendor Complaint Review Process if they are unsatisfied with the ministry’s decision after the debriefing

See the Guide to Requests for Proposals for examples of rating guides, information on evaluations and sample letters to proponents.

 

Service providers may file a complaint if they feel a procurement process did not follow procurement policy and procedures. Each ministry is responsible for investigating, documenting and resolving vendor complaints for their ministry. This is called the Vendor Complaint Review Process, which is outlined by the Ministry of Finance.

The Ministry of Children and Family Development has an established process to address service provider procurement complaints. Service provider concerns are often addressed through a debriefing, without requiring a formal review (see Bidder Debriefing).

Complaints must be received by the ministry within 30 days after notice of a solicitation’s outcome.

If the ministry is unable to resolve the service provider’s concerns through its internal process, the service provider may then access the Ministry of Finance Procurement Governance Office’s process.

The Vendor Complaint Review Process is limited to issues of procurement policy and procedures. For information about resolving issues or disputes related to vendor or ministry performance or conduct while under contract see Issues Management and Conflict Resolution.

Ministry Actions to Vendor Complaints

  • To minimize the likelihood of any issues that arise from the governmental procurement processes, ensure debriefings are offered as part of the solicitation process
  • Accept complaints as a way for the ministry to improve its procurement practices
  • Handle complaints in a timely manner; there are specific timelines outlined in the Vendor Complaint Review Process

Once contract negotiations are complete, the contract must be drawn up. This involves documenting the negotiated terms by entering them into the ministry Contract Templates (ministry staff access, only). For more information, see Contract Authoring Practices.

If the opportunity was posted on BC Bid®, ministry staff must post a contract award summary after the contract is signed. For information on how to post contract award summaries, please see the Guide on Posting Contract Award Summaries.

The solicitation document (e.g. RFP) is often referred to as Contract A and the final contract that is signed by the successful service provider and the government is known as Contract B. There should not be substantial differences between contracts A and B.

The contract is signed by both parties, first by the service provider and then by the ministry. Both parties retain a copy of the signed contract. Contract finalization and signing must adhere to strict protocols so that the contract binds the parties and protects the Province.

Ministry procurement staff utilize a number of different tools to create, manage, update, monitor and maintain contracts.

Ministry Actions to Contract Authoring Practices

  • Use approved Contract Templates appropriate for the type of services being purchased
  • Clearly state what is expected in the contract; avoid ambiguous wording
  • Outline the timing and scope of Contract Reviews in the contract
  • Clearly establish output and outcome measures, include the quantity and quality required
  • Ensure adequate Risk Management measures are in place

 

The ministry may enter into a contract with service providers who are residents of another country, which adds a layer of complexity to the contract. This list is not definitive, but outlines some aspects to consider, including:

  • Geographic location
  • Location of information
  • Withholding tax
  • Exchange rates
  • The use of service provider contract templates

Geographic Location

When a service provider resides in a different geographic location, it is important to keep the following in mind:

Time zone:

  • Typical business hours may not be in sync. Both the ministry and the service provider should make efforts to find reasonable times for phone calls, meetings and deadlines
  • The closing time of the solicitation is in local time (i.e. the time in the issuing ministry office’s location).
    • Proposals, bids and responses must be received by the closing time. The service provider may not realize this; it is nice to highlight this to foreign-service providers, where possible.

Language:

  • Some solicitation documents state that proposals need to be submitted in English
  • You may need to specify in the contract what language(s) are acceptable for doing business
  • There may be something lost in translation. This may be a factor in understanding the solicitation document, contract, written proposal and verbal discussions
  • Body language and protocols may mean different things in different cultures

Risk Management:

  • You may need to seek guidance to determine if the Risk Management strategies you employ, such as qualifications, insurance and criminal record checks, are equivalent to Canadian standards
  • Laws may differ. Ministry contracts are governed by laws of B.C., but the service provider may request that the laws of their location apply, rather than Canada’s. Seek legal advice to understand the implications of this
  • Contract law may differ in other jurisdictions. The service provider may not be aware of Canadian contract law and its principles

Example

  • Contract A and contract B do not apply in the US.

Therefore an American service provider may not realize that they will not have an opportunity to adjust their bid or negotiate after submitting a proposal on a Canadian solicitation.


Financial:

  • The contract may be subject to tax and exchange rate implications, which need to be reflected in the contract language
  • Contracts are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise negotiated and outlined in the contract

Location of Information

Data related to the contract must remain in Canada. The service provider or a sub-contractor must ensure all recorded personal information about an identifiable individual is stored and accessible, both electronically and physically, only in Canada. When data is removed from the country it may be subject to laws and uses outside of the control of the Canadian government.

If information may cross borders, ensure personal identifiers are removed, there is a process in place to ensure the anonymity of the client and seek legal advice.


Example

Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (US Patriot Act) allows information that enters the US to be accessed by the US government.


Withholding Tax

The ministry must not provide tax advice to service providers and should direct them to contact Canada Revenue Agency or their accountant.

If services are being provided in Canada through a foreign-service provider, the fees provided for professional services are subject to a 15% withholding tax as per Revenue Canada taxation policy. The ministry applies this reduction to fees earned before payment is sent to the service provider. Expenses and other items that may be reimbursed to the service provider as per the contract terms are not subject to this withholding tax. Withholding tax requirements are outlined in CPPM 6.3.6.b.5.

The service provider may apply to Revenue Canada for a reimbursement of the fees that the ministry has withheld.

Withholding tax is not required for services provided by a foreign-service provider on behalf of the ministry when all of the contracted services occurred in a foreign country.

Exchange Rates

When providing payments to a service provider who resides in another country:

  • Financial commitments for contracts must take into account the fluctuations in the exchange rate and calculate a maximum anticipated amount for the contract
  • Invoices are paid in Canadian funds at the exchange rate posted on the date of payment
  • It is possible to provide payment in US funds. See US Exchange Rates.

Ministry staff should use only approved ministry templates for drafting a contract. No changes may be made to an approved template unless they are prepared, advised and approved by the ministry’s legal counsel and government’s Risk Management Branch. It is important to select the correct template to ensure the clauses in the contract template cover the typical situations that may arise during a contract’s lifecycle. There are a number of contract templates to choose from, depending on what is being purchased (including but not limited to the following):

Use of Service Provider Contract Templates

Service providers may request that contracts be written on their templates. While this may be possible, it delays the contract development and signing process and is not recommended.

Before the ministry may sign a service provider’s agreement it must be reviewed and approved by ministry legal counsel and, if applicable, the Risk Management Branch to ensure it meets government’s requirements. Contact MCFPGPB@gov.bc.ca for assistance.

If the service provider is located outside of Canada, see Service Providers External to Canada.

Government Templates

General Service Agreements

There are three approved General Service Agreement (GSA) templates.

 

Contract Title

Contract purpose

1

General Services

General services including professional services.

2

Information Technology & Management Consulting

Information technology and management consulting professional services, including human resources benefits services contracts and accounting services contracts.

3

Financial Review and Assurance Services

Financial Review and assurance services requesting a financial opinion, including financial audits and review engagements provided by people with a recognized professional accounting designation.

 

These General Service Agreement templates must not be used for Third-Party Service Agreements.

The General Services Agreement templates are typically used for STOB 60/61 Professional Services Operational Contracts, STOB 60/61 Professional Services Advisory Contracts and/or STOB 63 Information Systems Operating Contracts.

One of the three General Service Agreement templates must be used unless one of the following applies (CPPM 6.3.3.e4):

  • Third-party service delivery (e.g. Shared Cost Arrangements)
  • Office assistance services or services through employment agencies where a Corporate Supply Arrangement (CSA) exists
  • Vehicle and equipment rentals
  • Capital construction projects
  • Goods acquisitions, unless ancillary to services under the contract and advice has been obtained from the ministry's legal counsel about additional provisions that may be appropriate
  • Software licensing
  • The contract has a value greater than $250,000

More information related to the selection and use of the General Service Agreement templates is available on the Procurement Supply Services website.

Ministry Service Agreements

MCFD has developed, and exclusively uses, approved templates for third party service delivery. These templates include, but are not limited to the:

  • Service Agreement Template (SA); and
  • Family Care Home Agreement.

Most ministry contracts fall under Government Transfers (STOB 80), formerly known as Transfer under Agreement, which are mainly used for shared cost arrangements where government is not the direct beneficiary of services but has significant control over how the funding is spent. Policy requires the approval of transfers by the Chief Financial Officer; however, due to the volume of contracts held by MCFD, a control process has been put in place to meet the intent of the policy.

The Service Agreement template replaced the Third Party Service Agreement (TPSA) contract and Subsidiary Component Agreement (SCA) for non-residential service contracts and also replaced the Client Service Agreement (CSA) and Component Service Schedules (CSS) for staffed residential service contracts.  The MCFD Service Agreement Terms and Conditions can be found on the MCFD website.

Ministry staff uses the web-based Contract Writing Tool (CWT) or the Resource and Payment System (RAP) to draft Service Agreements.

Honorariums

CPPM 18.3.7 states that the use of honorariums for non-employees is generally not recommended. The ministry, however, has approved the use of honorariums in certain situations (e.g., speaking engagements, special presentations, board chair/member position, attending Elder council meeting). Where the payment of honorariums has been deemed appropriate, ministry staff should reference the Honorariums Section of the MCFD Financial Policy and Procedures Manual (ministry staff access only).


Payments of honorariums to non-employees are not recommended. Any paid honorarium that exceeds $500 in a calendar year must be reported on a T4A. (CPPM 18.3.7 Honoraria)


The cumulative total of all honorarium payments made in a calendar year to an individual must be used to determine if the ministry is required to issue a T4A. A T4A must be issued if the cumulative total for the individual exceeds $500 in the calendar year.

For services like speaking engagements or special presentations, if the amount is not significant (i.e., less than $1,000 and one-time only), a letter of agreement may be used instead of a standard contract. Legal services must review and provide advice on the form of the letter of agreement before it is used (CPPM 6.3.3.e.6). For volunteers, a token gift is usually more appropriate.

For more information, see CPPM 18.3.7 Honouraria. Ministry staff can find additional details in the Honorariums Section of the MCFD Financial Policy and Procedures Manual (ministry staff access only).

Contract Schedules

There are multiple contract schedules that may be included in a contract however only two schedules are outlined in the manual:

  • Schedule A – Services and Deliverables
  • Schedule B – Payment.

Schedule A – Services and Deliverables

Schedule A outlines the services and deliverables that the contractor will provide during the contract term. When describing the services and deliverables, the schedule specifies what work will be completed, but not how the work will be done. Expected completion times or deadlines are determined with the service provider. It is important to avoid Employee/Employer Relationships when writing contracts.


Example

The ministry determines:

  • What work will be completed (outputs)
  • Expected completion times (in agreement with the service provider)
  • The qualifications required for persons performing the services
  • Whether specific subcontractors are appropriate to perform services

The service provider determines:

  • How work will be completed (the process)
  • Expected completion times (which meet the ministry’s requirements)
  • The process used to hire staff and subcontractors, including determining who is hired (as long as they meet the required qualifications)

Ministry Actions to Authoring Schedule A

Define:

  • The contract service requirements and expectations, including a clear definition of expected accomplishments and/outputs, expected completion time, specialized qualifications, screening procedures and licenses
  • For Third-Party Services, use the Catalogue of Services and logic model approach, where applicable, to assist in defining these
  • The level of ministry involvement required at different periods of the contract, including formal monitoring and evaluation processes
  • The name and office of the ministry contact person

Schedule B – Payment

Schedule B of the contract outlines the fees and expenses to be paid to the service provider.


Ministry Actions to Authoring Schedule B

  • Describe the terms of payment
  • Include clauses for each type of payment: total fees, total expenses and maximum contract price. Review Accounting and Payment Practices for more information
  • Ensure fees are tied to the specific outputs described in Schedule A, rather than the inputs
  • Payments could be made as:
    • Hourly/Daily rate
    • Rate per deliverable/milestone
    • Flat rate or lump-sum
    • Pre-payments
  • The contract must have a firm contract ceiling price (exclusive of GST). Where a firm ceiling price is not possible, a unit price must be predetermined, and Schedule A must specify and have control over the number of units of service that are delivered within each phase of the contract
  • A fixed-price contract is permitted for service contracts if the scope of the work can be clearly defined in advance
  • Include a manner of payment that allows the service provider to serve the interests of the client most effectively
  • Do not include a cost overrun clause

Continuing Services Agreement

Continuing Services Agreements are rarely used by the ministry; instead the need for continuity of service is met through Multi-year Contracts or the inclusion of the Option to Renew clause. Multi-year social services contracts are not continuing services agreements.

Contract Term

The contract must contain start and end dates. The contract should be signed before the contract start date and before work begins.

Option to Renew

When services are expected to continue to be required after the original contract term, an option to renew clause should be included in the solicitation documents. This enables the contract to be extended without going back to competition. Among other reasons, this option could be exercised to account for the need to provide service continuity or accommodate an unexpected increase in demand.

The option to renew:

  • Is determined in the planning phase
  • Must be stated in all solicitation documents in the Pre-Award and Solicitation phase
  • Must outline the number of renewals permitted under the contract
  • Must be written into the contract

Language used in the contract must match language outlined in the original solicitation

Examples of wording that could be included in a solicitation:

  1. The contract term is expected to be from April 1, 201x to March 31, 201x with the option to renew, at the sole discretion of the Province, for an additional one-year term.
  2. The contract term is expected to be from April 1, 201x to March 31, 201x with the option to renew, at the sole discretion of the Province, for two additional one-year terms.

Examples of wording that could be included in a contract:

  1. This contract has the option to renew, at the sole discretion of the Province, for an additional one-year term.
  2. This contract has the option to renew, at the sole discretion of the Province, for two additional one-year terms.

The ministry uses a number of different tools to create, manage, update, monitor and maintain contracts. These include:

Contract Writing Tool (CWT)

Ministry STOB 80 non-residential contracts are drafted in the ministry’s Contract Writing Tool (CWT) and paid through the Corporate Accounting System (CAS). The Contract Writing Tool (CWT) is a web-based application that produces performance-based contracts for non-residential services that are delivered through STOB 80 third-party contracts. The CWT is used to ensure standardized contract formatting and service language. The Ministry Service Agreement (SA) is deployed through the CWT.

Resource and Payment (RAP) System

The Resource and Payment System (RAP) supports the ministry and several Delegated Aboriginal Agencies in delivering services and payments to clients, service providers and suppliers. RAP assists in the drafting of residential contracts for children in the care of the Director and children who are not in care, but who reside outside the home in out-of-care options under the Child Family and Community Services Act. RAP also helps ministry staff to prepare agreements for services to youth who receive support under Youth Agreements, as well as non-contract guardianship payments on behalf of children in care.

RAP is composed of multiple components that support the management of residential resources and payments for the ministry, including:

  • Establishing and maintaining the resource network
  • Contracting with residential service providers, including direct family care providers, third-party contractors and individuals providing out-of-care options
  • Recording the placement of children in the care of the Provincial Director of Child Welfare under residential contracts. Note: children in out-of-care options and on Youth Agreements are not placed against the contracts
  • Calculating and submitting invoices to CAS for payment
  • Identifying, calculating and automatically recovering contract advances and overpayments;
  • Providing a Payment Request for on-demand payments, including imprest cheques, plus transmitting expenditure information to CAS
  • Supporting contract management through reports and data extracts
  • Managing “To Do” lists
  • Creating and managing hard-copy client files

Several Delegated Aboriginal Agencies (DAAs) use a version of RAP that supports all the management functions of residential resources and contracting. The DAA version does not work with CAS; instead, a payment report is generated so that payments can be made from their own accounting system.


Access to CWT and other systems

Access and roles within CWT and other systems for ministry staff are managed through security access requests. Access can only be created by an administrator for ministry employees with an IDIR account.

If systems access is required for non-ministry staff (e.g. Planning Board members or service providers) or other access is needed that may require special solutions, affected parties can contact their program area or service delivery area.

Catalogue of Services

The ministry manages a Catalogue of Services (access for ministry staff only), a list outlining the services the ministry and service providers offer. It includes service names, the activities associated with service delivery, the inputs (human, financial, partnership and materials), outputs (the actual products associated to service activities), the target population being served, and the outcomes or intended results of the service. The catalogue may be provided to service providers.

Deployed through the web-based CWT, the catalogue serves as a tool for contract development and contract revision. It follows a logic model that describes the sequence of events involved in bringing about change, and relates activities to outcomes.

Program Logic Model

The Catalogue of Services and the program logic model (access for ministry staff only) approach supports the drafting of Schedule A – Services and Deliverables. The logic model approach:

  • Links the contract to the Ministry Service Plan and its objectives
  • Identifies key measures of success to include in the contract
  • Demonstrates a commitment to transparency and openness
  • Aids in the effective management of resources
  • Holds Contract Managers accountable for results

The logic model identifies the planning elements (e.g. inputs, activities) associated with the intended results (e.g. outputs, outcomes). The contract focuses on the desired short- and long-term result, rather than on its initial inputs.

The following are the recommended components of the logic model that must be included within Schedule A – Services and Deliverables: 

INPUTS --> ACTIVITIES --> OUTPUTS --> OUTCOMES

Inputs: Identify the resources required, including: staff, money, staff time, facilities, equipment and supplies r

Activities: Identify the tasks the service provider will perform, including the type of strategies or techniques used, the type of activities the service provider will focus on. Some examples of activities include: reviewing policy, training staff, doing research, advising staff, writing a report, and consulting with stakeholders.

Outputs: Identify the direct products and services that will result from the contract. These are measured in volume of work accomplished, such as number of classes taught, counselling sessions held, people served or reports written. Outputs should be clearly written and should be SMART: Specific – Measurable – Appropriate – Reasonable – and Time-limited.

Outcomes: Identify the benefits that result from the service provider’s activities and outputs. These may include changes to a program, changes in ways to move people and goods, or a change in an area’s economic status. The key is to show the difference the contract made or the value it added for a client or the public.

Reporting requirements need to be outlined in the contract. Ministry staff ensures that reporting meets ministry and program Data Collection requirements. Reporting requirements are also established for use in contract evaluations. See Contract Monitoring for more information on reporting requirements.

Contracts are intended to clearly state:

  • What the service provider should produce
  • Who will receive the product
  • Who will provide the product (e.g. staff qualifications/key personnel)
  • When the product will be delivered

When establishing a contract, it is important for both the ministry and the service provider to consider risk management. The Ministry of Finance’s Risk Management Branch provides tools and support to the ministry in this area. Service providers should consult with their advisors.

Insurance

Ministry staff must ensure that insurance requirements are considered prior to solicitations and that requirements are clearly outlined in solicitation documents.

The correct insurance language should be included in the contract before the contract is awarded. Under certain circumstances, the ministry arranges insurance (see Example 1); otherwise, it is up to the service provider to get insurance through their insurance broker. The ministry and the service provider have different responsibilities to ensure proper insurance is in place, as outlined in Schedule D of the contract.

When the service provider is required to purchase insurance, the ministry requires proof of insurance, as outlined in Schedule D. The service provider’s insurance agent or broker must complete and sign the Government of British Columbia Certificate of Insurance Form the ministry provides in order to comply with the insurance requirements of the contract - see CPPM 6.3.3.e(11).


Example 1 - Master Insurance Program

The ministry arranges insurance coverage for eligible service providers that are delivering third-party social services on behalf of the ministry by enrolling them in the Master Insurance Program (MIP). MIP only provides coverage for third-party liabilities (E.g. bodily injury and third-party property damage) arising from the provision of services under the service provider’s contract(s) with the ministry; it does not cover other operations. See the Master Insurance Program (MIP) for more information.

The ministry determines eligibility and enrolls the service provider under the program. The broker will then give the service provider proof of their Master Insurance Program coverage.

Service providers are responsible for other types of insurance, including insurance for facilities, vehicles and third-party liability arising from other operations, theft, fire, and so on.


Example 2 – Commercial Insurance

Insurance requirements are set out in Schedule D. Where the service provider is required to purchase insurance coverage, they must provide evidence on an annual basis using the Government of British Columbia Certificate of Insurance Form. The ministry completes Part 1 of the form and the service provider’s insurance agent or broker completes and signs Part 2 of the form.

The service provider is responsible for the payment, purchase and maintenance of the insurance requirements while under contract with the Province. Service providers are also responsible for their other insurance requirements, such as those for facilities, vehicles, and third-party liability arising from other operations, theft, fire, and so on.


WorkSafeBC

WorkSafeBC provides insurance to protect any business that employs workers from lawsuits brought about by injured employees, and covers the costs of an injured worker's medical bills and lost wages. Any business that employs one or more people is required by the Workers Compensation Act to register their business/firm with WorkSafeBC and pay premiums.

WorkSafeBC coverage and/or Personal Operators Protection requirements for service providers are outlined in the Service Agreement Terms and Conditions (PDF). It is the service provider’s responsibility to ensure that they comply with the Workers’ Compensation Act and register for WorkSafeBC coverage. A service provider’s WorkSafeBC coverage may be verified by accessing WorkSafe BC’s clearance letters. Where a service provider does not qualify for regular WorkSafeBC coverage, they can apply for Personal Optional Protection. Service providers are encouraged to seek advice from the Employers’ Advisors Office (a free service) to discuss their circumstances.

Under the Workers Compensation Act, WorkSafeBC has exclusive jurisdiction to determine a person’s status as it relates to workers compensation. WorkSafeBC may deny Personal Optional Protection coverage and determine that a service provider is a “worker” of the Province for insurance purposes. However, this in no way indicates that there is an Employee-Employer Relationship between the service provider and the ministry. An Employee-Employer Relationship is a Canada Revenue Agency determination and is not related to WorkSafeBC status. See Employee-Employer Relationships for further information.

Where a service provider has been denied Personal Optional Protection, WorkSafe BC will provide an ineligibility letter, and the service provider must forward a copy to the ministry. Once the ministry is advised that a service provider has been denied Personal Optional Protection, the ministry will evaluate the level of risk associated with the contracted services and determine next steps. Service providers must reapply for WorkSafeBC coverage and/or Personal Optional Protection with each contract they are awarded, as the conditions of their original coverage or ineligibility may have changed.

Criminal Record Checks

Individuals involved in providing services to clients or those who have access to client records (E.g. registered members of professional bodies, service providers, subcontractors and caregivers) are expected to undergo a criminal record check based on the Criminal Records Review Act.

Under the Act, individuals who work with and have unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults must undergo a criminal record check. These requirements need to be included in the contract and solicitation documents.

Government Privacy Management and Accountability Policy requires that all employees as well as all service providers, including their employees, agents, volunteers and sub-contractors, who have access to Personal Information complete government privacy training. 

The privacy course is accessed online and should take approximately 1 hour to complete. MCFD is paying for contracted third party service providers to complete the Privacy Training.  A unique URL was provided to MCFD service providers, if you are a MCFD third party service provider and you have misplaced or not received your unique URL please contact your contract manager or email us to have one sent to you. 

All service providers are required create and maintain a log, which will be made available to the Ministry upon request, which will include:

  • the names of all employees, agents, volunteers and sub-contractors who may collect, create, or access Personal Information; and 
  • the status of their completion of the privacy training including date of completion.