Accepting Email Submissions
Email submissions may be convenient for proponents; however, there are many risks associated with accepting email submissions that do not apply to other delivery options (e.g. eBidding through BC Bid, hard copy delivery).
Refer to Strategies to Receive Quality Submissions, item (e) for more information on the various options for submission delivery.
Some of the many risks with emailed submissions include, but are not limited to:
- Delays in delivery, as the email travels from server to server between the sender and the recipient;
- Rejection of the email (e.g. for reasons such as executable files, zip files, files over 20 MB, etc.);
- Emails may be erroneously delayed or rejected as suspected spam, virus or malware;
- Inboxes may be too full to accept an email;
- Inboxes may not be accessed if the owner is unexpectedly away; and
- The email may be missed and not identified as a submission.
If a ministry chooses to allow submissions by email, vendors who submit via email are accepting the associated risks, including but not limited to the risk that a submission arrives late or does not arrive at all. The RFP corporate template, for example, requires a submission to be received prior to the closing time set out in the RFP in order for the submission to be considered. Therefore, if a submission is received late it will not be considered.
Not all solicitations issued by the Province allows for email submissions. Ministries have the sole discretion to decide whether or not they will accept emailed submissions. However, the specific solicitation document will clearly state whether or not email submissions are allowed.
The Province has created a document, Guidelines for the Receipt of Submissions Via Email, that contains information on why these risks exist, and suggestions for how to mitigate the risks for those opportunities that allow emailed submissions. There is also a guidance document for vendors, Guidelines for Vendors for Submissions Via Email, to assist vendors in understanding and mitigating the risks associated with emailed submissions.
NOTE: Currently, the corporate templates for the Short-form Request for Proposals and Invitation to Quote for Services do not allow for email submissions. This is planned to be changed in the future. The conventional Request for Proposal template has been updated to allow email submissions, at the discretion of the RFP writer. Any questions about allowing email submissions that are not addressed in the information provided above should be referred to the ministry's Procurement Specialist or Legal Services.