Discussion 3: Sourcing

Sourcing is the second major stage of the procurement lifecycle. During this stage the buyer goes to market and asks for responses from the marketplace. These responses may either be for information or pricing and approach. Competitive processes often result in a contract for the delivery of goods and services.

Buyers and suppliers both participate in the sourcing stage. Buyers ask the marketplace for information; suppliers provide information back to the buyer about how their needs can be met. Not every opportunity is posted publically. Trade agreements and internal policies describe when opportunities need to be posted in a public forum.

The number of sourcing requirements applicable to:

All users (ministries, broader public service, vendors and suppliers): 19

  • Ministries: 36
  • Ministries and Broader Public Service: 117
  • Total number of sourcing requirements: 172

BC Bid is the existing tool to publically compete contract opportunities and is used by the Province of BC and publically funded groups in the broader public sector (crowns, agencies, commissions, health authorities, municipalities, etc). Current technology for sourcing goes beyond BC Bid functionality today.

Sourcing technology available in the marketplace today allows for guided online creation of tender documents in the system, guided online response development and submission, and both automated and qualitative evaluation of responses.


NOTEThis page summarizes the feedback received between June 15 and September 30, 2015 on the BC Bid Replacement project, and is provided for historical reference only.




1.     Paul said on July 5, 2015 at 9:58 pm:

Although the Technical section mentions mandatory support for integration with solicitation posting sites such as Bidingo and Bid Central, there are not many mentions in the requirements in the Sourcing section about public bids.

Assume that BC regulatory environment needs most solicitations to be public and for specific requirements to be met in the bidding publishing and open period.


2.     Scott from Vancouver Island/Coast said on July 16, 2015 at 10:06 am:

Construction is unique in its procurement needs and government will not be able to serve us better than we are already serving ourselves. Our Government should not compete with BC-built technology, it should use it. The Construction sector is already well served and should not be part of this project.

moderator Jason said on July 16, 2015 at 3:17 pm:

Thank you for your comment. We are considering all input carefully. We expect that best value will be decided upon by a business case and competitive process.


3.     Lisa from Mainland/Southwest said on July 16, 2015 at 12:50 pm:

Instead of building new technology solutions at the cost of many hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars, I wonder why our government wouldn’t instead choose to use the technology that’s already serving the construction sector well. BidCentral was build by and is managed by BC’s non-profit associations, has a full ebonding component in the bid module, and is already used by most public owners to procure construction services. The “recreating the wheel” mentality of government can be very frustrating to those of us who have seen other important services cut while make-work projects like this go forward.

moderator Jason said on July 16, 2015 at 3:19 pm:

Thank you for your comment. We are considering all input carefully. We expect that best value will be decided upon by a business case and competitive process.


4.     moderator Jason said on July 21, 2015 at 12:14 pm:

From comments outside the forum:

Q: Could you clarify requirement 3.1.41, The Solution should support “Warning messages” according to threshold value of Government Regulations which are configurable by organization and/or role?

A: These would be messages to buyers related to whether the process they were following was compliant with government regulations and policy.


5.     moderator Jason said on July 21, 2015 at 12:18 pm:

From comments outside the forum:

Q: We don’t understand the need for requirement, 3.2.17? (The Solution should allow suppliers to change their status to temporarily not accept any solicitations). Suppliers can prefer non participation or the buyer can mark suppliers as non-active in the supplier management part of the solution, which would in turn reflect in the sourcing tool as well.

A: This requirement is aiming to reduce the workload of buyers, i.e. to have suppliers manage themselves and to keep buyers informed on how many suppliers are available within the same tool. This would be important for those opportunities where there are lists of pre-qualified suppliers.


6.     moderator Jason said on July 21, 2015 at 12:23 pm:

From comments outside the forum:

Q:Could you explain the business requirement for 3.2.65. The solution should facilitate rotational bidding as an optional feature?

A: This would be a process to allow a buyer to implement the rules that they established during solicitation for selecting suppliers off a pre-qualified list.


7.     Liz Busch from Vancouver Island/Coast said on September 1, 2015 at 3:30 pm:

Re 3.1.27: Once an RFx is posted, it becomes a public document. This requirement should allow a user to copy any posted RFx (i.e. only those that were not publically posted may not be accessible for posting)

Re 3.1.29: Is there a mandatory requirement for the system to track all participating vendors, whether or not they have a paid subscription account? If not, it will not be possible to track all vendors participating if subscriptions are not required to submit a response.

Re 3.2.32: Is there a minimal standard that the time must be set to? i.e. is to the second okay, or does the system need 1/10 of a second?

Re 3.2.35: Does this mean that multiple individuals within the supplier’s company (include subs), or does this mean that one supplier could open another’s submission? This needs to be more clear.

Re 3.2.52: Using subjective words, such as “easy” and “intuitive” does not work for a mandatory requirement unless such words are defined in a pass/fail manner.

Re 3.2.54: This requirement is likely to cause a legal issue; clarifications are very limited in a typical Contract A solicitation, and therefore some clear restrictions on this functionality will need to be implemented.

Re 3.2.58: This needs to be restricted to up to the closing date and time; changes cannot be allowed after closing.

3.2.60: This requirement is quite problematic; an entire solicitation should never be completely replaced, as this affects the integrity of the process. If the nature of the “fix” is so significant as to warrant a new solicitation document, the current opportunity should be cancelled and a new one posted.

Re 3.2.66:What is meant by In-Process editing post-bid?

Re 3.2.67: Is this requirement restricted to only the supplier who is creating the submission (i.e. a supplier can preview their own submission only while it is being drafted and before it’s submitted)? The wording makes me think that a “User” may mean the owner of the RFx, who should not have any access to submissions prior to closing.

Re 3.2.6: What is the preview period?

Re: 3.3.10: Will this requirement identify the name of the vendor who sends in a submission? This should not be allowed – if notification of a submission is required, it should only be noted that a submission was made, not whom it is from.

Re 3.3.13: Should this state bcc rather than cc? Vendors should not know who is on the team until after the contract is signed.

Re 3.4.4: Does this refer to accepting bids received after closing, or to accessing those bids that arrived on time after closing?

Re 3.4.12: What is intended with this functionality? The wording suggests that material changes may occur during the evaluation/award phases.

Re 3.4.15: What does this mean? How would it be applied?

Re 3.5.8: A countdown clock should also be part of the RFx process (specific to the closing date and time), not just limited to auctions.

Add’l: Some RFx processes include multiple contract awards, where a single proponent may submit multiple bids. Is there a requirement that allows a vendor to copy a submission for either an additional proposal to this RFx or to another similar RFx?


8.     moderator Jason said on September 24, 2015 at 1:49 pm:

From outside the forum:

3.2.71: the Solution should identify which of the parties are small businesses or micro-businesses


9.     moderator Jason said on September 24, 2015 at 1:51 pm:

From outside the forum:

3.5.14: Tiebreaker rules: What would this look like, and could small business be one of the controls?

moderator Jason said on September 24, 2015 at 3:06 pm:

Objective criteria and predefined process rules (such as lower price) may be implemented in order to break a tie


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