Vendor Information: NOI FAQs
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What is a Notice of Intent?
A Notice of Intent (NOI) is the method by which a contracting ministry provides vendors with the opportunity to challenge the intended direct award of a contract for goods, services or construction (i.e. an award without competition). If a challenge to an intended direct award is substantiated, a competitive solicitation will be undertaken.
When is a Notice of Intent used?
In accordance with the Core Policy and Procedures Manual, a NOI is posted on BC Bid™ when a contract valued at over $10,000 for goods and $50,000 for services and construction is to be directly awarded on the basis that there is only one vendor that can provide the goods or services required, but this cannot be strictly proven as required in policy.
What is the policy regarding Notices of Intent?
Will a NOI be issued for all direct awards?
No, a NOI is not required if it is determined that the direct award meets one or more of the allowable exceptions specified in section 6.3.3.a.1 of the Core Policy and Procedures Manual.
What is the number of days that a Notice of Intent will be posted?
There is no policy stating the number of days that a NOI must be posted. However, ministries are encouraged to post for a minimum of ten calendar days.
Who should receive the vendors’ challenges?
All challenges are to be directed to the name and address of the contact person found on the front page of the NOI.
What should be included in challenges?
Vendors should include all relevant reasons for objecting, such as their ability to meet and/or exceed the requirements listed in the NOI, as demonstrated through related experience, as requested in the NOI. More information can be found in Market Research and Notifications, under Notice of Intent.
Should vendors challenge NOIs in writing or verbally?
Challenges to NOIs should be written (email is acceptable); the format of all further correspondence is left to the discretion of the parties involved.
Is there a deadline by which a challenge must be filed?
Yes, the deadline can be found on the first page of the NOI, under "Close Date and Time."
Is there a deadline when vendors are to receive a response to their challenge?
There is no rule for response times. However, ministry staff will attempt to provide a prompt response.
What criteria will be used to assess challenges?
The criteria to be used can be found in the NOI. Depending on the nature of the assignment, a vendor’s qualifications may be judged against those of the prospective contractor.
Will another vendor be permitted to view the proposed contractor's price before filing a challenge?
No, the pricing details of the anticipated direct award are not published. However, the NOI may provide a general figure, such as "less than $100,000."
Will the filing of a challenge result in a competitive solicitation?
Prior to filing a challenge, will vendors be provided with the same information as the prospective contractor?
No, such information will only be provided if and when a competitive solicitation is initiated.
Is there any recourse available if the vendor is dissatisfied with the handling of their challenge?
Yes, each ministry involved in procurement activities has in place a vendor complaint review process (VCRP). Please consult the particular ministry's website for an overview of its process.