Vendor Information: Contract Formats in Solicitations

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When responding to a government solicitation, vendors should understand the contract format that is attached.

Most government competitive solicitations will include the contract format that the successful vendor will be expected to sign. This may be a template that includes all of the purchase order or contract terms and conditions (such as one of the corporate contract templates), or it may be select clauses with the balance to be negotiated with the successful vendor. 

When responding to a competitive solicitation, vendors are agreeing to all the terms and conditions clauses of the solicitation document (unless the solicitation document expressly states otherwise). This includes all those in the contract format. 

 

Understanding the Contract Terms and Conditions

Contract language is sometimes written in a manner that can be difficult to understand. If you have questions about the meaning of a contract you should obtain legal advice from your lawyer. 

The Province is not able to provide legal advice to vendors about government solicitation or contract documents.

 

Vendor’s Legal Review of Government Contracts

If your organization plans to have legal counsel review the government’s contract before signing, make sure this occurs while the solicitation is open. Do not wait until after you’ve been identified as the successful vendor. 

 

Inability to Agree With Any Contract Clauses

If your submission to a competitive process is successful, you may have little or no ability to negotiate changes to the contract clauses after the solicitation closes, unless expressly allowed in the solicitation document. Refer to Contract Negotiations / Finalization for Solicitations and Direct Awards for more information.

If you have an issue with agreeing to any of the contract clauses attached to the open solicitation, ask the named government contact if a change can be made. Be specific on why the clause(s) are problematic, and exactly what change would make the clause acceptable. Ask as early as possible, as the government contact is likely going to need to consult with others before being able to answer your question.

The Province has the sole discretion to change the clauses or not, and therefore the request may not be allowed. If a change is made, it applies to all vendors participating in the solicitation, not just the one who asked.

 

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