Corporate Supply Arrangement (CSA) FAQ

Review our frequently asked questions about Corporate Supply Arrangements (CSAs) which have been established by the Province of B.C.

General questions

Who can use CSAs

Buying from a CSA

Information for CSA suppliers

General questions


What is a Corporate Supply Arrangement (CSA)?

A Corporate Supply Arrangement is an agreement with a qualified supplier (or multiple suppliers) to sell specific goods or services at set prices. The Procurement Services Branch (PSB) issues and manages these CSAs to get the best value for government. Most agreements are with external suppliers. Internal government agencies do provide some services such as printing, advertising, mail distribution, or protocol and recognition gifts.
 
Eligible organizations can buy directly from a supplier without having to run a procurement because PSB has already done this work for the benefit of all. This results in quicker timelines, cost savings, and less paper work because prices and terms are already settled.
 
Most CSAs can be used by B.C. government ministries and eligible broader public sector organizations with some exceptions.
 
It is important to confirm whether or not your organization is eligible to use a CSA.

Do I need to use CSAs?

Government employees must use CSAs for ministry purchases, where available. Per CPPM Chapter 6.3.2.a:
  • Ministries must not use any procurement or solicitation instrument (e.g., RFP) to acquire goods or services that are currently available through a CSA. CSAs must be used where available.
Broader public sector organizations are not required to use CSAs.

A CSA is available but there aren't any suppliers serving my area. What do I do?

Contact Procurement Services Branch for direction.

For most CSAs, suppliers will often serve the entire province or specific regions which are noted on each CSA page. However, there may be rare situations where a supplier does not serve or is not available in your local area. Examples include vehicle rental suppliers or business travel accommodations not available in rural communities. 

The item I need is not in the Goods and Services Catalogue. What do I do?

  1. Contact the Procurement Services Branch to confirm the item you are looking for is not in the Catalogue
  2. If after a secondary search a CSA cannot be found, government employees must follow CPPM Chapter 6 if you are buying a good or service outside of a CSA. At a high level, the following applies:

Goods

  • Estimated value between $1,000 and $5,000: At least three competitive quotations should be obtained (See Purchase Card Manual: Restrictions)
  • Estimated value over $5,000: Must be directed to Procurement Services Branch
    • Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure: complete this eForm requisition 
    • All other ministries: complete a non-catalogue request in iProcurement (CAS)

For help creating requisitions, contact your ministry CAS resource (IDIR required).

Services 

  • Estimated value under $25,000: Should be competed to the extent reasonable and cost-effective
  • Estimated value between $25,000 and $75,000: Must be awarded using a competitive process that is appropriate to the value, complexity and profile of the business opportunity unless the conditions for direct awarding apply
  • Estimated value over $75,000: Must be advertised on BC Bid unless any exemptions noted on CPPM Chapter 6 apply

Can I suggest a new CSA?

Yes, email Procurement Advisory to suggest a new CSA. A procurement specialist will contact you for more information to determine if a CSA would be feasible and practical for government buyers.

Who can use CSAs


 Who can use CSAs? 

  • B.C. government ministries must use CSAs where available
  • B.C. broader public sector organizations on the CSA Users list may use CSAs but are not required to

To use CSAs, broader public sector organizations must:

  • Satisfy one of our eligibility requirements; and 
  • Complete a CSA Access Agreement
    • This Agreement outlines the terms and conditions of accessing CSAs

Which broader public sector organizations can use CSAs? 

To use CSAs, your organization must satisfy one of our eligibility requirements:

  • Public sector organization within B.C. (e.g. Board of Education school district, Crown corporation, municipality, regional district, health authority), 
  • First Nations and not-for-profit organizations delivering services on behalf of First Nations,
  • Group 1, Group 2 or Distributed Learning K-12 independent school, as defined by the Ministry of Education,
  • Regulatory body created by legislation (e.g. College of Pharmacists),
  • Not-for-profit organization with contracts to deliver services on behalf of government (e.g. social service agencies supporting Ministry of Children & Family Development). These contracts must account for 51% or more of the revenue of the organization, or
  • Private company whose primary business is to deliver services to the general public under contract to government (e.g. bus companies providing HandyDART services)

How do I register to use CSAs?

  1. Confirm your organization meets one of our eligibility requirements
  2. Email the Procurement Services Branch to request a CSA Access Agreement and instructions
    • This Agreement outlines the terms and conditions of accessing CSAs
  3. Procurement Services Branch will countersign the signed Agreement and add your organization to the CSA Users List
  4. Your organization is now registered and may use eligible CSAs

Is there a registration fee?

It is free to register and use CSAs as a buyer.

Can I buy from a CSA for personal use? 

CSAs must be used for business use only, unless stated otherwise.

If a supplier offers discounts to B.C. government employees, it will be posted on the Employee Discount Store (IDIR login required). 

Can a contractor use a CSA if my organization is on the CSA Users list?

Contractors or consultants may use CSAs on behalf of an authorized organization if the organization is responsible for the invoice. 

The exception to this is for business travel accommodations. Consultants or contractors of authorized organizations may use government rates by providing a letter of authorization (DOC, 153KB) to the hotel. This letter must state the individual's name, and start and end dates of their contract. The organization's contract manager must sign this letter.

Buying from a CSA


How do I buy from a CSA?

There are several ways suppliers accept orders and payments. Find specific instructions on the web page for the good or service. In general:

  • Follow the purchasing procedure for your organization
  • For goods, initiate a purchase using the purchase document for ministries (PDF, 888 KB) or a purchase order/contract form if you are from the broader public sector
    • A completed purchase document means you now have a contract with the supplier
  • For services, initiate a purchase by contacting the supplier with a description of work and their CSA number. This can be done using your work email or your organization's letterhead
    • Do not use a General Services Agreement

How do I access pricing?

If available, links to pricing files are noted on each CSA page. There are two ways to access pricing on individual pages:

  • Government employees can use their IDIR for immediate access
  • Employees from broader public sector organizations on the CSA Users list can use their registered BCeID for immediate access or contact CSA@gov.bc.ca for pricing

How do I pay the supplier?

Talk to the supplier about payment options which may include:

  • Purchase card (or credit card for non-government buyers)
  • Cheque
  • Electronic funds transfer
  • Travel card (for travel related expenses only; see CPPM Chapter E)

Is there a minimum or maximum per purchase limit for CSAs?

There isn't a minimum, however there is a maximum limit of $75,000 per purchase for most CSAs. If a limitation exists, it is noted on the individual CSA page. 

Who do I contact for specific questions about a CSA?

Contact information is provided on the bottom of each page. You may also contact the commodity manager to speak to a specific person.

Information for CSA suppliers


Can my business be added as a CSA supplier in between terms?

It depends on the CSA. Contact the Procurement Services Branch to ask if suppliers can be added. 

For most CSAs, suppliers can't be added in between terms. Suppliers must go through a competitive process by responding to a Request for a Corporate Supply Arrangement (RCSA). An RCSA is a procurement that is posted on BC Bid. Successful suppliers will provide goods or services for the CSA term (typically 3 years with two one-year options to extend).

What is the process for becoming a CSA supplier?

  1. Contact the Procurement Services Branch, when there are 12 months remaining on the term, to determine if a new RCSA will be issued
  2. When the RCSA is posted on BC Bid, respond with your proposal 
  3. Once the bid closes, all the bid submissions are evaluated
  4. Upon completion of evaluations, the Province will award a CSA to successful suppliers
  5. Once each agreement is signed, suppliers are added to the CSA web page

Related information

Access to CSA pricing

 


Contact the Procurement Services Branch

phone 250-387-7300

email Procurement@gov.bc.ca