Procurement Process

Procurement (also known as purchasing) lifecycle means:

"All phases of the process to engage external entities in the exchange of funding for goods and services through a contractual arrangement".

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The phases of procurement for the purchase of services are as follows.  Note that this information pertains to services only; if purchasing goods, refer to How to Buy Goods; if purchasing construction or construction-related services, refer to How to Buy Construction.
  • Plan entails how a purchasing organization decides what to buy, what process to use to select a vendor, and to prepare price estimates and budgets.
  • Pre-Award includes preparing solicitation documents, advertising the opportunity to the marketplace(e.g. posting on BC Bid, if required), and receiving and evaluating submissions.
  • Award is the process of announcing results, finalizing or clarifying descriptions of deliverables, and developing or finalizing all the contract documentation that is signed by all parties.
  • Manage refers to all activities while a contract is in place, including receiving deliverables and making payments to contractors.
  • Close-out occurs when the contract is ending, and includes evaluating the contractor's and government staff's performance and closing the contract file.

Addressing vendor relationships should occur throughout the procurement lifecycle, in all its phases.


Begins With

Ends With



Review of Needs

Documented Plan

Assess and analyze internal requirements and constraints, including past spend (if applicable), available budgets, industry trends, etc.

Create documents such as feasibility study, cost benefit analysis and/or business case. 

Determine priorities, scope, applicable timelines, risks, etc. 

Obtain approval to contract before continuing to the next phase.


Documented Plan

Go/No Go Award

Research and analyze the current market conditions to determine whether or not to continue with the procurement. 

If a firm decision is made to award, define the appropriate solicitation strategy method (e.g. ITQS, RFP, SRFP, RFQ, etc.) and conduct the solicitation. 

Alternately, determine if a direct award policy applies and document for the contract file. Issue a Notice of Intent, if applicable.

Clarify deliverables, timelines, scope, etc. in response to vendor questions.

Receive and evaluate the submissions delivered by vendors and select the successful submission.  If unable to award (e.g. no compliant submission, budget has been unexpectedly changed, etc.), document the circumstances, inform all participating vendors, and end the procurement process.


Go/No Go Award

Executed Contract

Depending on the solicitation method, negotiate or review and finalize the terms of agreement with successful proponent(s)/bidder(s) or selected vendor(s).

Clarify any details regarding deliverables that are unclear or ambiguous.

Enter into a binding contract signed by both parties.


Executed Contract


The contractor provides deliverables and issues invoices. 

The Province's contract representative(s) confirms that the deliverables have been satisfactorily met and the invoices comply with the contract and if so, pays the contractor. Change management, issues management, performance management and reporting are included in these activities.

Close Out


Closed Contract

Determine overall contract results (including whether or not objectives were met) and formulate future requirements that address any risks encountered. 

Record contractor performance and share with the contractor. 

Record the Province's contract management team performance and share with the team. 

Close and retain the contract file for the appropriate length of time.

View detailed procurement process maps for each of the procurement phases identified above.