Bid Protest Mechanism

NOTICE: If a Province of British Columbia government purchaser receives a written request for consultations or written request for an arbiter under the Bid Protest Mechanism they should contact Legal Services Branch or their designated legal counsel immediately.

What is the Bid Protest Mechanism (BPM)?

The Bid Protest Mechanism (BPM) is an administrative review process that provides suppliers with a process to avoid disputes and resolve complaints that a specific procurement by a government entity (e.g. ministries) was not conducted in compliance with the rules of an applicable trade agreement. The BPM became effective in British Columbia on January 1, 2019.

When does the BPM apply?

The BPM process may apply when a supplier seeks to resolve a complaint that a specific procurement by a government entity of either British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba, was not conducted in a manner that is consistent with an applicable trade agreement, where that supplier has rights under, and the procurement is covered by one of the following trade agreements and their applicable chapter:

(i) New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA) Article 14;

(ii) Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA ) Chapter 5;

(iii) World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement as revised in 2012 (WTO GPA);

(iv) Canada – European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) Chapter 19; and

(v) the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Chapter 15.

How does the BPM process work?

The BPM process can involve several stages, the first of which is consultations. To initiate consultations between a supplier and procuring entity a supplier must deliver a written request (which may be electronic) for consultations to the procuring entity with a copy to the NWPTA administrator. The government entity and supplier may engage in any other informal efforts to resolve the matter as well.

If the complaint is not resolved through consultations, the supplier may move the process to the next stage, in which an arbiter is selected to review the matter based on written submissions provided by the supplier and the procuring entity. Based on the outcomes of this stage, the arbiter issues an assessment and decision. The decision of the arbiter will be in the form of a written report.

For further information:

To learn more about the Bid Protest Mechanism please see the official website for that information:

Does the Province of British Columbia have any other vendor complaint process available to suppliers?

For complaints limited to issues of procurement policy and procedures, the Province of British Columbia has a Vendor Complaint Review Process (VCRP) set out in Chapter Six of its Core Policy and Procedures Manual (CPPM). The VCRP is applicable to ministries and direct government entities whose procurements are subject to CPPM Chapter Six. 

The VCRP does not limit or impair the rights of any vendor to seek a review through the British Columbia Ombudsperson's Office, or to seek remedies of law through judicial or other processes.

For additional information on the VCRP please see Chapter Six of CPPM.

Disclaimer: the information on this BC Bid Resources page may not be up to date and is not and should not be construed as business, procurement or legal advice. Any supplier or government purchaser that has questions about the BPM should consult with their legal and other advisors.

Last updated September 10, 2019


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