In October 2008, the Act Respecting Contracting by Public Bodies, (R.S.Q.ch. C-65.1) and its regulations, was enacted. Below are a few highlights of the law that are important to keep in mind when planning your purchases:
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- The Law applies to all contracts entered into by the University with for-profit, private companies. Due diligence investigation of another status presented by the supplier, which would subtract the contract and/or order from the application of the Law, is the responsibility of McGill.
- The origin of the funds used for the purchase (private vs. public) has a bearing on the selection method that can be used by McGill, but not on the application of the Law.
- The value of the contract must be calculated for the total duration of the contract, including any potential extension.
- The regulations call for public tendering of all contracts for goods and services valued in excess of $100,000 exclusive of applicable taxes, using the government’s electronic open bidding system called "Systeme Electronique d'Appel d’Offres" (SEAO).
- The Law imposes a variety of four (4) predetermined offer selection mechanisms applicable to Public Tenders.
- Negotiated contracts of values in excess of $100,000 with sole source suppliers are authorized by Law for very precise contract types and spend categories. Please contact Procurement Services prior to entering a sole source contract and/or placing an order for such amounts to see if your situation qualifies as one of the specific exceptions authorized by Law.
- The Law imposes a limit of three (3) years to the duration of a majority of contract types, however certain exceptions can be justified. Please contact Procurement Services for more details prior to entering a contract and/or placing your order.
- The Law explicitly prohibits splitting orders over $100,000 into smaller segments in order to avoid the obligation of public tendering. This is one of the most heavily scrutinized constraints imposed by the Law, and even if this is not your intent, the perception can easily be that any such splitting was done voluntarily to avoid public tendering.
- When the University has a campus wide contract negotiated, all McGill users must support the obligation of the university and purchase from the contracted supplier(s).
- The result of purchases between $25,000 and $100,000, although not subject to public tendering, must be published on the government’s electronic open bidding system by Procurement Services on a semi-annual basis.
- Similarly, the results of Public Calls for Tender may not be disclosed until a contract is duly executed by all parties, as there always exists a risk of the contract signature being compromised. Note that once executed, contracts that have been publicly tendered must be publicly announced on SEAO within fifteen (15) days of their execution.
- All for-profit, private-company suppliers who are interested in entering into a contract valued at $25,000 and over with a public organization in Quebec, must hold a Fiscal Attestation from the Minister of Revenue of Quebec confirming that the supplier’s account is in good standing with the Minister of Revenue of Quebec. For more information, please refer to the Documentation secion of the page.
Directive on Accountability
On April 1, 2013, the Minister responsible for Government Administration and Chair of the Conseil du trésor has authorized a new directive on accountability reporting in contract management at public bodies. For more information, please consult the English Version or French Version of this Directive or visit this website.
Contract Rules Compliance Monitor (“CRCM”)
Director of Procurement Services appointed as Contract Rules Compliance Monitor for McGill University
In accordance with the new Act on Integrity in Public Contracts, which requires public bodies to nominate a Contract Rules Compliance Monitor (“CRCM”), the university recently proceeded with the appointment of Mr. François Pouliot, Director of Procurement Services, to this function.
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The functions of the contract rules compliance monitor include
(1) seeing that the contract rules prescribed by this Act and the regulations, policies and directives under this Act are complied with;
(2) advising, and making recommendations or providing advisory opinions to, the chief executive officer on compliance with contract rules;
(3) seeing that measures are put in place within the public body to ensure the integrity of internal processes;
(4) seeing to the professional fitness of the personnel involved in contractual activities; and
(5) exercising any other function the chief executive officer may require to ensure that contract rules are complied with.
François was asked to incorporate the above monitoring and counseling functions to the standard procurement process of McGill University and services offering of Procurement Services
We wish him the best of luck with these additional responsibilities.
The roles and responsibilities of the CRCM as presented by the Treasury Board Secretariat are further detailed here. Note: available in french only
For further information on the Act and it's regulations, please consult the following websites:
- Act (R.S.Q., C-65.1) English
- Regulation relating to the purchase of Goods
- Regulation relating to the purchase of Services
- Regulation relating to Construction works
- Regulation relating to the purchase of IT Goods and Services
- Regulation respecting the register of enterprises ineligible for public contracts and oversight and monitoring measures