The B.C. government is introducing a new procurement strategy to streamline the way it buys goods and services, and to make it easier for businesses to access opportunities.
The 20-year-old BC Bid system will be replaced with a modernized approach that will remove barriers for small, medium and Indigenous businesses; promote innovation; increase the focus on social, environmental and economic outcomes for people and communities; and enhance procurement capacity within ministries. The strategy also improves transparency in the province’s purchasing processes.
“By simplifying the procurement process, we will provide value for taxpayers and ensure the opportunities are shared with people and communities around the province,” said Jinny Sims, Minister of Citizens’ Services.
B.C.’s new procurement strategy included input from more than 200 vendor representatives and industry groups from the technology, construction and economic sectors, as well as government ministries.
“Procuring construction services in the public sector is highly specialized,” said Chris Atchison, president, B.C. Construction Association. “At BCCA, we have been working very closely with the Ministry of Citizen’s Services and other branches of government to be a champion for fair, open and transparent processes. Modernization is a big part of that, and we sincerely applaud the efforts of Minister Sims and her team – not least because government, as a major owner of construction, has the potential to positively impact thousands of construction contracts through its approach to procurement.”
Major changes include:
- Designing clear, simple-to-use processes targeted to the size of the procurement.
- Introducing a “procurement concierge” program, to act as a matchmaker between government buyers and suppliers of innovative products.
- Ensuring B.C. suppliers are preferred, while still meeting trade obligations.
- Creating a new analysis process for large strategic contracts to improve opportunity for businesses of all sizes.
- Introducing new social and environmental purchasing guidelines to realize added benefits for British Columbians.
- Implementing a centralized tool to manage pre-qualified contractor lists.
The B.C. government spends more than $6 billion annually on goods and services.