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Procurement Policy

Procurement Policy Information

Date Approved: February 28, 2022
Effective Date: February 28, 2022
Date Reviewed: Winter 2022
Replaces: Procurement Policy 2019


The College is committed to maintaining high standards for performance based on fair, ethical, legal, environmental, and professional business practices. The College, its employees, and agents must procure goods and services in an open, fair and transparent manner, so that all transactions yield the optimal benefit to the College and comply with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements.


Approval Authority Schedule (“AAS”): College policy that establishes levels of signing authority for Budget Managers, the President and the College’s Board of Governors.

Budget Manager/Approver: College administrator who is responsible for a departmental budget and the approval of procurements within the levels set forth in the College’s AAS.

Buying Groups: a group of two or more members that combines the purchasing requirements and activities of the members of the group into one joint procurement process.

College: means Cambrian College.

Construction: a service that has as its objective the realization by whatever means, of civil or building works.

Consulting Services: the provision of expertise or strategic advice that is presented for consideration and decision-making from external entities.

Contract: a legally binding agreement between two or more persons or parties.

Contractor: the individual, corporation, or partnership contracted with the purpose of performing the services or providing goods.

Direct Procurement: a procurement method whereby the procuring entity contracts a supplier or suppliers of its choice.

Goods: movable property, which includes raw materials, products, equipment, and other physical objects of every kind and description whether in solid, liquid, gaseous, or electronic form.

Invitational Procurement: a procurement method whereby the College invites a minimum of three (3) capable suppliers to submit a quote, bid or proposal. The College contracts with the highest rated supplier.

Limited Tendering: a procurement method whereby Cambrian contracts a supplier or suppliers of its choice in lieu of a competitive procurement process.

Members of the College: includes Board of Directors, senior executives and employees.

Minor Renovations: work that changes the interior arrangements or other physical characteristics of an existing facility or installed equipment.

Open Procurement: a procurement method whereby all interested parties may submit a tender or proposal.

Procurement Exemption: a limited tendering (including sole or single source) exception or non-application provision of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (“CFTA”), Canada-European Union Comprehensive, (“CETA”), Ontario-Québec Trade and Cooperation Agreement (“OQTCA”) or other regulations applicable that would apply to a particular procurement (See Appendix D).

Procurement Exemption Form: an internal form used to document procurement exemptions.

Purchase Requisition: an internal form used to authorize Purchasing Services to purchase goods or services on behalf of the originating department and to charge the same to their budget.

Purchase Order: a formal order to a supplier to purchase goods or services and a commitment from that supplier to supply the goods and services that meet the specified requirements, at an agreed to rate or price. Purchase orders are considered contracts.

RFx: the solicitation document used in the procurement process (e.g. request for proposal, tender, quote).

Services: all services, including construction, unless otherwise specified.

Statement of Non-compliance: a form used by the College to document rationale and approvals for all procurements where procurement policy was not followed.

Supplier: a person or group of persons that provides or could provide goods or services.

Application/ Scope

The Procurement Policy (the “policy”) applies to procurements from all College funds from all sources, including the operating, capital and ancillary funds and all other funds held in trust in whole or in part. The purchase or lease of real property (land and buildings) is not covered under this policy.

Policy Statements

  1. General Procurement Rules
    1. The College must abide by all applicable laws, trade agreements and associated policies and procedures listed within this policy while conducting its procurement activities.
    2. Purchasing Services is the official contact for potential suppliers; therefore, staff are to direct to Purchasing Services all suppliers who have interest in doing business with the College.
    3. Purchasing Services determines the appropriate type of procurement and competition that best suits what is being purchased and what is required by law, regulation and/or applicable policies.
    4. All procurements must be approved prior to the procurement according to the levels of approvals as set out in the College’s Approval Authority Schedule.
      i.e., goods may not be ordered, nor services rendered until the Purchase Order has been approved and issued by Purchasing Services. Exceptions are goods that have been procured in accordance with the Corporate Card Policy.
    5. The College ensures appropriate segregation of duties for the functional procurement roles.
    6. All procurements must be for College business. Employees are prohibited from using the College’s procurement systems to obtain goods and services for personal use (refer to Travel, Meal, & Hospitality Expense Policy for exceptions).
    7. If specified in external funding agreements (e.g., research and government), goods and/or services purchased for research activities or received from grant-making agencies, follow the funding agency’s procurement policies and procedures. If not specified, the College’s Procurement Policy applies.
    8. All purchases, commitments of funds and/or expenditures are subject to audit review.
  2. Supply Chain Code of Ethics
    1. Individuals involved with purchasing or other procurement activities must comply with the Supply Chain Code of Ethics (Appendix A) and the laws of the Province of Ontario and the laws of Canada applicable therein.
    2. An individual must declare actual or potential conflicts by contacting Purchasing Services. Purchasing Services and the Vice President, Finance and Administration determines if there is an actual or potential conflict. In order to minimize the risk to the College, Purchasing Services takes the appropriate actions to remove from the process the person who has a conflict from the related procurement activity.
  3. Confidentiality
    Participants in procurement activities must:

    1. sign a conflict of interest and non-disclosure agreement before participating in procurement evaluations; and
    2. keep all information regarding the transaction confidential, unless required to disclose information through a Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) request.
  4. Procurement of Centrally Controlled Goods and Services
    Procurement of centrally controlled goods and services (listed in Appendix B) must be procured by the managing department in accordance with its associated procedure.
  5. Procurement Value
    When estimating the value of a procurement, the cost must include the initial procurement price, value of any extensions or renewals, and all applicable fees, customs, shipping, duty, installation, maintenance, warranties, etc. A division of requirements into multiple procurements to reduce the estimated value of a single procurement and avoid the application of the identified thresholds is not permitted.
  6. Methods of Procurement
    The sanctioned methods of procurement (listed in Appendix C) must be followed unless a Procurement Exemption has been identified and approved.
  7. Revenue Generating Contracts
    1. Commercial contracts for goods or services that generate revenue for the College must be obtained by Purchasing Services in a fair, open, and transparent manner with the goal of optimizing the value to the College.
    2. Where a revenue-generating contract is to be procured without competition, a Procurement Exemption Form must be completed to document the justification and approvals.
  8. Collaborative Procurements
    The College utilizes collaborative procurements where it is beneficial to do so and where the contract was established in accordance the laws, regulations, and trade agreements applicable to the College.
  9. Emergency Procurements
    Emergency purchases are appropriate when there exists a threat to public safety or welfare under emergency conditions as defined in regulations; or, where there is a risk to the College’s assets.

    1. Purchases that meet this definition are exempt from following the stated procurement methods listed in Appendix C.
    2. All emergency procurements must be approved in accordance with the AAS.
  10. Exemptions to the Required Methods of Procurement (Limited Tendering)
    1. Limited tendering may be permitted provided – the procurement meets the criteria of the procurement exemption clauses defined and listed in Appendix D and E, and the applicability of the selected procurement exception(s); or, it is justified with sufficient level of detail and approved by the appropriate levels in accordance with the College’s AAS.
    2. Procurements utilizing a procurement exemption must be coordinated through Purchasing Services.
    3. A Procurement Exemption Form must be completed and authorized prior to making a procurement commitment.
    4. All Procurements valued at $100,000 or greater must be reported publically within 72 days of contract award via the College’s current public bidding portal, and the College’s website, regardless of the method of procurement.
    5. All procurements, subject to applicable trade agreements, must be reported annually to the CFTA’s Internal Trade Secretariat.
  11. Supplier Management
    1. Prior to engaging a supplier, the originating department verifies with the Purchasing Services department that it is a qualified supplier of the College.
    2. Suppliers must be deemed independent contractors and be approved by Purchasing Services before being added to the College’s supplier list.
  12. Open Competitive Procurement Requirements
    When conducting open competitive procurements:

    1. Specifications and requirements of the procurement must:
      1. not be prepared by, or with the advice of an interested supplier;
      2. focus on what it is supposed to do, and not what it is;
      3. not impose unnecessary restrictive conditions that limit supplier participation;
      4. be based on international standards; and
      5. be geographically neutral.
    2. RFx documents must include:
      1. all pertinent information in order for a supplier to submit a responsive tender;
      2. the evaluation methodology and criteria;
      3. a statement indicating applicable trade agreements;
      4. a debriefing process; and
      5. a bid protest and dispute process.
    3. RFx process must:
      1. be pre-approved by applicable budget managers in accordance with the AAS;
      2. be open for a period of no less than 15 days for CFTA and up to 40 days for CETA;
      3. be open for a period of no less than 30 days for complex/high risk procurements;
      4. allow for a question/answer period; and
      5. allow seven (7) days for a supplier to respond after the issuance of the last addenda.
    4. Evaluations must be:
      1. conducted in a fair and transparent manner;
      2. conducted in accordance to the evaluation process documented in the RFx document; and
      3. adequately documented.
    5. Contract negotiations must:
      1. be in compliance with the College’s Contract Management Policy; and
      2. follow the process that was indicated within the RFx document.
    6. Contract awards must be:
      1. given to the highest rated supplier; and
      2. defensible.
    7. Notice of award must:
      1. be made available to the public within 72 days after award; and
      2. offer a debriefing to unsuccessful participants.
    8. Debriefings must:
      1. be conducted in accordance with applicable trade agreements;
      2. occur within 60 days after the notice of award;
      3. provide unsuccessful suppliers with a level of information required by law; and
      4. be adequately documented.
    9. Bid protests and disputes must be overseen by someone who is impartial and independent from the College.
  13. Procurement Contract Management and Payment of Invoices
    1. The Purchasing Services department collaborates with originating departments to manage all commercial-related contracts.
    2. Contracts must be approved in accordance with the College’s AAS.
    3. Contractor performance must be managed responsibly and effectively.
    4. Contractors must be held accountable for their obligations.
    5. Contractor performance issues must be addressed and processed in accordance with applicable procedures and specific dispute resolution processes contained within the contract.
    6. Originating departments engage the Purchasing Services department when disputes or service issues require escalations.
    7. Payments are made in accordance with provisions of the related contract. All invoices contain detailed information sufficient to warrant payment.
    8. With respect to the provision of services, the College must:
      1. Establish clearly defined milestones and deliverables. The contract terms should include objectives, background, scope, constraints, staff responsibilities, specific deliverables, timelines, progress reporting, approval requirements, and knowledge transfer requirements;
      2. Ensure the supplier has adequate insurances;
      3. Establish expense claim and reimbursement rules, ensuring that all expenses are claimed in accordance with these rules and in compliance with the Broader Public Sector Expenses Directive; and
      4. Ensure that expenses are claimed and reimbursed only where a contract explicitly provides for reimbursement of expenses.
  14. Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)
    1. The College incorporates accessibility criteria and features when purchasing goods, services, or facilities, in accordance with sections five (5) and six (6) of Ontario Regulation 191/11: Integrated Accessibility Standards.
    2. All staff shall consider the barriers of students and employees with disabilities and seek options to fit everyone’s needs.
    3. If it is not practicable to incorporate accessibility criteria and features when purchasing/acquiring goods, services or facilities, an explanation must be prepared as to why accessibility features were not included.
  15. Documentation and Record Retention
    1. Procurement records, regardless of whether they are in electronic or paper formats, must be retained as per the applicable sections of the College’s Records Management Policy and other legislative, legal or policy requirements.
    2. Electronic images of College records must comply with Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) standards, in particular, CAN/CGSB-72.34.
    3. Documents that are approved to be destroyed must be disposed of in a manner that safeguards the confidentiality of the information they contain.
  16. Procurement Policy Non-Compliance
    1. Non-compliance of the procurement policy requirements are dealt with on a case-by- case basis by the Manager of Purchasing Services. Actions stemming from this type of review may require mandatory training of this policy or reporting to a higher authority.
    2. Non-compliant procurements that used limited tendering require approval of a Statement of Non-compliance in order to proceed with payment and for audit purposes.