Policy 36 - Supply of Goods and Services

Approved Board of Governors 2011.36



Policy 36 regulates the procurement of goods and services for the University of Ottawa, including specifying the responsibilities of its members throughout each stage of the procurement process. As such, it is in compliance with the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act (Bill 122, 2010), the Broader Public Sector (BPS) Directives, and principles approved by the University. The terms, guidelines and restrictions contained in the policy serve to ensure the efficient, economical, legal and ethical procurement of goods and services.

Policy 36 establishes a supply chain management framework in concert with Procedure 4-3


2.1  A good is a tangible product.

2.2 A service is work to be performed, including the provision of expert strategic advice. Services are categorized by type: consulting and non-consulting.

2.3 Members of the University means trustees, members of the Administrative Committee, University employees, or third parties representing the University.

2.4 Supply chain activities means all activities directly or indirectly related to the University of Ottawa’s procurement process, including, but not limited to, planning, sourcing, procurement, contracting, transport and payment processes.

2.5 Code of Ethics means a set of principles of conduct within an organization that guide decision-making and behavior. University of Ottawa personnel adhere to the University of Ottawa Procurement Code of Ethics (refer to Procedure 4-3, Appendix A). Procurement Services personnel adhere to the Purchasing Management Association of Canada’s Code of Ethics for Business.

Refer to article 28 for a complete glossary.


3.1 Accountability − The University is accountable for regulating procurement activities in reference to Canadian and provincial laws and directives, and the guidelines of funding agencies. The University is accountable for the results of procurement decisions.

3.2 Transparency − The University is transparent to all stakeholders. Stakeholders will have equal access to information on procurement opportunities, processes and results. The University will not discriminate or exercise preferential treatment in awarding a contract as a result of a competitive procurement process. 

3.3 Value-for-money approach − The University maximizes the value received from public funds. A value-for-money approach aims to deliver goods and services at optimal lifecycle costs and benefits and includes value-added incentives.

3.4 Quality service delivery – Procurement Services is committed to delivering high-quality service to all stakeholders throughout the procurement process. This includes, but is not limited to, setting quality service standards, timely and transparent communications, personnel training, and support.

3.5 Process standardization – Procurement Services is dedicated to standardizing and updating supply chain processes and promoting best practices among personnel involved in the procurement process.

3.6 Foster healthy competition – When the value of a transaction warrants procurement is handled through processes with pre-qualified suppliers. The conditions governing transaction values are listed in article 11.1.


4.1 Mission

Procurement Services is committed to delivering best procurement practices in order to ensure that faculties and departments remain leaders in teaching and research. Procurement Services is dedicated to providing timely, cost-effective, ethical, and sustainable supply chain management to the greater University community. Procurement Services strives to:

Protect − Safeguard the University’s reputation in the use of public funds by cultivating high-standard, low-risk, ethical, and environmentally responsible procurement practices.

Maximize value for money − Deliver high-performance procurement capability that maximizes value for money for whole life cycle costs.

Cultivate best practices – Develop, communicate and support process standards for all supply chain activities by providing up-to-date policies, procedures, training, and support services to members of the University who have a delegated authority to conduct procurement.

Foster supplier relationships − Promote an openly competitive, transparent and collaborative environment that benefits both the University and its suppliers. The University offers all qualified suppliers equal access to compete for its business opportunities and measures performance as part of the supplier management relationship.

4.2 Procurement Services is responsible for the development of the University's procurement activities. This includes, but is not limited to, identifying opportunities and trends, managing risk, designing mutually beneficial supply chain models, and evaluating procedural effectiveness.

4.3 Procurement Services, as supported by Legal Services, is responsible for interpreting and applying the terms of the Policy and shall take into consideration:
i. any applicable law
ii. the applicable requirements of the BPS Directive
iii. the procedures and guidelines issued by the University with respect to procurement practices
iv. additional guidelines, directives or policies issued by BPS respecting procurement practice by other included entities (where applicable)
v. the guidelines and policies issued by government research agencies
vi. best practices for supply chain management as defined by the Purchasing Management Association of Canada.

4.4 Procurement Services’ mandate revolves around the application of municipal, provincial and federal laws. It is also subject to various trade agreements, including, but not limited to, the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT), the Ontario–Quebec Trade and Cooperation Agreement (Ontario–Quebec Agreement), and organizations’ guidelines.


Key Roles and Responsibilities

5.1 Faculty or service – Identifies the need for goods and services and provides the rationale to obtain approval to initiate the procurement process.

5.2 Procurement Services − Procurement Services is responsible for administrating all supply chain activities for the procurement of goods and services for the University. It is the only administrative service responsible for engaging the University of Ottawa into a commercial contract for goods and services and for issuing purchase orders (with the exception of goods and services that fall under capital-funded construction projects). It is responsible for ensuring that the procurement process fully complies with provincial law and directives, Policy 36 and related policies, methods and procedures. Procurement services is also responsible for the training of University personnel involved in procurement activities and for ensuring that the procurement process is adequately documented prior to awarding a contract and/or issuance of a purchase order.

5.3 Other administrative resources – While the roles of the faculty or service and Procurement Services are distinct, they work in concert throughout the procurement process. When procurement is identified as “complex”, other administrative resources, including Financial Services, Legal Services, Risk Management, et al., may be included.

Centralized Procurement Roles and Responsibilities

5.4 The Director of Procurement Services, in the capacity of Chief Procurement Officer (CPO), is responsible for authorizing the procurement of goods and services for all administrative services, faculties and research projects. In addition, transactions are approved according to their value as per the Authority’s Approval Schedule (AAS, refer to article 9). Only the Director can delegate authorization to procure goods and services for the University to personnel who have the necessary skills and training. The Director is also responsible for the dispute resolution process.

5.5 Assistant Directors and Procurement Officers have delegation of authority to conduct supply chain activities, authorize procurements and approve transactions according to the procurement value, as set in the AAS (refer to article 9). They design supply chain models and negotiate major contracts. They are on the front line of the dispute resolution process.

5.6 Contract managers are responsible for delivering support to decentralized Contracts Officers and for ensuring that service contracts are processed appropriately. This includes, but is not limited to, reviewing the commercial quality of contract documentation and that the proper number of pricing support documentation has been submitted (see 7.10, Contracts Officers).

Decentralized Procurement Roles and Responsibilities

5.7 Chief administrative officers (CAOs) and directors of services are employees from faculties or services authorized to conduct sourcing activities, approve requests for invitational and/or open competitive procurement processes, and approve payments that do not require purchase orders and/or contracts. CAOs and directors are responsible for managing personnel authorized to use purchasing cards, including updating their respective list of employees with signing authority and determining the maximum amount allowed. Managers must ensure that sourcing and procurement are carried out effectively and that employees assigned to these tasks receive proper training in procurement supply-chain procedures and in the application of Policy 36.

5.8 Regional procurement officers are employees from faculties or services who have receive the required training to conduct supply-chain activities up to $50,000. A regional procurement officer is jointly appointed by his or her respective manager and by the director of Procurement Services. The delegation of authority to conduct supply-chain activities is granted once the employee successfully meets the training requirements.

5.9 Decentralized buyers are employees from faculties or services with delegation of authority to acquire goods and services through the University’s negotiated contracts or from other sources using the purchasing card (some exceptions apply). A decentralized buyer is only allowed to use a purchasing card for acquisitions that meet the authorized values per transaction, as determined by the director of Procurement Services. A decentralized buyer must receive proper training from Procurement Services before using a purchasing card.

5.10 Contract officers are employees from faculties or services who have the responsibility of preparing and applying service contracts. Contract officers are assigned by the manager of their respective administrative units and must have received proper training to write and apply service contracts.


6.1 The University has a hybrid procurement system consisting of:
• a centralized procurement system
• a decentralized procurement system. Centralized procurement system

6.2 Centralized procurement includes all goods and services valued at more than $5,000 CDN per transaction (excluding harmonized sales taxes). Some goods and services remain centralized regardless of their value (see Method 4.3, Appendices B and C).  

6.3 For centralized procurement and for all restricted purchases, an electronic requisition is submitted to Procurement Services so that a purchase order can be issued.

6.4 Centralized procurement must be made with a purchase order issued by Procurement Services, regardless of how it is funded. Centralized purchases are encumbered, and reconciliation is carried out according to the administrative procedures established by Financial Services (see http://www.financialresources.uottawa.ca/employee/admin-procedures-en.php).

Decentralized procurement system

6.5 With the exception of procurements made by regional procurement officers, decentralized procurement includes goods and services valued at less than $5,000 CDN per transaction (not including harmonized sales tax) and excludes goods and services prohibited by this policy (refer to Procedure 4-3, Appendices B and C).

6.6 Decentralized procurement is carried out by regional procurement officers, decentralized buyers, contract officers and purchasing-card holders who have received delegated authority from the Director of Procurement Services.

6.7 Purchasing cards are used for decentralized procurement wherever purchasing cards are accepted.

6.8 Decentralized buyers must verify if a contract has been negotiated by Procurement Services before making a purchase and must use a negotiated contract whenever possible. Negotiated contracts are listed on the Procurement Services website. If a negotiated contract does not exist, the regional procurement officer, the decentralized buyer or the Contract officer must obtain pricing and other related information from the vendors.

6.9 In compliance with the administrative procedures established by Financial Resources (which necessitates two distinct approval authorities) and applicable University policies (including Policy 64 on the validation of requisitions), decentralized buyers, regional procurement officers, contracts officers and purchase-card holders are responsible for:
• ordering goods and services
• receiving goods and services
• verifying invoices and payments (Verification of Invoices and Reimbursements, Financial Resources, November 2010, http://www.financialresources.uottawa.ca/employee/admin-procedures-en.php)
• evaluating the operational performance of suppliers.

6.10 The director of Procurement Services has the authority to recommend changes to decentralized threshold levels.

6.11 It is expressly forbidden to split up orders over $5,000.  


7.1 The following number of supporting documents (quotations) must be submitted from vendors according to the following thresholds: 






When negotiated contract exists



Decentralized process

1 (recommended)

$5,000 - 10,000

Invitational competitive process


$10,001 - 50,000

Invitational competitive process


$50,001 - 100,000

Invitational competitive process


$100,001 +

Open competitive process

N/A (RFx)




3 (solicited)*

* All consulting contracts require proof that three (3) suppliers were solicited for quotations. In the case of a sole supplier, refer to article 8.10.

Open competitive process

7.2 More than $100,000 − In compliance with Canada’s Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT), an open competitive procurement process is mandatory and must be posted on an electronic tendering system. The University must offer a minimum response window of fifteen (15) calendar days.

7.3 Several conditions may render the regular process impractical (see Procedure 4-3,, Appendix E, Acceptable Exceptions to Regular Process). The decentralized buyer or the user must complete a Request for Dispensation Form with a justification and submit it to Procurement Services. The director of Procurement Services must approve urgent transactions greater than $5,000 and less than $100,000 in advance.

7.4 If the required number of suppliers for a category (Schedule 7.1.) cannot be invited, a written justification must be kept in the documentation.

7.5 Only Procurement Services personnel and regional procurement officers are authorized to:
• issue a public competitive call for bids
• negotiate an agreement with a supplier to provide goods and/or services on an on-going basis  

7.6 Competitive procurement evaluation process

All competitive procurement processes include evaluation criteria that are developed, reviewed and approved by appropriate procurement authority before the competitive process begins (refer to Procedure 4-3,, Appendix F, Roles and Responsibilities of Selection Committee Member).


Procurement of goods

8.1 The procurement of goods is conducted by collecting product pricing and taking into account the value of the purchase, processing it accordingly (refer to article 7.1 for the number of written quotations required, and article 9, Authority’s Approval Schedule, for details on the processes required and the instruments used).

Procurement of services

8.2 In accordance with the Government of Ontario’s directive, the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act (Bill 122, December 2010), the procurement of services is initiated by contract officers using contract templates.

8.3 The processing of service contracts differs depending on whether the contract is of the consulting or non-consulting type.

8.4 A consulting services provider means a person or an entity that, under an agreement other than an employment agreement with the University (as defined by the Canada Revenue Agency), provides expert or strategic advice for consideration and decision-making (refer to the list in Procedure 4-3, Appendix D).

8.5 A non-consulting service provider is an individual or a company contracting to provide services other than consulting services (expert or strategic advice for decision-making) to another individual or business. Non-consulting services contracts (whether awarded to individuals or entities) are goods and services agreements and therefore subject to the this policy (refer to the list in Procedure 4-3, Appendix D).

8.6 Regardless of whether a contract is for consulting on non-consulting services, the agreement must be drafted by the authorized contract officer only.

8.7 Contracts and support documentation (e.g. quotations) must be attached to the request for a purchase order (WebReq) and submitted to Procurement Services.

8.8 It is strictly forbidden to contract and use operating budgets and/or research funds to hire registered lobbyists.

Procurement of consulting services

8.9 Regardless of the value of a consulting services agreement, a minimum of three (3) suppliers must be invited to submit quotations to ensure the agreement is at fair market value.

8.10 If only one supplier is solicited, the following signatures are required: 



$0 - $1,000,000



Board of Governors

8.11 To contract consulting services from a sole supplier, the supplier in question must have a professional designation as described in the exceptions of the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) (refer to Procedure 4-3, Appendix G, Exceptions of the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT)).

Procurement of non-consulting services

8.12 Contracts for the procurement of non-consulting services require the same signatures, number of quotations and processes as those for the procurement of goods (refer to article 7.1 for the number of written quotations required, and article 9, Authority’s Approval Schedule, for details on the processes required and the instruments used).

8.13 Non-consulting services under $5,000 do not require a written contract. However, it is recommended that the details of the agreement be kept in writing.


9.1 The following table describes the roles, their thresholds, the corresponding procurement instrument to be used and the 'one-up' approval required for non-competitive transactions. 




One-level-up approval for

non-competitive procurement

of goods or non-consulting


Authorized invitational and open

competive procurement processees

for goods and non-consulting services and non-competitive procurement

Authorized value

Decentalized procurement

End user


Petty cash or purchasing card

$0 - $300

Decentralized buyer


Purchasing card

$0 - $5,000

Contract officer

Contract manager

Service contract

$0 - $5,000

Regional procurement


Procurement Services

Purchasing card

$0 - $5,000

Purchase order

$5,000 - $50,000

Centralized procurement

Contract manager

(services only)

Director of Procurement


RFP, RFT, RFSQ, RFQ, RFEI, RFI,       service contract


Purchase order




Assistant director of

Procurement Services

RFP, RFT, RFSQ, RFQ, RFEI, RFI,       service contract


Purchase order


Assistant director of Procurement Services

Director of Procurement


RFP, RFT, RFSQ, RFQ, RFEI, RFI,       service contract


Purchase order


Director of Procurement


Vice-president Resources



Purchase order


Vice-president Resources


Purchase order




(Non-competitive) consulting services

$0 - ≤ $1,000,000

Board of Governors


(Non-competitive) consulting services



10.1 The purpose of this policy is to set forth uniform provisions and procedures when the University enter into procurement-related contracts with external entities to generate revenues.

10.2 All revenue-generating contracts related to goods and services fall under Policy 36 and require approval under the Authority’s Approval Schedule. Revenue-generating contracts must be registered with the procurement central registry (refer to Procedure 4-3, Appendix I, Management of Revenue-Generating Contracts).

10.3 Procurement Services is responsible for collecting and distributing revenues from revenue-generating contracts under the instruction of the University of Ottawa’s senior management.


11.1 The University operates according to three distinct funds, and Procurement Services manages these funds according to their respective differences:
• operating funds
• research funds
• capital funds.

11.2 Funding sources include various levels of government, councils, associations, foundations, corporations and individuals. The University must, therefore, effectively manage these funds and be prepared to undergo all of the audits required by funding agencies.

11.3 Funds awarded to the University’s research projects or to researchers by funding agencies become institutional funds. As such, they must be managed according to the policies and guidelines of both the funding agency and the University of Ottawa.


Conflicts of interest, whether real or perceived, must be avoided during the procurement process and the ensuing agreement. Such conflicts of interest must be managed in accordance with applicable laws, with the provisions of this policy and with other relevant University policies (see Appendix H, Conflict of Interest Form).


13.1 The University's general conditions are contained in the document titled Business Relationship Agreement, which every supplier must adhere to.

13.2 Procurement processes, purchase orders and contracts must be carried out according to the general conditions set out by Procurement Services.


14.1 Collaborative purchasing allows Procurement Services to reduce the cost of procurement. Whenever possible, Procurement Services must promote and develop requests for tenders and co-operative contracts with Ontario and Canadian universities and with publicly funded organizations in the National Capital Region, Ontario and other Canadian provinces.

14.2 All University personnel must honour the commitments and comply with the contracts negotiated by the University, including co-operative contracts.


15.1 Objective The University of Ottawa is committed to managing its operations responsibly, in a way that protects and sustains the natural environment. The University’s procurement policies and procedures work in accordance with Policy 72, Environmental Management.

15.2 Guideline Environmental or green procurement is defined as the procurement of goods and services that minimize impact on the environment and human health compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose.

15.3 Environmental considerations for the procurement of goods include:
• energy-efficient and greenhouse-friendly products
• products that are water efficient and reduce water use
• less-toxic products
• products using less packaging or with a provision for packaging take-back
• products that use fewer resources or in other ways reduce environmental impacts throughout their life cycle
• products made from recycled organics and recycled plastic products
• IT hardware that incorporates environmental considerations (ENERGY STAR, non-hazardous materials, eco labels etc.).

15.4 Evaluation of environmental characteristics Environmental evaluation criteria should be:
• related to the subject matter of the goods or service contract
• specific and objectively quantifiable
• weighted in relation to other award criteria
• clearly defined in the procurement documents to ensure transparency.


The University of Ottawa is committed to conducting its business affairs in a socially responsible and ethical manner consistent with its educational, research and service mission, as well as its own employment policies. Policy 98, Ethical Purchasing, defines the principles and responsibilities for conducting business affairs at the University. Policy 98 may be found at http://web5.uottawa.ca/admingov/policy.html?id=98.  


The University of Ottawa is committed to recognizing the dignity and independence of all employees, students, faculty and visitors, and it seeks to ensure that persons with disabilities have genuine, open and unhindered access to University goods, services, facilities, accommodations and employment. The University complies with all applicable federal, provincial and municipal legislation on accessibility and with the standards specified under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA, 2005). Procurement must comply with these laws and ensure that all conditions are met.


18.1. With the help of monitoring tools, Procurement Services analyzes transactions that are considered contrary to University policies and regulations. Procurement Services also informs managers and helps them rectify these situations. The director of Procurement Services may refuse the reimbursement of a transgression.

18.2. Exceptionally, the procurement of goods or services in an urgent or unforeseen situation by University employees may be authorized by the director and therefore not be considered a transgression.

18.3. Transgressions - Authorization and value Transgressions must be approved for payment according to the following thresholds: 

Authority’s Approval Schedule

Value of the transgression

Director of Procurement Services


Vice-president, resources

$10,001 - $50,000

Administrative Committee

$50,001 - $500,000

Executive Committee of the Board of Governors



Procuring goods and services from funds that are not administered by the University is prohibited.


In the event of an emergency (where risk to life, health, assets or reputation exists), the director of Procurement Services has the authority to procure goods and services up to a limit of $100,000 based on his or her own autonomy. The vice-president, resources, must perform an after-the-fact review at the earliest possible time.


Procurement Services is responsible for keeping an inventory and disposing of University assets (Policy 65)


Accountability − The obligation of an employee, agent or other person to answer for or be accountable for work, an action or a failure to act following delegated authority.

Agreement The formal written document that is entered into at the end of the procurement process.

Approval authority − The authority delegated by the organization to a person designated to hold a position to approve on its behalf one or more procurement functions in the plan-to-pay cycle, up to specified dollar limits. The approval authority is subject to the applicable legislation, regulations and procedures in effect at the time.

Award − The notification given to a proponent that a proposal, quotation or tender has been accepted and thus brings a contract into existence.

Bid – A proposal, quotation or tender submitted in response to a solicitation from a contracting authority. A bid covers the response to any of the three principle methods of soliciting bids: request for proposal, request for tender and request for quotation.

Bid protest – A challenge against the methods employed or decisions made by a contracting authority in the administration of a proposal, tender or quotation process.

Procurement request − A written request to Procurement Services from a requesting faculty or service to engage a procurement process. The requirements must provide the following details: the scope of the goods or service required; the timeframe of the project; the budget assigned; and the name of the project manager or stakeholders.

Code of ethics – A set of principles of conduct within an organization that guides decision-making and behavior. Procurement Services employees adhere to the Purchasing Management Association of Canada’s Code of Ethics for Business. University of Ottawa staff adhere to the University of Ottawa Procurement Code of Ethics (refer to Procedure 4-3, Appendix D, Procurement Code of Ethics).

Competitive procurement − A set of procedures for developing a procurement contract through a bidding or proposal process. The intent is to solicit fair, impartial and competitive bids.

Conflict of interest – A situation in which financial or other personal considerations might compromise or bias professional judgment and objectivity. An apparent conflict of interest is one in which a reasonable person would think that the professional’s judgment is likely to be compromised.

Construction – The construction, reconstruction, demolition, repair or renovation of a building, structure or other civil engineering or architectural work. It includes site preparation, excavation, drilling, seismic investigation, the supply of products and materials, the supply of equipment and machinery (if they are included in and incidental to the construction), and the installation and repair of fixtures. It does not include professional consulting services related to the construction contract unless they are included in the procurement.

Consultant (Advisor) – A person or entity that, under an agreement other than an employment agreement, provides expert or strategic advice for strategic consideration and decision making. Non-consultants are referred to as service providers.

Contract - An obligation between competent parties, upon a legal consideration, to do or to abstain from doing some act. For a contract to be duly created, the parties must intend that their agreement will have legal consequences and be legally enforceable. The essential elements of a contract are an offer and an acceptance of that offer; the capacity of the parties to contract; consideration to support the contract; a mutual identity of consent or consensus ad idem; legality of purpose; and sufficient certainty of terms.

Designated broader public-sector organization - An organization to which section 12 of the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act, 2010, applies.

Electronic tendering system - A computer-based system that provides suppliers with access to information related to open competitive procurements (MERX).

Evaluation criteria - A benchmark, standard or yardstick against which the accomplishments, conformance, performance and suitability of an individual, alternative, activity, product or plan are measured to select the best supplier through a competitive process. Criteria may be qualitative or quantitative.

Evaluation matrix - A tool allowing the evaluation team to rate supplier proposals based on multiple pre-defined evaluation criteria.

Evaluation team or selection committee - A group of designated individuals responsible for making award recommendations. The evaluation team typically includes representatives from the organization and subject-matter experts. Each member participates to provide business, legal, technical and financial input.

Goods – A tangible product (excludes goods for capital-funded construction projects).

Organizations − All organizations listed in Definition 2 of the New Broader Public Sector Directives.

President – The president and the vice-chancellor of the University of Ottawa.

Information technology – The equipment, software, services and processes used to create, store, process, communicate and manage information.

Invitational competitive procurement − A form of procurement where a number of qualified suppliers are asked to submit a written proposal in response to the defined requirements outlined by an individual or organization.

Non-consulting service provider – An individual or company contracting to provide services other than consulting services (expert or strategic advice for decision-making) to another individual or business. Non-consulting services contracts (whether awarded to individuals or entities) are goods and services agreements and therefore subject to this policy.

Non-discrimination − Fairness in treating suppliers and awarding contracts without prejudice, discrimination or preferred treatment.

Offer − A promise or a proposal made by one party to another, intending the same to create a legal relationship when the other party accepts the offer.

Procurement − Acquisition of goods or services by any means, including purchase, rental, lease or conditional sale.

Purchasing card (Pcard) – A corporate credit card that allows faculties and services to acquire business-related goods or services under the decentralized procurement process. Pcards are used whenever a supplier accepts credit cards. It is also an easy-to-use purchase or payment method that streamlines the procure-to-pay process, increases efficiency and reduces processing costs. Pcards have both monthly and single-transaction spending limits and can be adjusted to restrict their use to specific purchases with pre-defined suppliers (see Policy 75, Purchasing Cards, http://web5.uottawa.ca/admingov/policy_75.html).

Procurement policies and procedures (PPP) − A framework and set of mandatory requirements governing how organizations conduct sourcing, contracting and supply-chain activities.

Procurement value − The estimated total financial commitment resulting from procurement, taking into account optional extensions.

Purchase order (PO) − A written offer made by a purchaser to a supplier, formally stating the terms and conditions of a proposed transaction.

Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) – A document used to gather information on suppliers’ interest in an opportunity or information on suppliers’ capabilities and qualifications. This mechanism may be used when a broader public-sector organization wants to gain a better understanding of the supplier’s capacity to provide the services or solutions needed. A response to an RFEI must not pre-qualify potential suppliers and must not influence their chances of being the successful proponent on future opportunities.

Request for Information (RFI) – A document issued to potential suppliers to gather general supplier, service or product information. It is a procurement procedure whereby suppliers receive a general or preliminary description of a need and are asked to provide information or advice about how to address it. A response to an RFI must not pre-qualify potential suppliers and must not influence their chances of being the successful proponent on future opportunities.

Request for Proposal (RFP) – A document used to ask suppliers to propose solutions for the delivery of complex products or services or to provide alternative options or solutions. This process uses pre-defined evaluation criteria in which price are not the only factor.

Request for Quotation (RFQ) – A document used for a purchase value of less than $100,000 for which suppliers are invited to submit a price in a competitive environment where the terms and specifications are clearly identified. This process is efficient for market pricing studies. If no evaluation criteria have been established, the best pricing prevails. The procurement officer may negotiate with the supplier.

Request for Supplier Qualifications (RFSQ) − A document used to gather information on supplier capabilities and qualifications and, thus, to create a list of pre-qualified suppliers. This mechanism may be used either to identify qualified candidates before expected future competitions or to narrow the field for an immediate need. Organizations must ensure that the terms and conditions built into the RFSQ contain specific language that disclaims any obligation on the part of the organization to call on any supplier to provide goods or services as a result of the pre-qualification.

Requisition – A formal request to obtain goods or services made within an organization, generally from the end-user to the procurement department.

Segregation of duties – A method of process control to manage conflict of interest, the appearance of conflict of interest, errors or fraud. It restricts the amount of power held by any one individual and puts a barrier in place to prevent errors or fraud that may be perpetrated by one individual.

Service − An intangible product, including non-consulting and consulting services (excludes services for capital-funded construction projects).

Service provider – A non-consulting service provider, i.e., one that does not provide expert or strategic advice and related services for strategic consideration and decision-making provides a service, task, work and deliverable as contracted.

Single-source supplier – Award for the supply of a good or service that can be purchased from only one supplier because of its specialized or unique characteristics or because of exceptional circumstances.

Sourcing activities − Informal process through which a manager or an equivalent person from a faculty or service may request quotations or offers on behalf of the University for the provision of goods or services for the purpose of market analysis, a business case request, procurement requirements or other purposes. Non-consulting services contractual agreements resulting from sourcing activities must be approved and registered by Procurement Services before they are applied.

Supplier/Vendor − Any person or organization that, based on an assessment of that person’s or organization’s financial, technical and commercial capacity, can fulfill the requirements of procurement.

Supply-chain activities − All activities whether directly or indirectly related to organizational planning, sourcing, procurement, transport, and pay processes.

Supplier debriefing – The practice of informing suppliers why their bid was not selected upon completion of the contract-award process.

Trade agreements − Any applicable trade agreement to which Ontario is a signatory.

Vendor of record − A supplier who has met the supplier-qualification process.


No exception to this policy can be made without the written approval of the Administrative Committee.


Policy 65  – Use or Disposal of Surplus or Unused Furniture and Equipment
Policy 75 – Purchasing Cards
Policy 98 – Ethical Procurement

Revised: December 19, 2011

(Procurement Services)

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