Procedure 4-3 - Procurement Standards and Procedures

Date effective: 2011-11-23

Authorized by: Vice-President, Resources



1.     The standards and procedures stated in this document relate to:

Policy 36: Supply of Goods and Services

Policy 38: Furnishing Standards

Policy 43: Purchase of furnishings and equipment for capital projects


2.     The purpose of this document is to establish the procedures and practices pertaining to procurement. It focuses on the planning and execution of this function’s activities and therefore applies to all centralized and decentralized purchases of operational and research budgets.




3.     For the purposes of this procedure, the terms and expressions below are defined as :

  • Centralized purchase: purchase of goods or services valued at over CDN$5,000 before taxes. It may also refer to a restricted purchase or involve items excluded from decentralized purchases (see Policy 36, Section K of the Purchasing Manual or Policy 37).
  • Consultant: Subject-matter-expert providing advice based on his/her expertise on strategic matters. Non-consulting see 'Service providers'
  • Decentralized purchase: purchase of goods or services valued at under CDN$5,000 before taxes. The purchase is made by a person duly authorized by Procurement Services (PS).
  • Restricted purchase: purchase of a so-called “restricted” good, i.e. dangerous, controlled or standardized (see Policy 37, Policy 54 on risk management and the Office of Risk Management site This type of purchase is made by a specific administrative unit or requires special authorization from the Office of Risk Management (see Policy 37, which will be amended shortly).
  • Decentralized buyer: persons appointed by the authorities of their respective sector for delegation of decentralized purchasing responsibilities from Procurement Services. Purchases under CDN$5,000 (before taxes) are made using a purchasing card, while purchases over $5,000 and purchases of restricted products require preparation of a requisition using the FAST WebRequisition program.
  • Regional buyer: persons who have been jointly appointed by the authorities of their faculty/service and Procurement Services to purchase goods and services up to a total value limit of CDN$50,000. Regional buyers make purchases with a purchasing card or by entering requisitions in FAST WebRequisition for purchases valued at over $5,000 and restricted products. This buyer must have received prior training from Procurement Services.
  • Contracts officers: persons appointed to prepare, negotiate and sign contracts (between CDN$5,000 and $100,000) for delivery of services: professional fees, service providers or consulting.
  • Approving officers: persons authorized by the Dean or Director of their faculty/service who manage budgets and approve expenses for their sector using FAST WebReq, FAST Pcard or Banner, depending on the type of purchase. Approving officers appointed by the University are responsible for approving purchases as part of their duties and on behalf of the organization up to a fixed maximum total amount in compliance with the legislation in force at the time of the purchase.
  • Procurement officers: officers in charge of procurement belonging to the Procurement Services unit. Procurement officers are responsible for centralized purchases over CDN$5,000, verifying contracts and issuing purchase orders. Procurement officers from Procurement Services are divided among two sectors, Operations and Research.
  • Service providers: person or entity whom executes a task, a mandate, or produces a deliverable for the University.  In the case of consulting delivery see 'Consultant'
  • Purchase order: document (paper or electronic) that describes the good or service required, its price and terms of purchase and that commits the University and the University’s funds. The purchase order is a document that contractually binds the University and the supplier. The purchase order has force of law and any violation of the resulting obligations may have legal consequences.
  • Purchasing card: method of purchase and invoice payment used for decentralized purchases. Purchasing card limits may vary based on the needs profile. Procurement Services and Financial Services are jointly responsible for issuing purchasing cards (see Policy 75 for full details).
  • Travel card: method of payment suitable for paying for travel expenses. Procurement Services and Financial Services are jointly responsible for issuing purchasing cards (see Policy 21 for full details).
  • Certificate of acceptance: certificate provided with a scientific instrument purchased and delivered to the researcher (or delegate) when a company installs the instrument and checks that it is working properly. The researcher or delegate signs the certificate signifying that the instrument is accepted as installed and tested. The certificate therefore attests to the transfer of instrument ownership to the University of Ottawa.
  • Service providers, consulting and professional fee contract: service contract established based on the factors that determine the employment or service relationship as defined by Canada Revenue Agency. Payment of this contract is made based on a professional fee status.
  • Quotation: document provided by a supplier and indicating the market price for a good or service for a specific period. A quotation is not the same as an invoice. It is strictly prohibited to pay for a purchase from a quotation.
  • Derogation request: request drafted in anticipation of a derogatory transaction. This explains the reasons for the failure to follow the usual procedures.
  • Purchasing card holder: persons appointed to make purchases of goods and services valued under CDN$5,000. Such purchases must be made with the purchasing card on an electronic purchasing site or through any other commercial transaction.
  • Director: director of Procurement Services or the director’s representative.
  • Assistant director (research): the manager of the Research sector of Procurement Services, responsible for purchases made using the University of Ottawa’s research budgets.
  • Assistant director (Operations): the manager of the Operations sector of Procurement Services, responsible for purchases made using the University of Ottawa’s operating budgets.
  • Invoice: accounting document submitted by a supplier for provision of a good or service. The invoice contains the name and address of the user, purchase date, description of the good or service, price, terms of payment and taxes.
  • Manager: dean, director or any other person who has been given authority by these persons.
  • Justification: document drafted by the user in a situation where there is a single supplier or when the offer (cost of good/service) of the selected supplier is higher than the other offers submitted.
  • Control measures: verification measures implemented to assess whether the supply chain steps are carried out in compliance with established standards and procedures.
  • Payer: persons appointed by the authorities of their sector who processes the payment of an invoice using the purchasing card or who enter the invoice information into Banner in compliance with the University’s policies and procedures.
  • Requestor: any person designated by the manager of a faculty or service to enter the requisitions for the operations and/or research budgets into the financial system. The requestor must first obtain a FAST WebReq account in order to make electronic purchase requisitions. However, remember that the requestor cannot generate purchase orders; this responsibility falls exclusively to the procurement officers.

Note: the requestor, approval officer, decentralized buyer and manager must use only the buying entities for which they have obtained access.

  • Requisition: internal document that describes the item to be purchased, as well as its price and terms of purchase. The document is drafted and signed by the user and by the holder of a research project or delegate.
  • Electronic requisition: electronic requisition entered in FAST WebReq and required to generate a purchase order. The requisition assigns the University’s funds. The requisition is not a contract and does not have legal force. There is no limit on the amount for entering a requisition into the financial system.
  • Operations sector: sector responsible for goods and services purchases made using the University of Ottawa’s operating budgets.
  • Research sector: sector responsible for goods and services purchases made using the University of Ottawa’s research budgets.
  • CFI Sharepoint system: system for sharing information and files related to research projects subsidized by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI).
  • Transaction: any agreement that contractually binds the University of Ottawa for a good and/or service. 
  • Transgression: act of performing a transaction that contravenes established procedures without a derogation request.
  • User: a support staff member, professor, researcher or delegate who requests a designated good or service eligible for use at the University of Ottawa.


4.     The University manages public funds and therefore must maintain business relationships with suppliers known both for their abilities to fulfill their contractual obligations as well as their performance, creditworthiness and reputation.

5.     Procurement Services is responsible for the supply chain and is the official spokesperson of the University in any commercial transaction.

6.     Procurement Services is responsible for initiating the purchasing process and managing the call for tenders processes, applying best practices. It ensures that the supply chain complies with provincial legislation and policies.

7.     Procurement Services is also the primary negotiator for goods and services contracts, as well as being the sole authority responsible for issuing purchase orders over $5,000.

8.     Procurement Services is responsible for acting as a consultant to conduct market analyses and research new suppliers. It conducts research on products and their market value.

9.     Procurement Services is responsible for the transactional and contractual aspects of agreements, such as bid and performance bonds, insurances, etc.

10.   Procurement Services strives for progress, promotion of best practices and ethical conduct in procurement with managers, regional buyers, buyers and researchers.

11.   Procurement Services is also responsible for training University staff in procurement and ensuring best practices through control measures.

12.   Finally, Procurement Services is responsible for managing relationships with suppliers.


13.   Buyers and procurement officers take the environment into consideration in the framework of all purchases made for the University, in compliance with the policies and principles* put forward by the institution. The Procurement Services team raises the awareness of faculty and service requestors about this University commitment, so that they apply the environmental philosophy in their transactions.


14.    By restricted product, we mean:

  • Dangerous products, such as rifles;
  • Controlled or regulated products, such as viruses, uranium, etc.;
  • Standardized products, such as audio-visual and computer equipment, furniture, etc. 

15.   The staff of every faculty and/or laboratory keeps a list of dangerous products received, used or in their possession. Purchases of dangerous products are always made with the authorization of the manager of Radiation and Biosafety. For more information on this matter, contact a member of Procurement Services or the Office of Risk Management, Environmental Management and Occupational Health and Safety at 613-562-5892.

*See Policy 72: “Environmental Policy”, and Policy 91 “Environmental Management” for more information.




16.  The University has two purchasing systems:

  • A decentralized purchasing system: purchases of goods or services that do not exceed CDN$5,000 (before taxes). Decentralized purchasing is made by a person authorized by Procurement Services. Decentralized purchasing is made using the purchasing card and in compliance with the contracts negotiated by Procurement Services. It is strictly prohibited to divide a purchase valued over $5,000 into smaller purchases.
  • A centralized purchasing system: purchases of goods or services that require a purchase order and are valued over $5,000. It may also involve a restricted purchase (see Policy 37) or items excluded from decentralized purchasing (see Appendix B). Centralized purchases are made in compliance with the contracts negotiated by Procurement Services. Purchases are made in two (2) sectors, Operations and Research. The attached diagram gives an overview of procurement at the University. 


Operating funds                                  Research funds (CFI and other)

Types of purchases at the University of Ottawa



17.   Before establishing a business relationship with the University, every supplier completes a Supplier Data Record that is analysed by Procurement Services. Every supplier with whom the University concludes an agreement must adhere to the Business Relation Agreement with the University of Ottawa. 

18.   Procurement Services establishes and manages a Directory of Suppliers drawn from the Supplier Data Records and any other information deemed relevant. The Supplier Data Record is updated every five years.


19.   In compliance with clause 18.1 of Policy 36, eligible suppliers are those who:

  • Operate a standing business;
  • Have an excellent reputation in their field;
  • Are financially stable;
  • Have efficient production and/or distribution methods;
  • Can provide a guarantee;
  • Deliver the goods or perform the services required by the specified deadline;
  • Have excellent references;
  • Indicate their willingness to build business relationships and partnerships with the University that go beyond the notion of sale of products and services, in other words by making contributions to the University’s projects whether it is technical in nature, technological, financial, linked to research and development, student recruitment or cooperative programs.

20.   The University will open a call for tenders to prequalify a certain number of potential key suppliers for a specific period of time, for a product or group of products or for a service or group of services.

21.   The University then reserves the right, in due course and based on the expression of needs, to negotiate with one of the prequalified companies and at its sole discretion to award a goods or service contract.

22.   The University also reserves the right to have the prequalified companies compete with one another.

23.   Procurement Services is responsible for determining, on certain occasions with the user, the suitability of a supplier or tenderer based on needs.




24.   Purchasing procedures vary based on the type of purchase, amount, sector for which it is done, etc. Before making a purchase, it is therefore of utmost importance to ask several questions. The table below provides an overview of the all the relevant questions and their associated response factors. The paragraphs that follow then provide all the details for performing transactions in compliance with the University’s established procedures.



Description of the good or service

What to consult, what to do?

Is the purchase made with research funds?

A Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) research project or other research project.


Regardless of amount.

  • Read Section 7 of this Method for the procedures to follow.
  • Consult the PS team, Research Sector.

Is the value of the purchase over $5,000?

YES = centralized purchase









NO = Decentralized purchase


  • Conduct business with PS
  • Prepare an electronic requisition in FAST WebReq. A PS procurement officer generates the purchase order and sends it to the supplier. Consult Section 4 of this Method, p.15.
  • Use University or CAUBO negotiated contracts. Order with the purchasing card wherever possible. [CS2]
  • Place the order and pay the supplier with the purchasing card.  Otherwise enter the payment into Banner.
  • See paragraphs 25 to 28 for more detailed instructions.

Does it involve a restricted commodity?


Dangerous products:

substance or product prohibited or limited by the Hazardous Products Act RSC 1985,c.H-3

  • Radioactive and other materials


Controlled products:

products, materials and substances that are regulated by WHMIS legislation (e.g. compressed gas, flammable materials, etc.)

  • See Policy 37 for the list of items. These items require a purchase order.
  • Consult the Risk Management specialists. Complete the appropriate type of form for this type of product and forward it to the Manager of Radiation and Biosafety for approval and signature.


Standardized products (based on University standards):

Audio-visual equipment > $1,000

Household appliances > $500

Furniture, other than chairs, filing cabinets and other accessories

Computer equipment


Official University paper products and paper

See Policy 37 or Policy 87, Physical Resources Service, Computing and Communications Services (CCS)

Does it involve an item exempt from Policy 36?

Travel expenses, book purchases, etc.

See Appendix C of this Method.

Does it involve professional fees or consulting services?


A contract officer may generate contracts under $100,000.


Under $5,000, a contract is not required.


See Section 5 of this Method. Draft a contract using the Contract Generator online tool  and send a copy to PS.

Do I pay an invoice?

The purchase is already made.

See table on p. 13 of this Method.


25.   For purchases valued under $5,000, a purchase order is not necessary unless the supplier requires one or it is for radioactive materials or certain dangerous products controlled by law (refer to Appendix B and Policy 37 for more information about this).

26.   Before placing an order, the regional buyer, decentralized buyer or manager checks whether a contract has already been negotiated by Procurement Services: purchasing from one of the suppliers with a contract with the University, the buyer honours the contractual commitments of the institution.

27.   If there is no contract negotiated by Procurement Services, the regional buyer, decentralized buyer or manager checks whether any contracts have already been negotiated by the Ontario Government and/or the Ontario Universities Purchasing Management Association (OUPMA). If so, regional buyers, decentralized buyers and managers are asked to use them.

28.   If no contract negotiated by Procurement Services or the Ontario Government exists already for the planned purchase, the regional buyer, decentralized buyer or manager refers to the next section for the procedure to follow.


These purchases are made by the faculty and service decentralized buyers.

Decentralized system purchasing cycle


29.   The table below indicates the number of quotations required based on the transaction category and the maximum amount for opening a call for tenders. 

Decentralized purchasing              

Transaction amount

Permitted methods

Required documentation

$1 to $300

Petty cash

Purchasing card

Internal requisition





$301 to $5,000

Purchasing card

Internal requisition

1 written quotation recommended

 Centralized purchasing

Transaction amount

Authorized person

Required documentation

$5,001 to $10,000

Regional buyer

PS procurement officer

1 written quotation

$10,001 to $50,000

Regional buyer

PS procurement officer

2 written quotations

$50,001 to $100,000

PS procurement officer

3 written quotations

> $100,000

PS procurement officer


 30.   Procurement Services is not required to invite all prequalified suppliers on the suppliers’ record to bid on every request for quotations or call for tenders. At a minimum, Procurement Services must invite the number required in the table above.

Note: A written quotation is mandatory for any purchase made as part of research subsidized by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI), regardless of the amount.


31.   When merchandise is received, record on the delivery slip any anomaly regarding the condition of the merchandise or the quantities received. Then attach the delivery slip to the invoice. 


32.   As indicated on the Web site of Finance services, before paying an invoice, please ensure that goods have been received in good condition and services have been rendered. 

33.   Please check the accuracy of the following information on the invoice:

  • Description of the goods/services received
  • Quantity
  • Purchase order number (for a centralized purchase), purchasing card and/or requisition number (for a decentralized purchase)
  • Date and invoice number
  • Unit price billed
  • Total cost
  • Applicable taxes
  • Terms of payment 

34.   It is important to pay the invoice based on the purchasing terms and conditions. If everything is in line, then request the approvals and signatures required to make payment.

35.   The table below indicates which User Guide to consult to make the required payment. 

Purchase value

Purchase method

Payment by


User guide

Purchase ≤ $5,000



Faculty or service payer


Accounts payable

Purchase  ≤ $5,000


Purchasing card

Reconciliation officer


Purchasing card/ PCard

Purchase > $5,000

  • Electronic requisition
  • Purchase order

Financial officer from Financial Services (central)



For operating budgets

36.   In the file for the order keep the written quotations, delivery slip, original invoice and  any other document relevant to the transaction (emails, faxes, etc.).

37.   For any purchase over $5,000, keep the quotation and/or copy of the contract, a copy of the invoice, the delivery slip and the acceptance certificate. The original invoice is sent to Financial Services. 

For all research budgets

38.   Eligibility of goods or products: prior to purchasing, the procurement officer checks the eligibility of goods or services under the research grant with Financial Services. Procurement Services is responsible for including a copy of these documents in the CFI Sharepoint system.

39.   Customs: when a product is purchased outside of Canada, the buyer checks whether the Customs form reflects the actual value of the product ordered.

Note: Section 7 of this method contains the full details on CFI research projects and their documentation.

Transaction over $100,000

40.   In compliance with the Canadian Agreement on Internal Trade, for any purchase of goods or services valued at over $100,000, including revenue-generating opportunities for the University, Procurement Services posts a formal call for tenders on the MERX electronic tendering system (operating budget or research budget).


41.   If the buyer cannot obtain the required number of written offers for the category, the buyer completes form DF36,Derogation Request, providing the reasons for this derogation, attaches a copy to the requisition and keeps a copy on file.


42.   With the help of monitoring tools, Procurement Services analyses transactions that are considered contrary to University policies and regulations. Procurement Services also informs the managers concerned and helps them rectify the situation.

43.   Transgressions involving amounts under $10,000 are handled by the director of Procurement Services.

44.   Transgressions involving amounts over $10,000 and under $50,000 are reported to the vice-president, Resources, for review and approval.

45.   Once reviewed by the director of Procurement Services, transgressions involving amounts over $50,000 and under $500,000 are reported by the vice-president, Resources, to the Administrative Committee.

46.   The Administrative Committee refers all transgressions over $500,000 to the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors.  

47.   A semi-annual report on transgressions will be submitted to the Audit Committee of the Board of Governors for its information. 


48.   An emergency is a specific situation that carries a risk or represents an additional cost for the University, requiring a transaction to be made quickly such that the user cannot apply all the provisions of the purchasing policies. However, the user must draft and keep a description of the circumstances explaining the transaction in the Procurement Services records. For emergency purchases involving amounts over $5,000, the user asks the director of Procurement Services. The value of an emergency transaction must not exceed $100,000 under any circumstances.

49.   Next the electronic requisition is entered into the FAST WebReq system as usual and Procurement Services prepares the purchase order adding the note “confirmation.”

50.   In the event of a transaction involving an amount over $500,000 that an executive cannot approve promptly, the director of Procurement Services can assume this responsibility. The director must then justify this decision to appropriate authorities.


51.      Paragraph 5 of Policy 70 on conflicts of interest must be observed:"All contracts with the University for the purchase and sale of goods or services or for rentals in which a member of staff might receive a benefit directly or indirectly shall be authorized only by the vice-president, Academic, or the vice-president, Resources."




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52.   Procurement Services is responsible for all the following services: calls for tenders, requests for quotations, requests for proposals, requests for information and requests for expressions of interest. 

Call for tenders

  • mandatory for goods and services contracts valued at $100, 000 or more
  • contains a detailed description (including technical specifications) of the goods or services required, as well as a set of specific rules to follow
  • suppliers must respond by the prescribed date and time
  • may be sent to specific suppliers or opened to the business community in general
  • offers received are assessed in compliance with the provisions of the call for tenders and/or assessment criteria
  • the procurement officer posts the call for tenders result on MERX

Request for proposals – RFP


  • used when the procurement officer does not describe in detail the goods, services or specifications required or the method based on which the goods or services must be provided
  • the procurement officer therefore wants to assess the creativity shown by suppliers in the proposed approach to achieve the desired results and the variety of products and/or services offered
  • suppliers enjoy a certain amount of flexibility
  • proposals are assessed based on predetermined assessment criteria
  • requests for proposals are subject to the same laws and regulations that govern the call for tenders processes

 Request for quotation – RFQ


  • used for purchasing goods and services involving a value under $100,000
  • suppliers compete in an environment in which the rules are known in advance (technical or other specifications)
  • if no assessment criteria are specified in advance, price prevails, unless a clause previously stipulates that the lowest price does not automatically guarantee that the contract will be awarded
  • this process is an effective means for obtaining the most competitive prices in the market

Request for information – RFI


  • used when the procurement officer wants to obtain information (with or without a price) with a view to learning about a specific market
  • effective means of gathering information from potential suppliers on technological developments, available markets and competition


Request for Expression of interest – REI


  • used when the procurement officer is researching suppliers interested in providing a specialized service based on predetermined parameters
  • no contract is issued from this process

Notice of Intent – NOI


  • used when there is only one acceptable supplier for manufacturing the required good or delivering the service required
  • the procurement officer must obtain certification from the supplier to this effect and in the case of instrument manufacture, the user must provide written justification to the procurement officer, clarifying the need to use this instrument specifically 


53.   Barring the existence of a well-known or well-recognized monopoly or monopolistic situation, no matter what type of product or service is required and no matter what its funding source is, the decision to rely on a single supply source must be based on an exhaustive and conclusive study of the market and of other supply sources. The study must involve a call for tenders, a request for proposals or quotations, or a request for information or interest that is posted on the MERX electronic tendering system.

54.   In exceptional circumstances, a single supply source may be satisfactory for meeting the specific needs of the University. This is sometimes the case with research. Such circumstances are rare and must be justified and documented. For purchases involving a value over $100,000, a notice of intent must be posted on MERX for a period of at least 15 calendar days.


55.   The following limits are granted to decentralized buyers, centralized or regional procurement officers and contracts officers. 


Issue of formal call for tenders

Approval of purchase orders or contracts

Decentralized buyers



Regional buyers



Contracts officers



Procurement officers



Senior procurement officers



Assistant directors, Operations and Research




No limit


Vice-president, Resources


> $500,000


  • General terms of the University of Ottawa
  • Specific terms of the University of Ottawa, if applicable
  • Technical specifications of required goods or services
  • Primary assessment criteria
  • Required quantity
  • Delivery date
  • Price
  • Terms and conditions of purchase
  • Insurances, if applicable
  • Bid bond, if applicable
  • FOB point (or ICC INCOTERMS 2000)
  • Methods of transportation
  • Whether or not transportation is included
  • Taxes (GST, PST)
  • Closing date for call for tenders, RFP, RFQ or RFI.

56.   The Procurement Services team clearly indicates in the call for tenders process the contacts at the University for specific matters (technical questions, general information, etc.).


57.   To foster healthy competitions and obtain the best offers and best contracts possible, there must be compliance with the established call for tenders process.


58.   Transactions must always be made in compliance with the standards of this method. However, if it is impossible to invite the prescribed number of tenderers in a specific category, a note must be kept in the tender records explaining the reasons for the derogation (form DF36 – Derogation Request).

59.   When public opening of offers is scheduled, at least two Procurement Services representatives must be present. Tenderers who have submitted an offer in good and due form and the user who made the request may attend the session.

60.   Insofar as it is useful, prices are disclosed when envelopes are opened.

61.   Tenderers cannot change their offer after the tenders have been opened.

62.   Offers that do not meet the conditions described in the call for tenders or that are incomplete may be disqualified.


63.   When preparing a call for tenders, request for quotations or a request for proposals, the procurement officer determined the assessment criteria with the help of the user. To analyse the tenders received, the procurement officer prepares a table using a spreadsheet. The officer records all quantitative assessment points listing quantities, unit prices and totals for each of the configurations required, or adapting the table for service purchases. This table includes all information provided by the tenderers.

64.   In addition to quantitative data, the procurement officer inventories the qualitative data, such as: warranty, payment schedule, after-sales service, compliance with scheduled delivery dates, etc.


65.   Once the table is completed, the procurement officer recommends a supplier and has the supervisor approve the choice. The procurement officer then sends the recommendation from Procurement Services to the user.

66.   If the user does not agree with the recommendation, the user must explain the reasoning in writing. In case of disagreement, the vice-president, Resources, acts as arbitrator.

67.   The contract is generally awarded to the tenderer(s) that comply with the clauses of the call for tenders and submit the best tender based on the assessment criteria published in the call for tenders.

68.   In the event that the assessment criteria would not have been established in advance, the tender presenting the best quality/price ratio will be selected.

69.   In the event the recommendation awards the contract to the tenderer that does not offer the best quality/price ratio, the procurement officer shall justify the proposed selection.

70.   The recommendation includes the subject of the call for tenders and all its critical components. 



71.   With regard to the assignment of consulting and professional fee contracts, first consult the rules for determining the employment or service relationship as defined by the Canada Revenue Agency and apply them (see the CRA website under the RC4110 directives). At the University, this normally involves persons paid by request for remuneration or for which a SPAF is used. For more information, visit the following website:


72.      Fees are contractual compensation provided in exchange for services received from the persons who are supplying these services and who meet the Canada Revenue Agency’s conditions.

73.   The professions affected by the payment of professional fees include physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, veterinarians, lawyers, notaries, accountants, surveyors, engineers and architects, on the condition that the CRA does not define these persons as being in an employment relationship.

74.   Consulting and professional fee contracts (whether awarded to individuals or corporations) are goods and services contracts and therefore subject to the application of Policy 36


75.   The teaching of courses that fall under collective agreements, i.e. credit courses and the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute courses, which are remunerated via salary, as specified in Policy 5.

76.   This policy also excludes the following: lawyers recruited to meet the needs of the University’s legal counsel; engineers, architects and construction professionals hired by Physical Resources Services (as described in Physical Resources Services’ Policy 113); professional fees paid via requests for remuneration to Human Resources Services; as well as research contracts.


77.   Agreements under $5,000 do not require a request for proposals or signing of a contract.  The buyer can simply ask for a quotation from the consultant, a description of the service, and award the consultant the work to be performed. The documentation must of course be kept on file.


78.   A consulting contract valued at over $5,000 but under $100,000 is awarded through a request for proposals. The centralized purchasing table in the required documentation section, p. 11, indicates the minimum number of offers to be obtained based on the estimated value of the contract.

79.   Requests for proposals may be issued by Procurement Services staff. However, a person from the requesting faculty or service who has received delegation from Procurement Services may request all the information (quotations, description of services, etc.) required to draw up a contract. The documentation must be kept locally.

80.   A copy of the contract must be forwarded to Procurement Services, which will study it and suggest, if applicable, any modifications deemed necessary.


81.   In accordance with the Canadian Agreement on Internal Trade, all calls for tenders valued at over $100,000 must be posted and published on the MERX electronic system to make them available to all Canadian companies, regardless of their location.

82.   To this end, the University uses the MERX public electronic tendering system.

83.   For this type of consulting contract, a documented request must be sent to Procurement Services, which will draft and issue the call for tenders in conjunction with the requesting faculty or service. Procurement Services analyses the bids received and makes a justified and documented recommendation to the requesting faculty or service with respect to awarding the contract. In accordance with the University’s Supply of Goods and Services Policy, once all regulatory approvals have been obtained, the contract is signed by the Procurement Services staff. 


Consulting and professional fee contracts





84.   The overall value of a contract with multiple transactions is calculated by adding the values of the transactions made over the term of the contract, including, if applicable, contract extensions. The overall value is what is submitted to the Administrative Committee for approval. The contract value is calculated by adding the annual transaction values excluding the contract extensions, but including taxes.  


85.   Tenderers whose offer is not selected are notified of the adjudication of the contract.

86.   When the contract value is $100,000 or over, Procurement Services must publish the name(s) of the supplier(s) selected on MERX. The notice of contract award must not be published until the agreement has been signed between the supplier and the University. It must include the start and end dates of the agreement as well as all extension options and its total value.

87.   After calls for tenders, requests for quotations and requests for proposals valued at $500,000 or less, an analysis of the offers received is conducted and a recommendation on the contract award is submitted to the director of Procurement Services for approval. The director can delegate authority in these matters to procurement managers, senior procurement officers or procurement officers.

88.   Once approved by the director of Procurement Services, contract award recommendations resulting from calls for tenders, requests for quotations and requests for proposals valued over $500,000 are forwarded to the vice-president, Resources, for approval. This person is responsible for informing the Administrative Committee as needed.

89.   Once these approvals are confirmed, the director or by delegation the procurement managers, senior procurement officers or procurement officers must act as the signing authority for the contracts and/or purchase orders.

90.   If a signed contract undergoes price fluctuations that increase its value to over $500,000, the director, after analyzing the price difference, may intervene directly if the increase does not exceed 10% of $500,000.

91.   If the increase exceeds 10% of $500,000, the director must obtain approval from the appropriate authorities. 





92.   Procurement Services is responsible for the supply chain and is the official spokesperson for the University in any commercial transaction. Procurement Services negotiates and signs goods and services contracts for the University. The Procurement Services procurement officers are authorized to issue calls for tenders, requests for quotations and expressions of interest. They generate purchase orders and negotiate contracts based on their assigned responsibilities. Therefore, Procurement Services is an essential partner in all purchases made for research projects.

93.   In the framework of Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) projects, the procurement officers oversee the obtaining of quotations and the purchase of products and services paid for with the University’s research budgets.

94.   More specifically, the Procurement Services procurement officers have significant expertise in negotiating with suppliers who are willing to offer the University a “contribution in kind” specific to these projects. The procurement officers are responsible for assessing the eligibility of contributions in kind proposed by suppliers. 

95.   Furthermore, the team of procurement officers works in close cooperation with the researchers to ensure that the equipment requested meets the technical criteria required within allocated budgets.


96.   Once the faculty and the Officer of Strategic Development Initiatives (SDI) have approved the letter of intent from the project’s chief researcher, the detailed proposal design stage can begin.

97.   Before going any further, it is important to hold a meeting that brings together the chief researcher (or delegate), the research facilitator and Procurement Services, to establish the list of all items required for the project.

98.   During this essential phase in preparing project budgets, Procurement Services is responsible for the following:

  • Communicating the policies and procedures for the calls for tenders  and purchasing processes;
  • Obtaining quotations that match the CFI criteria from external suppliers
  • Assessing and approving (or refusing) quotations from sources other than those solicited by PS
  • Fair market value of contributions in kind
  • Ensuring that the purchasing process and all documentation related to contributions in kind comply with CFI criteria;
  • Helping develop the project budget, in cooperation with the SDI project manager and the faculty research facilitator. 

99. While waiting for a response to the project funding request, expenses may be authorized. In such cases, Procurement Services must be involved to ensure compliance with the purchasing rules and procedures and CFI criteria is met.


100. As soon as the project is approved, the SDI project manager convenes a finalization meeting with:

  • An SDI representative
  • A Procurement Services representative
  • A Physical Resources Services representative (as needed)
  • A Financial Services representative
  • The administrative officer from the department

101. At this point, Procurement Services works closely with the chief researcher: the procurement officers obtain new quotations for the researcher and reassess the value of contributions in kind.

102. The list of required purchases is thus reviewed and updated in its entirety.

103. The researcher and the research team now have a new itemized list[CS1] of all required purchases for the project.

104. Also at this stage, the structural parameters of the project are established to facilitate the creation of annual reports to the CFI when the time comes.


105. Once the funds are available the researcher can now start presenting the purchase requests to the procurement officer.

Note: a decentralized buyer who makes a purchase at the request of the holder of a research project or delegate must have the researcher delegation form (signing authority) indicating the names of persons authorized to request purchases as part of the given project. This authority is then recorded in the University of Ottawa’s central registry. 

106. Through this entire phase of the project, it is of utmost importance that Procurement Services validates all documents related to purchases to verify their compliance.  It is important to keep copies of all documentation for reporting and justification purposes.

107. At this stage, Procurement Services is responsible for the following:

  • Issuing purchase orders and calls for tender;
  • In cooperation with the chief researcher, crosscheck the purchase order items and those on the itemized list
  • Keep all documentation related to purchases (including those related to contributions in kind, specifically:
  • The requisition;
  • The call for tenders;
  • The purchase order or the contract.


108. It is mandatory to identify the item number (the item number is the number that corresponds to the item listed on the official CFI itemized list for the specific project of the researcher). A copy of the approved itemized list is available on the CFI Sharepoint system.

109. This information must be recorded in the “Document text” section when the requisition is created in the FAST WebReq system. This information must be printed on all copies of the purchase order (including the copy for the supplier). This information must be recorded (manually) on all documents to be provided, i.e. on the quotation, invoice, delivery slip, purchasing card statement and certificate of acceptance.

110. If a purchase is made prior to the awarding of a CFI research grant (but not more than six months before it is awarded), the item number must be manually entered on all documents supporting this acquisition, as soon as possible after the CFI approved itemized list is issued. 

111. It is the researcher’s responsibility to identify the item number corresponding to the instrument or service on the CFI approved itemized list for all acquisitions made as part of the research project.


Purchasing cycle - CFI projects


Purchasing cycle - non-CFI projects


112. Documentation related to the project must be kept for five years after the project end date. PS keeps the documentation involving purchases.


113. Any user with the use of a scientific instrument for testing purposes shall inform procurement Services of this.

Revised: 23 November 2011 

(Procurement Services)


Appendix A

University of Ottawa’s Procurement Code of Ethics


The University of Ottawa’s Procurement Code of Ethics is integral to the University Supply of Goods and Services Policy and the University’s practices are guided by this policy.

Code of Ethics

The University of Ottawa aspires to high ethical, legal, environmental, managerial and professional standards in the management of the resources entrusted to it. Within this context, the University shall procure goods and services in an open, fair and transparent manner and in a competitive environment, so that all transactions yield the optimal benefit to the University in these circumstances. Furthermore, all transactions must be carried out in such a manner as to ensure that no one at the University would personally gain or benefit from them.


All employees of the University who, during the course of their duties, are involved in the process of acquiring goods or services shall perform their duties to the following standards:

  • Ensure all procurement activities are conducted according to University policies, provincial and federal laws, and respect the principles of ethical business practices.
  • Support collaborative procurement, and the adoption and sharing of leading procurement practices.
  • Conduct business with all current and prospective suppliers in good faith.
  • Grant all competing suppliers fair and equal consideration.
  • Strive to obtain the maximum value for each expenditure.
  • Require honesty and accurate representation of goods and services from all suppliers.
  • Encourage suppliers to consider sustainability and social responsibility in their product or service offerings.
  • Make every reasonable effort to negotiate an equitable and mutually agreeable settlement where disputes occur.

Appendix B

Items excluded from the decentralized purchasing system

  • Purchases valued at over $5,000 (taxes excluded).
  • Radioactive materials: requestors must obtain a requisition number from their respective buyer and complete the appropriate form(s) for this type of product. Forms must be sent to the manager of Radiation and Biosafety for approval and signing before the order can be placed with the University’s supplier(s) (refer to the directory of negotiated contracts to find the names of these suppliers).
  • Household appliances over $500, such as fridges, stoves, washers, dryers, etc.
  • Audio-visual equipment over $500 (for more detail on audio-visual equipment, refer to University Policy 82b).
  • Furniture (also refer to Policy 38 on furnishing standards to this effect): to purchase office furniture, reception-area furniture, meeting tables or computer tables, you must submit a request to the Physical Resources Control Centre (ext. 2222 or
  • If you purchase chairs, filing cabinets or other office accessories through standing contracts, you must continue to contact Procurement Services for any purchase over $5,000. If the purchase totals less than $5,000, you may buy directly without a purchase order from the supplier(s) selected by Procurement Services.
  • Office equipment over $500.
  • For paper products, printing, business forms, business cards, official University letterhead and logo, refer to Policy 82c, as well as the methods, procedures and bulletins of Audio-visual and Reprography Services.

Appendix C

Items exempt from Policy 36

Products and services for which CALLS FOR TENDERS or PURCHASE ORDERS ARE not REQUIRED.

Although calls for tenders are strongly recommended, they are not required for the following items. Purchase orders do not need to be generated either. In other words, the invoices can be paid by Financial Services without the prior establishment of a purchase order.

  • Unrestricted products under $300, which are usually paid from petty cash funds
  • Purchase orders no longer require printing for purchases under $5,000 (taxes and transportation excluded)
  • Book purchases
  • Newspaper or periodical subscriptions
  • Software purchases for personal computers
  • Fuel
  • Purchases from ministries, government agencies, universities, colleges, schools, hospitals and other public and parapublic institutions;
  • Laboratory analyses
  • Professional fees (lawyers, notaries, doctors). For consultants, please refer to Appendix C of Policy 36
  • Rentals and purchases of films, slides, magnetic tapes, video and audio cassettes, CDs and DVDs
  • Computer service rentals
  • Transactions made by Procurement Services, Bar Services Division;
  • Car rentals
  • Taxis
  • Hotels and restaurants
  • Train, plane and boat tickets
  • Commercial leases on rented space


Calls for tenders ARE required for the following items, but purchase orders do not need to be generated. In other words, invoices can be paid by Financial Services without the prior establishment of a purchase order:

  • Food services contracts
  • Housekeeping contracts
  • Landscaping contracts
  • Elevator maintenance contracts
  • Snow removal contracts
  • Alarm system contracts
  • Heating oil, fuel oil, natural gas, electricity, telephone communications

Appendix D

Service providers that are not consulting services

Top of Form

Review – mostly experts in the field

  • Academic peer review
  • Decanal review, Faculty
  • Divisional review
  • Reviewers, research chair selection committee
  • Governance review
  • Scientific review
  • Research /Curriculum development/Expertise
  • Accreditation review
  • Undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate Program Notice
  • Clinical review
  • Thesis defence 


  • Guest facilitator
  • Guest speaker 


  • Training sessions
  • Software package training

Technical Services

  • Design and printing agencies
  • Annual report drafting
  • Business plan drafting
  • Project manager
  • Business development
  • Graphic artists
  • Photographers
  • Electricians
  • Couriers
  • Translators
  • Protection services
  • Police
  • Interpreters

Computer Services

  • Maintenance
  • Cable installations
  • Website design
  • Programmers, system analysts 

Human Resources

  • Compensation specialists
  • Collectors
  • Psychologists
  • Counsellors
  • Career counsellors
  • Mediators
  • Investigators 

Specialists in Finances/ Banking management

  • Banking management service
  • Bankers
  • Actuaries
  • Auditors 

Services that may be consulting or service provider

The following services may be considered as consulting or service provider depending on their strategic context. 

  • Planning consultant
  • Management service
  • Pension fund consultant
  • Benefit system consultant
  • Legal advisor
  • Legal fees
  • Architect
  • Engineer 

Appendix E

Acceptable exceptions to the regular process

  • Single supplier
  • Emergency situation
  • Purchases through a government entity
  • Purchases through a pre-established consortium
  • Situation in which the cost of identifying an alternative supplier would be prohibitive
  • Situation in which public posting would be adverse to the organization
  • Situation in which purchasing is not practical: e.g. purchase made overseas

Appendix F

Selection Committee Member Roles and Responsibilities

1.    Area of responsibility:

        After a competitive call for tenders, by invitation or unsolicited.

2.    Certifications:

The person must sign the committee participant documents that contain the following certifications:

a.   Certifications that the member has read this document and is aware of their roles and responsibilities.

b.  Notice of confidentiality: the person promises not to discuss with anyone (other than the committee members) the details of the call for tenders, tenders or assessment results.

c.  Conflict of interest: the person declares not to have any personal interest in the procurement project involved, any personal relationship with prospective tenderers and suppliers, and not to have received any special treatment as a result of the person’s role on the selection committee.

3.    Preparation:

Selection of a supplier often requires analysis of many tenders.  The participant shall agree to do the preparatory work (reading, analysis, comparison, personal notes, scoring) in advance in order to be able to participate actively in committee meetings.

The participant shall agree to be present at any preliminary information and question sessions offered to prospective tenderers in order to place all questions, discussions and comments into context with the assessment process.

4.  Meeting:

The participant shall endeavour to attend all meetings scheduled in advance.  The participant shall notify the procurement officer in charge if he/she anticipates missing more than one meeting.  The person’s scoring and notes shall be sent to the procurement officer in charge in order to contribute to the assessment work of the missed meeting.

5. Post assessment:

The participant shall submit all documents, supplier tenders, score charts, personal notes, etc. to the procurement officer in charge.

On an exceptional basis, the participant shall attend information meetings with the suppliers if necessary.

The participant shall attend required information, justification or promotional events following the selection and announcement of the winner(s).

Appendix G

Exceptions to the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT)

The Agreement on Internal Trade recognizes certain exceptions for public interest purposes.

  • The federal government may take any measure required to protect national security and to keep international peace and security.
  • This is not applicable to Aboriginal persons and existing ancestral rights and Aboriginal treaty rights are not affected.
  • This is not applicable to regulation of financial institutions because this issue is covered as part of parallel negotiations.
  • Measures involving culture and cultural industries are exempt.
  • Measures dealing with a general framework of regional economic development are exempt, subject to certain conditions, specifically: when the measure is used, it cannot restrict trade more than is necessary to achieve its objective.
  • The measure cannot create undue hardship for persons, products or services from another province or territory.
  • Regional development programs must be subject to a regular public review and assessment.


  • Architectural Services (non-landscaping) - 541310
  • Landscape Architecture Services - 541320
  • Lawyers- 541110
  • Accountants - 541212
  • Online investment and financial advisors - 523999
  • Dentists - 621210
  • Engineers - 541330
  • Physicians (general), surgeons or specialists - 621110
  • Psychologists - 621330
  • Bookkeeping, payroll and related services - 541215
  • Veterinarians - 541940
  • Other health practitioners - 621390
  • Other social assistance services - 624000
  • Other scientific or technical services - 541000
  • Other services-online advice - 541999
  • Notaries (Quebec only) - 541120
  • Other legal services (including notaries outside Quebec) - 541190

 Appendix H



I have read the Supply Chain Code of Ethics (attached) and I understand the expectations for ethical conduct. In compliance with the Supply Chain Code of Ethics, I am able to identify a situation that constitutes a conflict of interest, specifically:

  1. Carrying out professional activities outside the organization;
  2. Not disclosing relationships that could be perceived as having a real or apparent influence on my objectivity in my official duties;
  3. Providing assistance or advice to a certain supplier participating in a competitive process;
  4. Holding an interest in an entity taking part in a competitive process, having investments in this entity or having made an agreement with this entity for remuneration;
  5. Having access to confidential information regarding the procurement initiative; and
  6. Accepting favours or gifts from persons conducting business with the organization.

I agree to comply with the Supply Chain Code of Ethics as well as the Procurement Policies and Procedures in all my procurement activities. I declare that there is no real or apparent conflict of interest resulting from my participation in procurement activities, except as follows:







___________________         __________________________               ___________

Signature                           Name (please print)                              Date


Appendix I

Revenue-generating Procurement Contract Management


  • Research contracts (TTBE)
  • Hiring professors/researchers (lecturers, expertise)
  • Donations
  • Scholarships
  •  Designations of goods of the University Rental of spaces 


  • Rebate representing a discount based on the performance of an agreement and calculated after the fact.
  • Revenue received in exchange for the establishment of business with a third party (students, employees, etc.) Example: electronic display, laundry, ATMs.
  • Funds representing an investment from a supplier into a procurement project.

Funds representing a reimbursement of expenses incurred by the University in the course of the procurement agreement. 

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