SkilledTradesBC identified a need for a process to deal with issues arising from its procurement processes. The procurement department aims to conduct its core business through processes that demonstrate fair, open and transparent public procurement and contracting practices and protection for all parties under the law.
The procurement department will thoroughly investigate any complaints about the way SkilledTradesBC handles the tendering procedures or any other procurement-related matters.
The procurement department developed a supplier complaint review process (SCRP) intended to provide access to a consistent, organized, fair and timely process to deal with supplier complaints concerning SkilledTradesBC's procurement process. The SCRP will carry out the analysis and reporting requirements in order to identify ways to make improvements to the procurement process.
The SCRP is consistent with the Bid Protest Mechanism outlined in the applicable trade agreements (NWPTA, CFTA, CETA, WTO-GPA and CPTPP).
The objective of the SCRP is to improve related and established policies and procedures to facilitate the relationship between SkilledTradesBC and suppliers.
All information under this SCRP is subject to the Document Disposal Act and the access and privacy provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
Procedures for the Supplier Complaint Review Process
In the event of a potential procurement violation under NWPTA, CFTA or CETA, any “supplier” can invoke the Bid Protest mechanism to make a complaint directly against the public procuring authority. “Supplier” is defined as any “person that provides or could provide goods or services” in the context of a covered procurement.
This process does not apply to issues related to supplier or SkilledTradesBC performance or conduct during an agreement between parties. Those issues are to be dealt with through the dispute resolution processes identified in the agreement. There is a period allowed for raising complaints.
800-8100 Granville Avenue
Richmond, BC Canada>
Email: procurement [at] skilledtradesbc.ca (procurement[at]skilledtradesbc[dot]ca)
Registering a Complaint
Suppliers who wish to submit complaints must give the procuring authority the opportunity to resolve the complaint. Most complaints can be dealt with quickly and successfully by contacting the Procurement Contact who will initiate an internal review.
Suppliers must submit their complaints within 10 days after the day the supplier first knew (or reasonably should have known) that the procurement violated a rule under the trade agreement(s) relevant to the procurement being challenged.
All complaints must be in writing and clearly state the grounds for the complaint. The complaint should be readable, clear and to the point, quoting sections of the law contravened, where possible. The complaint must be signed by the complainant. The complainant should be able to indicate the grounds for the complaint, and the anticipated remedy. The letter should be signed by an authorized person.
A complaint initiates a 20-day consultation period during which the supplier and the procurement authority have the opportunity to resolve the complaint collaboratively.
When these consultations are unsuccessful, the supplier may, within 14 days of the end of consultations, proceed with a written request to the relevant Trade Agreement Secretariat.
Dismissing a Complaint
The Procurement Contact will consider the merits of the complaint and may, at its discretion, dismiss a complaint on the grounds that:
the complainant does not have sufficient interest in the subject matter of the complaint; or
the complaint is not substantiated; or
the complainant’s intent is to delay the procurement process or execution of the agreement(s) due to matters unrelated to the procurement at hand; or
at the same time as the complaint is received, the complainant has initiated legal proceedings, or has submitted a complaint to the Procurement Ombudsman, or engaged in another review process pertaining to the complaint.
Where the Procurement Contact dismisses a complaint, SkilledTradesBC will inform the complainant and will state the reasons for refusing to undertake a review. A record of the dismissal of the complaint will be retained by the Procurement department.
The Procurement Contact will consider all the circumstances relevant to the complaint including:
the seriousness of any deficiency found in the procurement process; and
whether the parties acted in good faith.
Records and Documentation
Documentation will be retained by the Procurement department, as required, to demonstrate responsiveness to the supplier and compliance with SkilledTradesBC’s policies.