1. What is an Open Competitive Procurement?
  2. Types of Open Competitive Procurements (RFx)
  3. What other types of competitive procurement are there?
  4. RFx Overview

As a Broader Public Sector institution, the university is legally required to engage in competitive procurement. This requirement is outlined in the university’s procurement policy, Ontario’s Broader Public Sector (BPS) Procurement Directive, and other relevant trade agreements.

All purchases anticipated to be above the Open Competitive procurement threshold over the life of the contract, including any options for extensions, must be completed through an open competitive procurement. It is important to contact Procurement Services early to ensure your timelines can be met.

To initiate your competitive procurement, complete our request form.

Open Competitive Procurement Request

Questions? Email us at procurementservices@carleton.ca.

What is an Open Competitive Procurement?

A transparent and legally compliant process for soliciting goods or services through a public tender. An open competitive procurement provides all qualified suppliers or contractors in the market the opportunity to submit their proposals.

Types of Open Competitive Procurements (RFx)

Procurement Services will advise you on which RFx is most appropriate for your needs when you submit a request form.

What other types of competitive procurement are there?

Refer to our How to Buy main page to learn more about the requirements for purchases valued under the Open Competitive procurement threshold.

Procurement Services also offers internal Approved Vendors and Standing Offers, and options for second stage selection processes from an approved Vendor of Record source (e.g. OECM, MGCS, etc.). Contracts for the goods and services listed here have already been through an open competitive process.

If you think your purchase is a special circumstance where open competition is not possible, please refer to the Limited Tendering Exceptions process.

RFx Overview

Open competitive procurements can take a minimum of three months to complete from when you are assigned a Procurement Officer. This timeline can increase substantially with project complexity, and assignment to a Procurement Officer may not be immediate. It is important to contact Procurement Services early to ensure your timelines can be met.

You have a key role to play in this process, and should expect to commit a significant amount of time from planning to award to maintain your timeline. Don’t worry – Procurement Services is here to support you from beginning to end!

Ready to start the process? Please complete our request form:

Open Competitive Procurement Request

# Phase Timeline Your Role Procurement Service’s Role
1 Planning 3+ weeks
  • Provide relevant information about your purchase
  • Seek out Subject Matter Experts to support you
  • Review and provide feedback on RFx drafts
  • Confirm who will evaluate the suppliers’ submissions. This team (3+ total) should also be part of document review
  • Determine whether you will engage advisors – they do not evaluate submissions, but are able to view them for the purpose of providing Subject Matter Expert advice
  • Ensure proper approvals are in place for proceeding with the RFx
  • Provide a “Scope of Work” worksheet (SOWW) to help you gather all relevant information, including any accessible procurement considerations
  • Assign a Procurement Officer to your project, who will initiate a kick-off meeting after reviewing your SOWW
  • Draft RFx documentation based on your requirements
  • Initiate the process(es) for Data Protection Risk Assessment (software procurement) and/or Privacy Impact Assessment (potential data risk) (if applicable)
  • Provide guidance regarding the process, expectations, timelines, and requirements
2 RFx Execution 4+ weeks
  • Adhere to the black-out period. Once the final RFx documents have been publicly posted, all communications from any potential vendor or vendor planning to submit a proposal is prohibited. Only the Procurement Officer may communicate with potential vendors.
  • Provide answers to any vendor questions directly to your Procurement Officer, who manages all vendor communications
  • Post the RFx documents publicly on Bonfire and MERX
  • Provide a project-specific evaluation guide and relevant training on the evaluation process
  • Monitor for vendor questions
  • Post addenda (if applicable)
  • Organize any site visits, presentations, or interviews (if applicable)
3 Evaluation 2+ weeks
  • Following the guide provided, complete evaluations independently using Bonfire. Price is not visible until evaluations are complete. *Note – the steps in this stage depend on the type of procurement process.
  • Attend consensus meeting(s), site visit, presentation, and/or interview (if required)
  • Review submissions for compliance, and release appropriate documents to the evaluation team
  • After evaluators have completed their review, the Procurement Officer completes price evaluation based on the formula posted in the RFx
  • Notifies evaluators of the successful supplier(s)
4 Award 2+ weeks
  • Review the contract Scope of Work, and enter negotiations (if required) with the successful supplier(s)
  • After the agreement is signed, submit a Purchase Order in eShop
  • Monitor your contract and the vendor’s performance to ensure success!
  • Provide you and your successful supplier(s) with all relevant documents to enter negotiations
  • Facilitate a Data Protection Risk Assessment (DPRA) and/or Privacy Impact Assessment (if required)
  • Monitor contract changes submitted by the successful supplier, and liaise with legal (if required) *Note – where a vendor requests material changes to the draft agreement, additional legal review is required and may take 4+ weeks
  • Facilitate the signature process, as outlined in the Signing Authorities policy
  • Notify all participants that the successful supplier(s) were selected, and post a formal Award Notice
  • Complete vendor debrief(s) (if required)