Under the conditions of the Public Purchasing Act and Regulations, the Minister of Supply and Services through the Central Purchasing Branch is responsible for the procurement of equipment, materials, supplies and services for all government departments. The Act and Regulations are consistent with the terms and conditions of the applicable procurement agreements. (Copies of the Public Purchasing Act and its Regulations may be purchased from the Queen’s Printer, Room 115, Centennial Building, P.O. Box 6000, Fredericton, N.B. E3B 5H1, Tel. (506) 453-2520.)
The Province of New Brunswick through the Central Purchasing Branch buys in the vicinity of $350 million worth of goods and services each year.
This site will serve as a guide for anyone wishing to do business with Central Purchasing.
The policy of Central Purchasing is to obtain written competitive tenders for goods and services according to rules established under the Public Purchasing Act and Regulations. Purchases are then made on the basis of the lowest over-all total price (or highest score for RFP’s) obtained by the competition. Other than for exceptions as allowed by the legislation, commodities are purchased using the following procedures:
Tendering of Goods
Up to $1,500 (not including tax and shipping)
- Government departments have the ability to purchase goods valued at $1,500 or less, directly from a vendor using a Local Purchase Order (L.P.O.) or other means authorized by the Minister and the Comptroller. L.P.O.s are used to purchase goods that are not available under a previously awarded contract or from the department’s Central Stores Warehouse.
$1,501 - $4,999
- Central Purchasing may solicit price quotations from registered vendors by telephone, facsimile or in writing. Contracts are awarded based on these quotations. In certain cases formal tenders (invited or advertised) may be issued for these goods.
$5,000 - $24,999
- Tenders may either be invited from registered vendors or publicly advertised.
$25,000 and up
- Tenders will be publicly advertised.
Invited and publicly advertised tenders will be displayed on an electronic tendering system approved by the Minister of Supply and Services.
Tendering of Services
All services valued greater than $10,000 are tendered through Central Purchasing with the exception of specific exemptions allowed by the legislation.
Up to $10,000
- Purchased directly by the departments. Departments are not required to tender or solicit competitive quotations but are encouraged to do so.
$10,000 up to $50,000
- Tenders may either be invited or publicly advertised.
$50,000 and up
- Tenders will be publicly advertised.
Invited and publicly advertised tenders will be displayed on an electronic tendering system approved by the Minister of Supply and Services.
Request for Proposal
Tenders for the purchase of complex services may be issued in the form of a Request for Proposal (RFP). RFPs are used when the tender is evaluated using criteria other than price. The tender document will clearly indicate the criteria to be used and the method by which the tenders will be evaluated, including the relative weight to be assigned to each criterion. All normal tender conditions apply and additional conditions may be imposed in the RFP documents.
Procurement in emergency or urgent situations or in other circumstances allowed by the legislation may be made by means other than tenders
Completing the Tender
All tenders (unless otherwise noted in the tender documents) must be submitted on official forms obtained from a source authorized by the Minister. All other submissions will be rejected.
Read each tender carefully keeping in mind that terms and conditions may vary from one tender to another. Legal obligations are contained in both the tender and purchase order. A vendor may contact the Purchasing Officer indicated on the tender should interpretation or further information be required. Vendors are advised that information obtained from any source other than the Central Purchasing Branch should be considered as "unofficial" and may not be correct.
Tenders should be typewritten or legibly printed in ink and must be completed in all respects as indicated on the form provided. Plans, blueprints, drawings, etc., form part of the tender and should be treated as such.
Tenderers must meet the requirements of the specifications indicated in the tender document. Unless otherwise stated the use of brand names is for description only. Substitutions offered must be of equal quality and be clearly identified. The onus is on the supplier to prove that the substitution is of equivalent quality. Tenderers offering substitutions must be prepared to provide samples, data and literature, if required. If the tender document indicates that "no substitutions" will be accepted, any such substitution will be rejected.
Tender forms indicate the date goods or services are required. Tenderers must indicate the number of calendar days after receipt of a purchase order in which the goods will be delivered. By signing the form the vendor agrees to deliver the goods or services by the date required in the tender document.
All tenders are to be F.O.B. destination, freight prepaid. Delivery charges, if any, must be shown on the tender and must be included in the total. If not stated otherwise, goods are to be shipped by the most economical means to meet promised delivery.
The Central Purchasing Branch’s Standard Terms and Conditions apply to all tenders submitted.
Net unit prices are to be quoted. Any extra charges must be itemized. Do not show any sales tax. Unless otherwise stated, all tenders must be extended and totaled. Do not quote on a lump sum basis unless specifically requested to do so.
Tenders with firm prices will be given preference over those with conditions and escalation clauses.
The number of days for which the tender is effective, if accepted, should be shown. It is understood that "Prices firm for 30 days" means that if a purchase order is issued within 30 days of the tender closing date, the price tendered will stand.
Once a tender is received and accepted, it is assumed that all costs are included and the vendor will be expected to perform as indicated on the tender.
Submitting the Tender
All documents concerned must be included and the tender must be signed by an authorized official of the firm. All tender submissions must show on the face thereof (including on the tender package, envelope, etc. if applicable), the tender number, closing date and closing time.
Tenders not requiring bid deposits, samples or large plans may be submitted by facsimile, however, the Central Purchasing Branch does not guarantee the confidentiality of tenders submitted in this manner. The Central Purchasing Branch will not assume responsibility for late arrival of facsimile tenders due to equipment failure, busy conditions or any other circumstance.
Regardless of the method of submission, it is the responsibility of the vendor to ensure the tender is legible, properly completed, that the Branch receives the tender and that it is deposited in the tender box at the proper location before the closing date and time indicated on the tender form.
Tenders are to be mailed, faxed or hand delivered to Central Tendering:
Delivery Address: Room 205,
Marysville Place, 20 McGloin St.,
P.O. Box 8000,
Fax Number: (506) 444-4200
Tender Withdrawals or Amendments
Tenders may not be withdrawn after the closing time and date stated in the tender document. Tenders may be withdrawn prior to the closing time and date by issuing a letter or facsimile to the Central Tendering Branch requesting the withdrawal. The request to withdraw must be signed by the person who signed the tender.
Tenders may be amended in the same manner as above, however, Central Tendering must be in receipt of the amendment prior to the date and time of the tender opening. Requests for amendments should show only the revised unit price, or the amount to be added to or subtracted from a lump sum tender.
Tenders withdrawn before the closing date do not prohibit a supplier from submitting another bid on the same tender.
All tenders for goods estimated in excess of $5,000 and services estimated in excess of $10,000 are publicly opened and anyone with a legitimate interest may attend. Tenders are opened by a tender opening committee and the names of the bidder and total price, if required, will be read where practical. In the instance of Request For Proposals, only the bidder’s name will be read.
No decision for award on any tender shall be made at the tender opening.
Central Purchasing reserves the right to accept in whole or in part any or all tenders. The following are some of the points considered when qualifying tenders:For details on Rejection and Refusal of Tenders & Vendor’s Responsibility, see sections 18 & 19 of the Regulation 94-157 under the Public Purchasing Act.
- Tenders MUST be completed as stated in the instructions and conditions of each, signed, and include all documents and information required.
- Tenders received after the closing date and time (Fredericton time) specified on the tender document are not accepted.
- Except in extenuating circumstance, only firm tenders will be accepted.
- The unit price of each item shall prevail in case of errors in extension.
- Tenders with errors, omissions and/or discrepancies may be rejected.
- Tenderers must, if requested, supply evidence to the satisfaction of Central Purchasing that the resources are available to fulfill the contract.
- Tenders which have been materially altered or erased must have the changes initialed in ink.
- Unless otherwise stated in the tender document, the bidder must obtain official tender documents from a tender distribution service authorized by the Minister of Supply and Services in order to submit a bid.
- Failure to submit the official forms or provide proof the forms were properly obtained will result in rejection of the bid.
A tender rejected at opening time may not receive further consideration by Central Purchasing.
Evaluation of Tenders
In the evaluation of tenders the Central Purchasing Branch may, in addition to the price, consider quality, quantity, delivery and servicing capabilities of the vendor or other criteria relevant to the supplies or services being purchased. For RFP’s where criteria other than price are to be used in the evaluation of proposals, the criteria and the method by which they will be evaluated, including, where relevant, the relative weights to be assigned to each criteria will be clearly indicated in the tender documents.
If the release to vendors of information other than bidder’s names or pricing would jeopardize negotiations leading to a contract or agreement, the Central Purchasing Branch may refuse to release the information until an award has been made.
The Central Purchasing Branch may, on request from a vendor submitting a tender, refuse to release to other vendors or parties information contained in the tender which could reasonably be considered to be proprietary or otherwise adversely affect the commercial interests of the vendor, but shall not withhold pricing information.
Within a reasonable period of time following the award of the contract, the Central Purchasing Branch may, on request from any vendor who has submitted a tender, disclose information pertaining to the successful tender, and the tender submitted by the vendor making the request, such that the vendor may determine the results of the evaluation of the tender relative to that of the successful tender.
Awarding a Purchase Order
Most of the goods and services acquired by the Province are by purchase order. However, specific items are made available under contract.
A contract arrangement is an understanding effected with a supplier to deliver goods or services at specific times, or on an "as and when required " basis, usually for a certain period of time. Contracts may be at a set price or at a mutually agreeable pricing arrangement.
In these instances the departments may order directly from the supplier on a "Release Under Contract ".
In other instances, standing offers may be issued under which Central Purchasing may order goods without having to go to tender for each purchase.
In both the above instances, tenders are advertised before the contracts or standing offers are written.
Standing offers are agreements between the Province and a supplier(s) to deliver specific goods or services over a period of time. In order to control the purchase of these items, purchase orders must be issued for each requirement.
Purchase orders to cover emergency or urgent situations will, in most instances, be awarded by telephone or facsimile, followed by written confirmation.
Alterations or cancellations of purchase orders are the responsibility of Central Purchasing and are issued on a Purchase Order Alteration Form. Amendments or alterations of any nature will not be authorized for payment without prior written approval of Central Purchasing.
Delivery of Goods
Suppliers should ship by the most economical means unless instructed otherwise. Suppliers shall acquaint themselves with local conditions to ensure that this is done.
Unless specifically stated otherwise on a purchase order, all shipments are to be made "F.O.B. Destination", freight prepaid.
Inspection of goods is usually performed upon delivery; however, the right is reserved to conduct inspections of the suppliers' plant and/or an examination of quality control.
Special handling of goods is an integral part of a purchase order. Shipping, delivery, and further handling are as important as the supply of goods.
Payment is made after the specified goods are delivered, in good condition, to the address shown on the purchase order. Invoicing should be handled as per the instructions shown on the purchase order.
Invoice address will vary from one purchase order to another. You are advised to follow the invoicing instructions carefully, as failure to do so may result in payments being delayed.
Central Purchasing maintains, and reviews periodically, vendor performance files. Information in the files is supplied by requisitioners, receivers, and of course, Purchasing Officers.
Vendors are evaluated on competitive price, quality of product, after sales service, and replies to invited tenders.
Vendors who show a history of unsatisfactory performance in any of the above areas are subject to being removed from the Vendor's List.
Vendors may register online, free of charge, by clicking on the "Register" button and completing the electronic registration form accessible from the New Brunswick Opportunities Network main menu.
Should you require assistance when completing your registration form, you may contact the Vendor Coordinator at (506) 444-5218 or by contacting our Help Line at (506) 444-4036 or Toll Free from within Canada at 1-877-231-8800.
Interprovincial procurement agreements do not allow the Province to use local content or location of the supplier in the evaluation of tenders and do not allow the Province to restrict bids based on the location of the supplier. These rules apply to all procurements exceeding thresholds established by the agreement. Each tender issued will indicate which agreements, if any apply.
For procurements under the agreement thresholds, the Province may give a preference to New Brunswick or Atlantic Province vendors. This preference will be based upon price, New Brunswick or Atlantic Province content and on reciprocal treatment of vendors, that is, New Brunswick will consider how our vendors are treated in other provinces when deciding if a preference will be used. The Department of Supply and Services has the sole responsibility for determining if and when a preference may be used to apply this policy.
A tender which is publicly advertised on an electronic tendering system approved by the Minister of Supply and Services or in a newspaper.
Bid documents are the official documents, specifications, forms, etc., which a supplier requires in order to submit a bid.
Central Purchasing Branch (or the Branch)
A branch of the Department of Supply and Services authorized by the Minister to carry out the provisions of the Public Purchasing Act and Regulations on the Minister's behalf.
Central Tendering Branch
A branch of the Department of Supply and Services authorized by the Minister to receive, open and record tender submissions for goods and services.
Electronic Tendering System
Electronic tendering system means a computer based system which displays tender notices and may distribute bid documents.
Exemptions are supplies, services or circumstances that are exempt from the tendering process.
A tender for which the Central Purchasing Branch invites specific vendors to quote.
Local Purchase Orders are used by government departments to purchase goods that are not available under a previously awarded contract or from the department's Central Stores Warehouse and can be used for purchases up to $1,500 (not including tax and shipping).
Minister means the Minister of Supply and Services
In this document, "Regulation" shall refer to the New Brunswick Regulation under the Public Purchasing Act.
Request For Proposal (RFP)
A type of tender document used to purchase complex services where criteria other than price will be used to evaluate bids. The RFP will include the evaluation criteria and relative weights assigned to each. Generally the highest scoring proposal wins.
Standard Terms and Conditions
The Standard Terms and Conditions is a list of terms and conditions that are applicable to all tenders submitted.
Tender notice means a notification that a tender is being issued
- Atlantic Procurement Agreement
- Agreement on Internal Trade
- Agreement on the Opening of Public Procurement for New Brunswick and Quebec
- Agreement on the Government of New Brunswick and the Gouvernment du Quebec on Labor Mobility and the Recognition of Qualifications, Skills and Work Experience in the Construction Industry
- Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America on Government Procurement