The provincial government has introducing a new public procurement act to replace the decades old Public Tendering Act.
The legislation will dictate how government acquires goods, services, public works projects, and even leases office space.
Among the many changes; the proposed legislation introduces the idea of “best value,” rather than simply awarding contracts to the lowest bidder.
Service NL Minister Eddie Joyce referenced recent stories of school buses failing inspections in the province in explaining the concept of best value.
He says best value over lowest prices gives more leeway for school bus operators to get the best value for money over 10 years, rather than just having to go with the lowest price.
Joyce says there are levels of oversight in place that will prevent conflict of interest.
He says decisions have to be approved by a procurement office, with all contracts and information being posted online. He says such decisions won’t be made at a secret council meetings.
CEO of Vigilant Management Terry Hussey says today’s announcement is huge news for service providers. Government now has the ability to review contractors and determine if they did their job properly. That analysis will factor into decisions on who gets similar contracts in the future. Hussey says that’s good news.
He says the ability to evaluate the performance of a supplier is going to go off like a bomb in industry. He says some people may not like it, but it’s sorely needed in the province.