Procuring construction services is a highly specialized practice that requires unique experience, knowledge, and skill. BC has seen a 79 per cent increase in the value of current construction projects since 2017, the provincial government is investing a record-setting $24.7-billion in capital projects, and the federal government is fast-tracking and accelerating municipal housing projects. With taxpayer-funded projects on hyperdrive, procurement best practices are more important than ever, and yet increasingly rare. That’s why the BC Construction Association (BCCA) has chosen to honour four public owners who consistently show leadership in the procurement of construction services.

“Construction-specific procurement may seem like a niche topic, but the procurement process is essential to ensuring that a public project doesn’t suffer from escalating costs, expanded timelines, and compromised outcomes,” says Chris Atchison, president of BCCA. “Taxpayers can’t afford faulty practises, and neither can contractors. These awards recognize that there are some public sector entities that are trying to get it right.”

The winners of the BCCA’s Best of Public Procurement 2022 – Owner of Choice Awards are:

BC MINISTRY OF CITIZEN SERVICES – PROCUREMENT SERVICES for

  • Engagement with industry
  • Leadership with, and education of, other government entities
  • Commitment to the Capital Asset Management Framework (CAMF)
  • Commitment to best practices and fair, open, and transparent procurement
  • Providing easy access to Bid Documents through BC Bid and BidCentral
  • Providing a range of budget estimate information in the Invitation to Tender
  • Providing Bid results and award information to all bidders
  • Hosting zoom bid openings

FACILITIES MANAGEMENT PROCUREMENT TEAM at Fraser Health, Provincial Health Services Authority, and Vancouver Coastal Health for

  • Commitment to CAMF
  • Commitment to fair, open, and transparent procurement
  • Using BidCentral Online Bidding for Subcontractors for submission of Trade Contractor Bids to provide a fair, open and transparent bidding for Trade Contractors
  • Using electronic submission of bids
  • Providing Bid results and award information to all bidders
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“We facilitate access to a wide variety of services in construction by encouraging competition, reflecting fairness, being open about our process and complying with government obligations (to trade agreements), while still supporting long-term Health Authority strategic planning,” said Elizabeth Zhu, manager, Facilities Management Procurement.

INTERIOR HEALTH CAPITAL PLANNING AND PROJECTS TEAM for

  • Commitment to fair, open, and transparent procurement
  • Using the BC Documents Committee’s BCDC 2 “Standard Documents and Guidelines for a Stipulated Price Bid”
  • Using BidCentral Online Bidding for Subcontractors for submission of Trade Contractor Bids to provide a fair, open and transparent bidding for Trade Contractors
  • Using electronic submission of bids (including bonds)

And

CITY OF PRINCE GEORGE, specifically for its engagement with industry.

Public entities whose contract opportunities are distinguished by well-structured procurement processes and project outcomes can achieve a reputation as owners of choice. This directly translates to demonstrable value for taxpayer dollars and aligns with public sector obligations to trade agreements and for fair, open and transparent procurement practices.

“The City of Prince George greatly values our positive working relationship with the Northern Regional Construction Association, because projects always benefit when teams collaborate instead of operate in silos. We appreciate being recognized with this award, which reflects our commitment to building relationships both with industry as well as our community,” said Walter Babicz, City Manager, Prince George.

Featured image:  Downtown construction in the City of Prince George, B.C. (City of Prince George)

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