Minister of Infrastructure Laurie Scott has announced the launch of an unsolicited proposals (USP) framework for infrastructure projects in Ontario. The announcement was made at a Toronto Region Board of Trade event at the Arcadian Court.

“You told us the people of Ontario could benefit from a USP Framework,” said Scott, speaking to a full room of industry stakeholders. “We heard your challenge. Challenge accepted.”

The new USP framework will be limited to infrastructure projects at this time. Projects in the health care, transportation, transit, energy, broadband, and education sectors are among those that will be accepted.

There are three steps to the framework

  • Initial Proposal Stage
  • Detailed Proposal Stage
  • Procurement and Transaction Stage

At the initial proposal stage, the Ministry of Infrastructure, as well as any other Ministry that will be impacted by the development of the new asset will make the assessment. The government will be under no obligation to proceed with step two of the framework.

At the detailed proposal stage, advanced assessment of the proposal will be undertaken, with specific focus given to commercial, financial, and technical elements. At this stage, submission of a business case will be necessary. There will be an expectation that the participant will take place in meetings to discuss the proposal.

At the procurement and transaction stage, the government will decide on the structure most appropriate for delivering the asset. Unless exceptional circumstances exist, competitive tension will be present in the procurement (specifics of this were not provided at the event, but one could expect that proprietary technologies could be one of the few reasons for sole-sourced procurement).

The government will not charge a fee for submitting a proposal, but it will be up to the proposer to cover the costs of the submission.

For any submission, the proposal will be evaluated based on six assessment criteria:

  1. The proposal is a genuine USP
  2. A clear value or benefit for the people of Ontario must be demonstrated
  3. The proposal must relate to the development or improvement of an infrastructure asset
  4. It must align with government priorities
  5. The proposal must reasonably demonstrate commercial, financial, and technical viability
  6. If government funding is required, must demonstrate value for money with respect to the government’s investment

To learn more about the new USP Framework available from Ontario’s Ministry of Infrastructure, or to make a submission, visit ontario.ca/proposals.

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