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Procurement Policy

Finance / Audit and Property


Approved Date: 03/12/2009


These statements apply to the procurement of goods, services and consulting services and the use of credit and purchasing cards by Children’s Aid Societies and their staff. They are supplemented by a purchasing authorization policy which limits the value of purchases by management level and by a delegation policy which primarily references service purchasing and consulting. (Reference Purchasing Policy # 18.03.-04.06)


To specify the principles that shall govern the planning, acquisition and management of procurement of goods, services and consulting services and the use of credit and purchasing cards and to specify the mandatory requirements for adherence to those principles



  1. The overall objective is to acquire and supply at the right time and in the most economical manner the goods, services and consulting services needed to meet Societies’ requirements in keeping with the following principles:
    • Planning – goods, services and consulting services shall be acquired only after consideration of needs, alternatives, timing and the overall Society supply strategy.
    • Acquiring – goods, services and consulting services shall be acquired from qualified vendors as outlined in this policy to meet specified needs and to achieve, at the best price/cost value for money. Quality, quantity, delivery, servicing, experience, environmental sustainability, and the financial capability of the vendor should be taken into consideration when acquiring goods, services and consulting services.
    • Managing – once procured, goods, services and consulting services shall be managed efficient, effectively and economically.
  2. Goods, services and consulting services must be acquired through a competitive process (quotes and tenders) that seeks to achieve the best value for the funds expended to meet the specific needs and to promote fair dealings and equitable relationships with vendors.
  3. The Society must not artifically subdivide projects, procurements, or contracts to avoid any requirements of the Ministry Policy Directive.

Responsible Management

  1. Societies must establish appropriate organizational structures, systems, processes and procedures, including regular staff training to enable responsible and effective management of the procurement of goods, services and consulting in accordance with the mandatory requirements of the Ministry Policy Directive.
  2. Any exemptions from this policy require the prior approval of the Executive Director and the rationale for the exemption must be clearly documented. Exemption rationales are to incorporate the principles of planning, acquiring and managing outlined in Standard one and the planning activities outlines in Standard nine.
  3. Delegation practices are outlined in purchasing policy #
  4. In managing procurement contracts:
    • all payments must be in accordance with contractual provisions
    • all payments for expenses must be in accordance with the Transportation policy and the Travel and Hospitality Policy.
    • any overpayment must be recovered wherever possible.
    • all assignments must be properly documented.
    • vendor performance must be managed and documented and any performance issues must be resolved.
    • all required approvals must be obtained for all changes in scope and terms and conditions of the agreement, and
    • knowledge transfer to Society staff to support prudent management must take place where applicable.


  1. Planning is an integral part of the acquisition process.
  2. The following planning requirements must be addressed and documented for all procurement activities:
    • early identification of needs
    • clear definition of requirements
    • justification for the acquisition
    • availability of necessary human, financial, technical and accommodation resources
    • consideration of alternative ways to satisfy the needs and selection of the most appropriate procurement option
    • an estimate taken of the procurement value; and
    • necessary authorization to proceed in accordance with each Society’s delegation of authority and governance policies and practices.

Conflict of Interest

  1. Societies must at a minimum, include in the procurement documents provisions that:
    • reference conflict of interest (policy #
    • reserve the right of the Society to solely determine whether any situation or circumstance constitutes a conflict of interest
    • reserve the Society’s right to disqualify prospective vendors from a procurement process due to a conflict of interest
    • require vendors to avoid any conflict of interest during the performance of their contractual obligations to the Society
    • require vendors to disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest arising during the performance of a contract
    • reserve the right of the Society to prescribe the manner in which a vendor should resolve a conflict of interest
    • allow the Society to terminate a contract where a vendor fails to disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest or fails to resolve its conflict of interest as directed by the Society; and
    • allow the Society to terminate a contract where a conflict of interest cannot be resolved.

Vendor Selection – Goods (including Information Technology Goods)

  1. where there are multiple vendors for the required goods and the total estimated contract value is:
    • less than $25,000, delegate (PO) to Director of Finance and Information Services as per budget allocation, not to be exceeded annually.
    • over $25,000, Societies must use an open and transparent competitive process or purchase as a member of a consortium or purchasing group as per group tender
  2. Where there is only one (1) vendor available for the purchase of the required goods, no competitive selection process is required.

Vendor Selection – Services and Consulting Services

  1. Where there are multiple vendors for the required services and consulting services, and the total contract value is:
    • less than $25,000 – the Society must demonstrate that it received value for money. Continuous service is permitted to budget cap
    • $25,000 to $100,000 – Societies must consider at least three (3) vendors within a given service category. The Society may use quotations(requested) where continuous service has demonstrated value
    • over $100,000 – Societies must use an open and transparent competitive process (tender, with advice).
  2. Where there is only one (1) vendor available for the purchase of the required service or consulting service, no competitive selection is required.

Contract Value Increase

  1. Any proposed increase to the total contract value for a procurement beyond the initial documentatal total contract value requires prior written approval of the appropriate delegated authority before the contract value is increased or any further procurement activity proceeds.

Evaluation Process

  1. Family and Children’s Services (FCS) must evaluate bid responses received consistently and in accordance with the evaluation criteria, rating and methodology set out in the procurement procedure document. The evaluation of best price/cost must be undertaken after the completion of the valuation of the mandatory requirements and any other rated criteria. Generally, external advice complements the evaluation of bids and tenders.

Defining the Requirements

  1. The requirements of the procurement contract must be defined properly and clearly by the Society so that potential vendors can submit valid and responsive submissions, bids and proposals and the procurement documents must include proposed contract terms and conditions.

Procurement Documentation Requirements

  1. The Society must retain for a minimum of seven years after the end of a contract all approvals, procurement and contract management documentation, including but not limited to:
    • a copy of the procurement justification or business case
    • information regarding all vendor consultations, including any requests for information undertaken in the development of the procurement, justification or business case or request for qualifications, quotations, proposals or tenders
    • documentation that all required approvals were obtained by the appropriate dedegation of authority
    • copies of all requests for qualifications, quotations, proposals or tenders used to qualify and select the vendor
    • for the successful vendor(s), conflict of interest declaration in accordance with the Conflict of Interest policy
    • information regarding any issues that arose during the procurement process and how the issues were resolved
    • information regarding all vendor debriefings
    • copies of all contract award notifications
    • copies of all approved contracts including which goods, services or consulting services are to be provided and paid
    • information and approval by the appropriate delegation of authority regarding all uses of any exceptions in the Society’s policy pertaining to the procurement of goods, services and consulting services
    • justification for the use of any exception, the recipient of the contract, the date of award and the total contract value
    • information regarding all changes to the terms and conditions of a contract, including any changes that resulted in an increase in the contract price
    • information regarding the management of the vendor, including how the vendor’s performance was monitored and managed and, where applicable, mechanisms used to transfer knowledge from the vendor to Society staff
    • information regarding all disputes or vendor complaints regarding the procurement and the resolution of the disputes or vendor complaints
    • evidence of receipt of deliverables; and
    • detailed invoices that allow the assessment of the appropriateness and reasonableness of amounts billed.

Society Credit and Purchasing Cards

  1. The Society uses credit or purchasing cards for low dollar value purchases wherever permitted and authorized by policy.
  2. The Society credit or purchasing card may not be used to circumvent Society purchasing policies or restrictions.
  3. Society credit cards are issued to individuals approved by the Executive Director – the Director of Finance and the Director of Child Protection.
  4. Specific parameters for each authorized credit or purchasing card such as a dollar limit per transaction, credit limit per month, expiry date, number of transactions per month and purchasing restrictions are determined and approved by the approved delegated authority.
  5. Itemized statements or receipts are reconciled to original receipts and retained for audit purposes.

Procurement Not Covered by the Provisions Under this Policy Directive

Professional Services

  1. Standards 1 – 21 as outlined do not apply to the procurement of services provided by the following licensed professionals.
    • medical doctors
    • dentists
    • nurses
    • pharmacists
    • veterinarians
    • engineers
    • land surveyors
    • architects
    • licensed public accountants
    • lawyers and notaries
    • psychologist

Other Procurement Not Covered by the Provisions of the Ministry Policy Directive

  1. The following types of procurement are not covered by the provisions of the Ministry Policy Directive
    • procurement of services from psychologists
    • procurement from philanthropic institutions, prison labour or persons with disabilities
    • procurement made pursuant to an agreement or policy concerning Aboriginal Peoples
    • procurement of goods related to cultural or artistic fields as well as computer software for educational purposes
    • procurement of services from Outside Paid Institutions (OPI’s) for children in the care of Children’s Aid Societies
    • Psychologists – purchase of service must be authorized by the Director of Child Protection Services unless this purchase line is frozen, capped or otherwise limited by Executive Director service memorandum. Psychological purchases are limited by clinical needs and special needs, expert witness requirements or suspected diagnostic information required for decision making or treatment. Generally, treatment interventions using external purchased services are not approved or require Executive Director approval and a managed care model
  2. When procuring services not covered by Ministry Policy Directive (AO-033-07), controls over the acquisition of and payment for professional services must be in place. Societies must:
    • document the basis upon which licensed professionals were selected and why the fees are commensurate with the qualifications of those licensed professionals
    • periodically evaluate the results achieved; and
    • ensure that invoices contain sufficient detail to assess the appropriateness and reasonableness of amounts billed.

Revised: August 20, 2009
Approved by the Board: December 3, 2009

Family & Children's Services of Renfrew County. Together, A Caring Community
Services à la famille et à l'enfance du Comté de Renfrew. Ensemble, Une Communaté Bienvillante.