Overview

The procurement of goods and construction has been assigned to certain government departments. Goods starting at $10,000 are procured by Procurement Services within Service Alberta. Construction starting at $100,000 is procured mostly by Infrastructure and Transportation. This allows for:

  • greater buying power
  • reduced duplication
  • improved efficiency
  • development of subject matter experts
  • standardization of tools and processes

The procurement of services is performed by each ministry to provide flexibility to meet the unique needs of the programs and services they deliver to Albertans.

Below is a 5-year average of government spending.

Table 1. Average government spending on procurement

Category Average Spend Authority and Accountability
Goods $575 Million Service Alberta (low value goods delegated to ministries)
Services $1.685 Billion Ministries are responsible for their own service requirements
Construction $2.502 Billion Infrastructure and Transportation

The outcomes of any procurement of goods, services or construction are to:

  • meet business needs and objectives for each Ministry
  • ensure equal and fair access to government procurements is provided to qualified vendors, suppliers and contractors
  • demonstrate best value to the government for each procurement
  • produce appropriate documentation
  • meet legislative, policy, and trade agreement requirements

Alberta Purchasing Connection

The Alberta Purchasing Connection (APC) is an easy to use tool that lets public and private sector users manage, advertise, distribute, and download public purchasing opportunities for goods, services, and construction in Alberta. With APC, purchasers advertise opportunities for tender and vendors find opportunities to sell their products or services.

Procurement law

Procurement law in Alberta gives public entities such as governments, publicly funded academic institutions and school boards, a legal framework to shape their policies, and is supported by:

  • trade agreements
  • Acts
  • government guidelines and practices

These laws and trade agreements ensure that Alberta businesses are treated fairly when selling to governments inside and outside of Canada.

The Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism is responsible for negotiating domestic trade agreements in Alberta. They also ensure compliance by public bodies covered by trade agreements.

The Ministry of Service Alberta is responsible for:

  • administering and implementing trade agreement rules for purchasing goods, services and construction
  • interpreting procurement provisions in trade agreements
  • involvement in the dispute resolutions process
  • providing information to businesses regarding trade agreements and how to do business with the Alberta Government

For more information, see Alberta trade agreements.

Submit a bid

Procurement Services encourages competition whenever possible, and awards a contract based on the lowest or most cost-effective response.

The majority of Procurement Services’ acquisitions are posted on the Government of Alberta's electronic tendering system, Alberta Purchasing Connection (APC). Suppliers should obtain solicitation documents from APC to ensure that they receive updates to the documents in a timely manner.

For more information about APC, see the Electronic tendering system section.

Step 1. Prepare a bid

Suppliers must agree to all of the terms and conditions of each solicitation. The Procurement Section's standard terms and conditions are posted on Alberta Purchasing Connection (APC). The solicitation document and contract represent the legal commitments between the supplier and the Government of Alberta.

Bid templates

Service Alberta has developed standard templates that are used for competitive processes managed by Procurement Services.

Fixed Price Systems Development RFP Template (PDF, 651 KB)

  • Version Date: January 28, 2015

Packaged Software RFP Template (PDF, 590 KB)

  • Version Date: January 28, 2015

For questions regarding templates, contact the Procurement Services.

Names, makes and models

Manufacturers' names or models may be used to describe an item in a solicitation. However, it is not meant to be restrictive, unless otherwise stated. It is meant to give the supplier an idea of the type of item being purchased.  If a supplier quotes a different make/model, it must be clearly stated in their response. Manufacturers' specification sheets and literature must be provided by the supplier to show that the item they are quoting meets the minimum requirements. The supplier may have to provide a demonstration and/or samples to test if requested.

Delivery

Suppliers' pricing must include all costs to complete delivery of the goods to the destination stated in the solicitation document, unless otherwise stated. The supplier is responsible for the goods in transit.

Step 2. Submit a bid

Submit a bid through Alberta Purchasing Connection.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

The response date, time and location will be indicated in the RFP. Please refer to each document individually for submission details.

All RFP responses must be received on or before the closing date and time, at the location indicated in the RFP, or the response will be rejected.

Fax responses to RFPs won’t be accepted.

Request for Quotes (RFQ)

Responses to a RFQ may be delivered by hand, courier, mail or fax, unless otherwise stated in the RFQ. The response date, time and location will be indicated in the RFQ documents.

Responses delivered by hand, courier or mail must arrive by the date, time and at the location indicated in the RFQ. Please refer to each document individually for submission details.

Responses, other than fax responses, should have the RFQ number and closing date clearly marked on a sealed envelope.

All RFQ responses must be received (or in the case of faxes, printed) on or before the closing date and time, and at the location indicated in the solicitation, or the response will be rejected.

The Government of Alberta is not responsible for any responses not received, or received late.

Step 3. After you submit

Responses are opened publicly at 2:00 pm Mountain standard time (MST) on the closing date and at the location specified in the solicitation.

How contracts are awarded

After evaluating bids, Procurement Services will issue a contract to the successful supplier.

The name of the successful supplier, award date, and the contracted prices will be available on the Alberta Purchasing Connection following the contract award.

Unsuccessful suppliers will be debriefed by Procurement Services, upon request.

The solicitation will specify if the award will be made to one or more suppliers.

Contract agreements

Contracts are binding legal agreements between the Government of Alberta and the supplier. Goods and services must be supplied as specified in the contract. Changes to any contract issued by Procurement Services are invalid unless authorized by Procurement Services prior to the goods and/or services being delivered. Any change to a contract will be made by a contract amendment issued by Procurement Services.

Suppliers should not supply goods or services to Government of Alberta departments, unless an order number is provided or the Government's Procurement Card is used for the purchase.

Contract template examples

Fixed Price Contract A (PDF, 200 KB) (Version Date: May 22, 2013)

Fixed Price Contract B (PDF, 209 KB) (Version Date: May 22, 2013)

Fixed Price Contract C (PDF, 215 KB) (Version Date: May 22, 2013)

Standing Offer/Blanket Contract Amendment (PDF, 97 KB) (Version Date: March 28, 2007)

Standing Offer/Blanket Contract Master Contract (PDF, 49 KB) (Version Date: May 21, 2009)

Trade agreement thresholds

The following are trade agreement thresholds by agreement and category, from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2019.

The CPTPP, WTO GPA and CETA thresholds are based on SDR (Special Drawing Rights) and are recalculated every 2 years. The CFTA is also recalculated every 2 years.

MASH includes any corporation or entity owned/controlled by a MASH (municipalities, publicly-funded academic/health/social service entities and school boards ) entity.

Crown corporations include Crown corporations, commercial enterprises, and other entities owned/controlled by the Party (GOA) through ownership interest.

Alberta public entities must openly compete procurement opportunities at or above the NWPTA thresholds.

World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement (WTO GPA)

Table 1. WTO GPA thresholds

  Goods Services Construction Participants
Provincial Ministries 649,100 649,100 9,100,000 Canada and 47 countries, including the countries of the European Union
MASH Not covered
Provincial Other Entities Not covered

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)

Table 2. CPTPP thresholds

  Goods Services Construction Participants
Provincial Ministries 649,100 649,100 9,100,000 Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Perue, Singapore and Vietnam
MASH Not covered
Provincial Crown Not covered

Canada-European Union Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA)

Table 3. CETA thresholds

  Goods Services Construction Participants
Provincial Ministries 365,700 365,700 9,100,000 Canada and the countries of the European Union
MASH 365,700 365,700 9,100,000
Provincial Crown* 649,100 649,100 9,100,000

*Procurement with any of the following core activities is subject to a threshold of $731,400 for goods and services and $9,100,000 for construction:

  • provision of airport facilities to carriers
  • ports (maritime and inland)
  • production, transport or distribution of drinking water, electricity, gas or heat
  • treatment of wastewater
  • public transportation (railway, tramway, trolley bus, bus, cable)

Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA)

Table 4. CFTA thresholds

  Goods Services Construction Participants
Ministries 25,300 101,100 101,100 Canada, Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon
MASH 101,100 101,100 252,700
Crown 505,400 505,400 5,053,900

New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA)

Table 5. NWPTA thresholds

  Goods Services Construction Participants
Ministries 10,000 75,000 100,000 Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba
MASH 75,000 75,000 200,000
Crown 25,000 100,000 100,000

Electronic tendering system

The Alberta Purchasing Connection (APC) gives procurement purchasers a user-friendly tool for posting opportunities and solicitation documents.

The APC is Alberta's official electronic tendering system.  It is used to advertise and distribute solicitation documents from Government of Alberta and municipalities, academic institutions, school boards and health authorities (MASH Sector). APC provides a single point of access for both vendors and purchasers to do business efficiently, without cost.

Suppliers should obtain solicitation documents from APC to ensure that they receive updates in a timely manner.

You can call the APC Help Desk at 1-780-644-5726 or toll-free 310-0000.

Self-registration and administration

Vendors self-register in APC the first time they want to download a purchasing opportunity document. Administration tools are available for users to maintain their IDs in the system. Vendors who choose not to register can still search for and view opportunities.

System help and training

Vendors have access to a variety of help and information tools on using the system. These tools include a Help system, FAQ section, training documentation and a multimedia training application.

Tracking of interested vendors

APC can track, display and provide a report on vendors who have downloaded a particular opportunity.

Past awards

Vendors can view their historical use of APC as a report (for example, opportunities downloaded and opportunities awarded).

Canadian tendering systems

Most federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions from across Canada are now posting their procurement opportunities on Alberta Purchasing Connection (APC).

Contact

To connect with Procurement Services:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-4111
Email: corporate.purchasing@gov.ab.ca

Find other procurement offices (PDF, 548 KB) in the Government of Alberta.