After-MERX proposal process : Buy and Sell.gc.ca
Starting June 1st 2013, all Federal government tenders will no longer be posted on MERX. Buysandsell.gc.ca will become the new reference for Canadian bidders who wants to do business with the Federal government. This change will have many effects on request for proposal (RFP) procedures and on contracts granting procedures.
Since 1998, the Federal Government has been using MERX for its RFPs and other procurement needs. In the early 90’s, ordering estimates could cost about 90$ plus the acess fees to MERX wich was 29,95$ a month! However, a few years ago, MERX changed its approach with a new section especially for Governement tenders and procurements. Everything was free of charge, including estimates, system access, addendums or access to the bidders list. Even when the Federal starts publishing on its own website on June 1st, MERX will still be a must for RFP and procurements from other government or private corporations. The question is : what will then happen with the free access granted since 1998 ? Everything shows that they will become paying account.
Next June, everything changes again. The Federal takes control and will publish its RFPs and procurements all by itself. Here are the headlines of what we’ve heard about the new system :
- No more login and password. Evertyhing is free, although there are no more value added services as with MERX.
- We heard alot of positives comments about the new interface. Opportunities will apparently be easier to find, but we still have to know how to use the search tool correctly.
- Estimates will be available completely free of charge by visiting the RFPs on the new PWGSC site (http://buyandsell.gc.ca)
- Addendums or corrections in estimates will no longer be sent by e-mail. All the information will be available via a RSS feed on your internet browser. That RSS feed will notify you whenever a modification occurs to a RFP you are following. You will then be able to click on a link to get back to the announcement and download the new documents. It’s free, but you have to be more careful and subscribe to the appropriate RSS feed and take a look every once in a while to make sure you have all documents up-to-date.
- There will no longer be a document order list. It will be more like the Séao in Quebec, you won’t be able to see who ordered documents or made a formal proposal. This new measure will have the advantage of decreasing the spam received by an interested corporation from other corporation seeking a part of the share (subcontractor for example).
In short, it will all be free. They will probably introduce some new features like the possibility to see previous tenders, simplify the search with keywords or by buyers, etc. Another advantage will be to have all information related to RFPs and procurement on the same web site, along with information about the list of suppliers (SRI) or the security level requirements.
Solutions Antenne will continue to closely follow the situation and will still manually search the best RFPs that suit your company to make sure our clients gets the best service and a unique coverage of the government needs in goods and services.