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CFTA Issues and Tips

Posted 10/3/2017

Organizations can through implementation of revised policies and procedures improve upon the minimum standard set by the CFTA.

Chapter 5 of the agreement states the threshold values that apply and provides some guidance (Article 511) to minimum times for posting of requests. My advice is to become very familiar with this chapter, seek legal and other professional advice to review your organizational policies and procedures to ensure that all persons responsible for procurements understand the implications of the agreement.

Issues and Tips by article and number:

503 – 5. (h) Forbids imposing unnecessary obstacles to participation in a procurement. Make sure that any potential obstacles are justified or removed.

504 – 7. Procurement entities are required to annually publish a notice of intention to participate in a buying group. Consider what constitutes a “buying group” and if applicable create a process for conformance.

Article 508: Do you pre-qualify suppliers and/or create standing orders for supply “as if and when” for a period of time? Review this section carefully and incorporate the requirements into your procedures manual.

515 – 2. Mishandling of receipt of tenders: Ensure that your process for receiving tenders/responses is robust and understood by all in your organization.

516 – 2. Note the information that is to be published following award of tender.

The above are just some of the issues organizations will need to address in their policies and procedures manuals as well as request and contract templates.

The greater the value and complexity of the procurement the more likelihood a challenge to your decisions could be made. It is now considerably easier for an aggrieved respondent to protest an award. I expect that case law will be made that clarifies some of the more subjective clauses of the CFTA. You do not want to be a party to the creation of that case law.

None of this article shall be interpreted as legal advice.