Working with the Government Just Got Simpler

To make it easier for small business owners to sell and provide services to government departments, the BC Government has just launched a new two-page Request for Proposal (RFP).

An RFP is a bidding process which provides all vendors with the same information, a series of requirements and questions which you must respond to. 

The aim of the new two page RFP, also called a Short Request for Information (SRFP), is to help reduce the amount of time business owners spend applying for contracts. Designed with in-built rules, the form will provide consistency of answers between vendors, enabling a more fair evaluation.

Used purely for opportunities valued at less than $250,000, the form has already been piloted by several ministries with positive results. 

Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services commented: “By simplifying the application and making it less time consuming for people to complete process, we are making it easier for small businesses to do business with government and creating long-term growth opportunities for businesses throughout the province.”

Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business added that the short request for information (SRFP) had been created as part of the 2013 Small Business Accord. “It’s our goal to make British Columbia the most small business friendly jurisdiction in Canada.” She went on to say: “As small business continues to be a key economic driver in B.C., it’s important that government work to provide opportunities that will help businesses grow long term.”

Where to Find Opportunities

All SRFP opportunities will be published on the BC Bid site or sent directly to selected vendors. Opportunities will be sent directly to vendors if they have qualified under a previous Request For Quotation (RFQ) process or if the opportunity does not align with the policy thresholds for posting to BC Bid.

Submitting your SRFP

How you submit your SRFP will vary for each opportunity. Some may ask you to submit the form online and others in hard copy. The requirements will be detailed in each SRFP. If the form allows both online and hard copy submissions, it is important that you do choose only one option, otherwise you will be submitting two bids.

Some Important Facts

  • The new form is a mandatory requirement of the SRFP process. You will be allowed to make minor formatting changes, e.g. adjusting font size or adding their own logo, but you must not change the wording of the Proposal Form or add or delete sections.
  • To maintain the integrity and fairness of the process, all proponents must have the same information available to them at the same time.  Consulting with government employees may result in inaccurate information and negative consequences for your application.
  • It is important to understand that by submitting a proposal you are agreeing to all the terms and conditions of the opportunity. Should you win the contract, you are not able to negotiate changes. 

Visit the BC Government website to find out more.