The municipalities are asking the government Legault to adapt the system for electronic tendering (SEAO) to allow companies to submit their bids online.
This feature is not yet accessible for cities who must use the government portal for public tenders. The health crisis, and the confinement of the last few months have highlighted the limits of the current mechanism and encouraged the cities to increase pressure on the government.
At the present time, tender documents can be viewed or downloaded online, but the bidders do not have the ability to route their own documents electronically. Pandemic or not, they must move themselves in the city halls and municipal buildings to file their submission in print, or get it delivered by mail.
“We received a lot of comments and questions from the potential bidders who wanted to know why we do not accept online. We want everyone to know that this is simply not possible to do so, ” said the deputy director general to the administrative services of the City of Lévis, Christian Tanguay.
To the Union of municipalities of Quebec, it was confirmed that discussions are underway for a great time with the ministry of municipal Affairs “to accelerate” the implementation of this feature on the platform SEAO, managed by the treasury Board. “It had to be done at the beginning of 2021, but it has several municipalities that we ask, with reason, if it is possible to go faster,” said spokesperson Patrick Lemieux.
Suppliers of goods and services will have to take their evil in patience. Questioned by The Newspaper, the ministry of municipal Affairs believes that it is “premature” to go forward.
Tests will first be conducted to ensure the integrity of the process. Legislative changes will also need to be made, we are told, ” to provide for the terms and conditions applicable “.
Bid opening filmed
The bid opening is now done without an audience, and to respect the rules of distance-physical, but for the sake of transparency, bidders have access to a video recording.
In Lévis, the City has made the acquisition of a smart mailbox. The filing of submissions, secure, and filmed, is allowed 24 hours on 24. The City receives an alert each time that an envelope or parcel is deposited.
In Quebec, only companies that meet “invitation” to a call for tenders, the amount of which is estimated to be less than $ 100,000, may send their documents via the internet.