Doing business with the Government of Ontario
Find out how to sell your goods and services to the Ontario government as a vendor, or purchase products and services as a member of the Ontario Public Service or broader public sector.
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Supply Chain Ontario operations have transferred to Supply Ontario effective July 31, 2023. This move marks a milestone in the efforts to create a smarter, stronger and more connected public sector supply chain that better serves the needs of Ontarians.
You will not see any changes to the services you use at this time.
Supply Ontario is now the home for:
- the enterprise vendor of record program
- advertising and communications procurement
- management of the provincial stockpile of personal protective equipment and critical supplies
- supply chain advisory services
Every year, Ontario spends about $29 billion on goods and services ranging from pacemakers and bandages, to computer and IT hardware.
We are currently in the process of centralizing procurement across Ontario ministries, agencies and the broader public sector, in order to:
- create a single-window approach
- reduce costs
- make it easier for companies of all sizes to work with the government
As we transition to a new way of doing business, there are interim measures currently in place that:
- support opportunities for collaborative purchasing where possible, while protecting continuity of business and services
- support the collection of data necessary for building the centralized system
- do not impact current contracts already in place
Measures apply to new procurements of good and services (consulting and non-consulting) valued at $25,000 or higher, or $100,000 or above if a member of the broader public service, that are not utilizing a collaborative contract.
The interim measures and corresponding business procedures for procurement reporting and procurement rationale reviews took effect March 18, 2019. Any procurements released to the vendor community before this date may continue as planned.
Existing Vendors of Record and Registered Broader Public Sector Buyers
If you are a vendor of record for the Ontario government, login here to submit your monthly usage report.
If you are a broader public sector buyer, login here to see vendor of record arrangements that are available to you.
Sell to the government
Become a new vendor
As a vendor, you can sell goods and services to the Ontario Public Service. Most of these goods and services are sold to the government through contracts. Many of our contracts are also available to municipalities and the broader public sector.
How to find government procurements
The Ontario government issues requests for bids and invitations to quote to procure goods and services. Open competitive opportunities are posted on the Ontario Tenders Portal. Agreements are then established with a particular vendor or vendors.
Contracts must be advertised openly for:
- goods valued at $25,000 or more for Ontario Public Service and $100,000 or more for the broader public sector
- services and construction valued at $100,000 or more
These thresholds are set by trade agreements that Ontario is a party to.
There may also be a vendor of record arrangement that authorizes multiple vendors to provide ministries with goods or services for a defined period under specific terms, conditions and pricing.
The Ministry of Transportation uses Registry, Appraisal and Qualification System (RAQS) to advertise large capital construction projects.
Become a vendor for the government
There are steps involved in becoming a vendor of record for the government. The steps below will walk you through the process. These include where to find vendor of record arrangements, the bidding requirements and potential next steps.
Step 1 - Understanding vendor options
Ministries must use an open competitive procurement process for goods valued at $25,000 or more and a competitive process for all consulting services, regardless of the value.
A large or complex project may be divided into several smaller parts. Specifications for each part are provided in the individual tendering documents.
A ministry may decide to hold a competition for a large project with individual stages, which can be awarded to the same vendor provided that the vendor is successful at each stage and is compliant with the requirements of the directive.
Ministries may use an invitational competitive procurement process for goods valued under $25,000 and services valued under $100,000. Under this process, at least three qualified vendors are invited to submit a written proposal in response to the ministry’s written requirements.
Vendor of record arrangements
Vendor of record arrangements are established through requests for bids posted on the Ontario Tenders Portal, and are followed by a transparent and competitive procurement process.
Bidders who successfully meet all request for bid requirements, then sign a master agreement with the government, are awarded vendor of record status.
Vendor of record arrangements allow ministries to obtain commonly procured goods and services in a shorter timeframe than if they initiate the procurement process from scratch.
Types of vendor of record arrangements
There are a variety of VOR arrangements that include:
- Enterprise-wide vendor of record arrangements that reduce procurement costs by providing ministries with access to one or more contracted vendors of goods and services common to more than one ministry. Non-OPS entities have access to certain enterprise-wide VORs to facilitate select procurements and benefit from the negotiated price.
- Multi-ministry vendor of record arrangements that are established when more than one ministry requires a particular good/service but there is insufficient demand for an enterprise-wide arrangement.
- Ministry specific vendor of record arrangements that are established by individual ministries for their exclusive use.
Upcoming vendor of record arrangements
The Vendor of Record Program – Three-Year Outlook provides vendors with advance notice of upcoming enterprise-wide VOR arrangements by:
- planned posting date
- estimated start date
- client users
- VOR number
Fees are established before the work begins and are based on the contract's terms and conditions. Ministries do not calculate fees based on the results of a consultant’s work (for example, a percentage of savings achieved through the introduction of a recommended system).
In some cases, the government will set a ceiling price for work required and will publish that ceiling price in procurement documents. The ceiling price stated in the documents cannot be exceeded.
Consultants will not be reimbursed for any hospitality, food or incidental expenses unless otherwise stated.
We aim to achieve the best value for the money we spend by acquiring goods and services in an effective, efficient, economical and ethical manner.
Step 2 – Tendering your bid
Understand the bidding process
The bidding process for becoming a vendor is fair, open and transparent and all vendors are treated equally.
Ministries and suppliers must comply with all relevant accessibility standards and regulations.
All procurements over $25,000 require bidders to:
- undergo contractor tax compliance verification
- supply a 9-digit Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) number
- potentially go through a security screening
The bidding process is handled via the Ontario Tenders Portal. Registered vendors can get free access and bid online for government procurement opportunities and receive alerts as new procurement opportunities become available.
Tax Compliance Verification Program (TCV)
Tax Compliance Verification (TCV) ensures that businesses bidding on provincial contracts valued at $25,000 or more are compliant with their tax obligations. Before bidding on a contract, bidders must request a tax compliance verification number through the automated TCV program to ensure their tax obligations are in good standing.
The Tax Compliance Verification portal allows businesses to verify tax compliance status online at any time. If required, users can also upload their Filing and Balance Confirmation letter confirming compliance of federally-administered tax statutes directly to the Tax Compliance Verification portal.
There are no costs to the vendor associated with the program.
For general procurement inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For inquiries about a specific procurement, contact the designated procurement contact in the purchasing ministry.
Use our online tool to check your tax compliance status.
Preparing your bid
The procurement documents will explain:
- how to lay out your bid
- how it will be evaluated
- mandatory and desirable requirements (these vary by bid)
- weighting of the areas to be scored (for example, experience or product performance)
Do not assume that because you have dealt with the government or a client ministry previously that it knows your organization and skills. Each bid is unique and will be evaluated solely on its content.
If you have any concerns about the procurement documents, contact the request for bids officer identified in the document prior to the closing date. Most issues can be addressed.
Examples of what your bid could include are:
- detailed responses to each evaluation requirement showing you understand the requirement and can meet it
- description of how you would do the work if you win the contract
- how you would meet all mandatory eligibility requirements
- the identification of any problems you anticipate during the project along with contingency plans in case problems arise
- for consulting work, an introduction to your team including a description of how many people will be assigned to the various tasks, their level and title and how many hours or days they will work
It’s important your quote contains the following:
- a detailed breakdown of your quoted price
- a full description of how you will meet the ministry’s goals and objectives, checked against the priorities and requirements spelled out in the procurement document
If you have an alternative solution that is allowed for, please feel free to provide it as part of your bid.
Once you place a bid for a project, you will be kept informed of any changes affecting your bid. This includes questions we may have for you to help clarify your bid.
Step 3 - What happens with your bid
Bids are usually evaluated by a team of ministry staff, which could include procurement officers and potential users of the goods and services required. Contract awards are reviewed and approved by one or more senior officers depending on the ministry.
Successful bidders will be notified to execute the contract award. Award notifications are published in the same manner they were advertised and using the same medium as original request, such as the Ontario Tenders Portal. Bidders need to be compliant with the tax statutes of Ontario and may be required to pass security screening and reference checks.
The name of the successful bidder, term of the contract and total bid price can be provided upon request.
A successful vendor requires a contract for all procurements. The contract includes:
- responsibilities of the vendor and the buyer
- description of how the vendor’s performance will be evaluated
- a termination clause
We are committed to fairness and transparency throughout the procurement process.
At the end of a procurement, we will let you know if your bid was successful, or not. You may then reach out to the procurement contact to request a debrief within 60 days. This debrief may give you the following feedback:
- who won
- the total bid price
- how your response ranked relative to other responses
- strengths and weaknesses of your bid
- how to improve future bids
Note: we will not share any information (e.g. bidders’ per-unit pricing).
If you are not satisfied with the results of the debriefing, you may contact the manager or director responsible for the particular procurement opportunity.
File a complaint
If you still have a concern about the fairness of the procurement process, you may file a complaint. Your complaint will be sent to a central review process. You have up to 30 days, from the time you have identified an issue, to file a bid dispute complaint.
To file a complaint:
- complete the complaint form
- attach a detailed description of the complaint
- provide relevant background information
All documentation must be addressed to the Director, Supply Chain Policy Branch, Supply Chain Policy and Oversight Division, Treasury Board Secretariat and sent to either:
- 222 Jarvis Street, 8th Floor
All complaints will receive a formal review and vendors will be provided with a formal response. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the review, there may be other avenues open to you.
Step 4 - How you’re paid as a vendor
Vendors to the Ontario government are paid according to the contract's terms and after the invoice and the receipt for goods or services are received.
Direct deposit payments
Direct deposit is a convenient and safe way to receive payments.
Please ensure your information is accurate and up-to-date to make sure you receive your direct deposit payments and email notifications on time.
New supplier registration
If you are a new supplier, you must register and provide your:
- business number – if your invoice charges GST/HST, you are required to provide your business number as registered with the Canada Revenue Agency for tax reporting purposes
- legal name – the legal name (and operating name) that you used to register with the Canada Revenue Agency is required to be printed on all invoices where you charge GST/HST
Register your business for direct deposit
- complete and submit the Supplier Registration and Application for Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer Form
- attach a void cheque with your application form that displays either:
- your legal name
- a letter verifying your account details from your financial institution. We do not accept counter cheques.
You can register for email notifications by providing your payment remittance email address on the application form. Use a secure email address that will not be affected by any staff changes within your organization.
For each direct deposit payment, you will receive an email that includes the:
- amount paid
- invoice number
For assistance, please call the OPS Contact Centre at either:
Monthly vendor reporting
As a vendor of record of the Ontario government, you must submit a monthly usage report, as outlined on the contract.
Buy for government
Building Ontario Businesses Initiative (BOBI)
As part of its commitment to supporting Ontario businesses the Ontario government created the Building Ontario Businesses Initiative (BOBI). As one of the strategies under BOBI the government passed the Building Ontario Businesses Initiative Act, 2022 (BOBIA). The act mandates public sector entities to give Ontario businesses preference when conducting procurements for goods and services under a specified threshold amount.
Updates have been made to the BPS Procurement Directive to align with the new regulation set out in the BOBIA.
Building Ontario Businesses Initiative (BOBI) training for ministry and agency buyers continues to be available.
If you’re a member of the Ontario Public Service or the broader public sector, including provincial agencies, Ontario Power Generation and the Independent Electricity System Operator, you can use current Ontario government vendors.
Procurement Operational Guidelines for Buyers
Are you a buyer for a municipality, government agency or broader public sector entity? If so, your organization may be eligible to access the Province’s Vendor of Record and Volume Licencing arrangements saving your organization valuable time and money.
Benefits of using these arrangements include:
- Ability to tap into the Province of Ontario’s volume-based buying power;
- Streamlines your process to procure commonly used goods and services through a traditional Request for Bids (RFB) process;
- Easy access to pre-qualified vendors offering a variety of goods and/or services; and
- Quick access to contract manager support and helpful user guides.
To learn how to become a registered non-OPS buyer, please access the Operational Guidelines for Use of Enterprise-wide Vendor of Record Arrangements and Volume Licensing Agreements by OPS Clients and Non-OPS Clients guide.
To find out if your organization is already a registered non-OPS buyer, please contact email@example.com or you may go to the List of successfully-registered OPS Clients and Non-OPS Clients.
Procurement rationale form
For broader public sector organizations, your funding ministry may tell you to complete a Procurement Rationale Report Form if a new in-scope procurement is:
- $100,000 and greater
- not leveraging a bulk buying agreement or
- two years or more in length including extensions
|$350,000 good/service, not available on VOR-type arrangement, contract less than two years with extensions
|Contract two years or under
|$100,000 good/service using enterprise-wide Volume Licensing Agreement, three-year contract including extensions
|Using enterprise-wide agreement
|$90,000 good, invitational, not available on VOR, four-year contract
|Value under $100,000, measures do not apply
|$100,000 good/service, sole source, three-year contract
|Contract over two years
|$5M construction related, five-year contract
|Not required for construction
|$600,000 goods, not on VOR, three-year contract, already have organizational approval but not posted
|Contract over two years and not posted before March 18. 2019
|$200,000 service, not available on VOR, five-year contract, posted March 10, 2019 but contract not signed
|Posted prior to March 18, 2019 announcement
|Good/service over $100,000, one-year contract + one-year extension
|Total contract two years or under
More information about the interim measures.
Events and seminars
Training for Buyers
Building Ontario Businesses Initiative (BOBI) training for ministry and agency buyers is now available.
Buyers will learn how to apply BOBI strategies to procurements and embed local economic benefit considerations into the procurement process.
Training for Vendors
We recommend vendors attend the Vendor Procurement Training – How to do Business with Ontario webinar prior to attending Vendor Procurement Training – How to Submit a Bid.
Vendor Procurement Training – How to do Business with Ontario
You will learn about procurement policies and directives in Ontario, how to access procurement opportunities, helpful tips about preparing a bid response, and how to market yourself to the right people.
Vendor Procurement Training – How to Submit a Bid
You will learn about the rules around government procurement in Ontario, understand your role as a vendor and learn about the step-by-step procurement process.
Events, seminars and webinars help explain procurement policies and practices of the Ontario government and provide information and tips on:
- procurement policy
- writing effective proposals
- becoming a vendor of record, and
- marketing your goods and services to the Ontario government
If your group or association would like to have a seminar delivered as part of your program or event, please contact us at DoingBusiness@ontario.ca.
For more information, contact us at DoingBusiness@ontario.ca
To find all our bulletins, visit our doing business bulletin page.
Hazardous Waste Collection and Disposal Services Vendor of Record Arrangement
January 18, 2024
Supply Ontario has established a new Vendor of Record (VOR) arrangement for Hazardous Waste Collection and Disposal Services.
The VOR arrangement, which will become effective on January 14, 2024, is for a term of six years, with no option for extensions. There will be an annual refresh when additional vendors may be added to the VOR. This VOR arrangement is mandatory for Ontario Public Service (OPS) ministries and agencies and is optionally available to non-OPS entities including municipalities, academic institutions, school boards, health care providers, and major transfer payment recipients.
The VOR arrangement will provide products, services, and personnel to collect, transport, store, and dispose of biomedical and hazardous waste from various facilities throughout Ontario. It includes seven qualified vendors over three service categories including one for liquid industrial waste.
- This VOR arrangement saves time, effort, and money by providing fast and streamlined access to hazardous waste disposal services from multiple vendors with the necessary experience, qualifications, and infrastructure to support OPS requirements.
- The pre-qualified list of vendors can provide the necessary service throughout Ontario, providing choice to clients, while promoting competition through a second-stage selection process.
- This VOR ensures that hazardous waste collection and disposal services meet industry standards and are in full conformity with Ontario Public Service (OPS) requirements.
How to access the VOR arrangement
For Ontario Public Service (OPS) ministries
This VOR arrangement and the user guide are available on InsideOPS.
For Non-OPS entities
Access is available through the Doing business with Ontario website.