Contractor Alert - Hart Haven Group Home at Dagg Rd

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Project: Renovation Work at Hart Haven, Dagg Road, Prince George
Owner: BC Housing Management Commission
Bidding Authority: BC Housing Management Commission

The BC Construction Association (BCCA) has reviewed the bidding documents and strongly advises contractors to consider the risks associated with the terms listed below. All opinions stated below are those of the BCCA and reflect the publicly-stated policies of BCCA, which can be found online:


  1. Invitation to Tender (ITT) , 2.4. Stages of Bid Evaluation, Stage I – Mandatory Requirements

Risk to Contactor:  The Owner has the right to waive this consideration under ITT 3.5.1 BC Housing’s Reserved Rights (refer to separate reference for 3.5.1 herein).  It is not a “Mandatory Requirement”.

  1. Invitation to Tender, 2.4. Stages of Bid Evaluation, 2.4.2 Stage II

Risk to Contactor:  The document refers to ‘scoring of the pricing submitted’, however the documents do not provide scoring with a list of weightings. It would appear contractors are scored under ITT 3.5.1 BC Housing’s Reserved Rights (refer to separate reference herein):

  • ITT 1.7 Canadian Free Trade Agreement (therein referenced) requires that all weightings for scoring be provided in the solicitation document.
  • It is a requirement under the BC Capital Asset Management Framework (CAMF) to which BC Housing is subject, that any considerations under ITT 3.5.1 BC Housings Reserved Rights   should be managed first through a Request for Qualifications, not an RFP.
  1. Invitation to Tender, 2.4. Stages of Bid Evaluation, 2.4.2 Stage II

Risk to Contactor: States that BC Housing will undertake an ‘economic analysis of the alternative bid prices’. This indicates that alternative prices would be considered in the evaluation of the Bids, which is not fair or transparent.  A preference could be used for the selection of one favoured bidder.

  1. Invitation to Tender, 3.5 Reserved Rights, Limitation of Liability and Governing Law.

Risk to Contactor: These are overarching rights which should be part of a Pre-Qualification (RFQ as referenced herein).  Some of these rights are exceptionally opaque and open to mischief. See the attached summary of considerations.

  1. Invitation to Tender, Appendix C – Separate Prices, List of Separate Prices.

Risk to Contactor:   “Prices shall remain open for acceptance by the Owner at any time before normal requirements for such work or materials’. This statement is vague and therefor open to interpretation. It is also unreasonable:  it is difficult for a contractor to project what costs over an undefined time period, or to clearly understand what the Owner and Bidding Authority considers a ‘normal requirement’.

  1. Invitation to Tender, Appendix D – Subcontractor List

Risk to Contactor:   This list asks for ‘Years of Experience Working with Proponent’. This information is redundant unless it is being evaluated under the ‘scoring’ as referenced in item 2 herein.



Accepting terms which are onerous can harm a contractor’s profitability and undermine accepted industry standard practices, weakening the resilience and productivity of BC’s construction sector. Tendering conditions that undermine industry standards may likely be a forewarning of how a Project will progress, and historically are shown to lead to costly disagreements.  

Onerous conditions such as those described in this alert limit competition. Contractors don’t bid or they bid but seek to protect themselves from perceived risk. Either outcome will raise the cost of construction. Onerous bidding conditions are not in the best interest of the tax payers of British Columbia. 


The BC Construction Association has issued this Alert to contractors as a service to the members of the Association and industry at large to help educate them on the risks associated with bidding. Contractors should not rely solely on the information in this Alert in making decisions on whether to bid or how much to bid. BCCA recommends and expects that before making those decisions, contractors will review the relevant terms of the Bid Package, including the Instructions to Bidders, draw their own conclusions and make their own independent decisions.  BCCA and its agents accept no responsibility whatsoever for the distribution, completeness or accuracy of the information contained in the Alert. Anyone who acts based on the information agrees that it does so at their own risk and will not hold BCCA or its agents accountable for any loss resulting from that action.






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