A Request for Proposal (RFP) is a procurement template that was developed to help ministries acquire goods and services where price is not the only selection criteria (other factors may include qualifications, experience, and approach). Vendors respond to RFPs to tell government how they meet what is being requested, and the award is made to highest scoring vendor(s).
The Short-Form Request for Proposals was developed in line with principles laid out in the B.C. Small Business Accord, which were established to help foster a progressive business culture where government initiatives support current and future generations of small business owners. The SRFP was identified as a corporate commitment through consultations with groups and individuals, particularly the small business community throughout the province.
The SFRP is a two-page procurement template that simplifies the competitive RFP process when ministries acquire goods and services valued at less than $250,000.
Vendors and public sector staff were invited to a series of in-person and virtual consultations on the new two-page Short-Form Request for Proposals, template and process in the fall of 2013.
October 21 – December 9, 2013
Consultation sessions for the Short-form RFP started October 21, 2013 in Prince George. In total 14 sessions with 132 vendors and 141 public sector staff were held. Several ministries piloted the short form RFP in January and February 2014 with positive results.
Input leads to action:
On April 1, 2014 the Province announced the launch of its two-page, Short-Form Request for Proposals for government opportunities valued at less than $250,000. The change streamlines the request for proposals process, making it easier for small businesses to apply and compete for work. Some of the benefits of the simplified two-page form are that it:
- Simplifies the process, previously, the average length of a request for proposal was around 18 pages but could be upwards of 80 pages with submitted responses being much longer, sometimes up to a few hundred pages;
- Reduces the size of proposal submissions (10-20 pages usually), making it easier for vendors to respond and taking less time for evaluations; and
- Uses a Smart Form, a fillable online PDF document with rules built in that provide consistency in the experience for vendors and ministries. This includes better alignment between what is requested to be included in proposals and what is evaluated.
In 2015/16 over 115 Short-Form Request for Proposals have been issued, totalling approximately $7 Million, and averaging around $66,000 per award. 17 ministries have utilized the updated form, and 91 of the 115 were posted to BC Bid.