Thursday, May 14, 2015

The City of Calgary switches to electronic bidding

The City of Calgary announced it is switching to electronic bidding for all publicly advertised contracts, effective May 25, 2015.

Deputy Mayor Evan Woolley, speaking at an event at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, said, “The electronic bidding project is a perfect example of The City’s Cut Red Tape Initiative in action: It saves our vendors time and money ... and it helps reduce environmental impact by reducing paper usage and traffic on the roads.”

He added, “The impact on The City’s budget is small but favourable, but the impact on The City’s ability to do business efficiently and effectively is enormous!”

Effective May 25, 2015, all new solicitations will be posted on the MERX4 portal at Vendors must register in order to have uninterrupted access to postings.

Electronic bidding eliminates the hazards – and hassles – associated with paper files. Instead of printing, copying and rushing to get a time-stamp, suppliers will be able to simply upload their proposals electronically. No more courier costs, traffic delays or parking problems – and the environmental impact of printing and delivering proposals will be eliminated.

The City recommends suppliers register as soon as possible to avoid missing any opportunities they might be interested in. Suppliers can buy an annual subscription of $89.90 for access to the system for one year or, if they’re only planning to bid on one project, they can pay $25.00 to download a solicitation and $25.00 to submit their proposal.

Vendors currently preparing proposals should continue to follow the instructions already received – existing RFPs will not be moving to the new system. Only new opportunities will be posted on MERX4.

MERX was selected as the supplier for electronic bidding as the result of a competitive bid process and successful pilot project. In the past, construction opportunities were posted on MERX3 – The City’s bid documents could be downloaded, but the site did not provide for uploading of proposals. Now, MERX4 has everything – suppliers can download and upload documents, eliminating entirely the need for paper documents.

The City of Calgary issues some $1.5 billion worth of requests for proposals and other solicitations a year, generating more than 2,500 bids from suppliers, consultants and contractors.

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