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Policy Recommendation


The environmental sector has identified a number of issues experienced with the public procurement process and approach, including the following:

  • Requests for proposals (RFPs) are often specifying products that are compatible with outdated systems, thereby excluding the applicability of newer and more efficient components that may be locally manufactured or more environmentally sound. Prior to tendering, RFPs have not been used enough to determine what products and services are available locally.

  • When smaller firms are responding to RFPs, government seeks validation of environmentally friendly products and technologies that are already widely used in other jurisdictions.

  • Small firms are not given the necessary advance notice when large procurements may be on the horizon.

  • RFPs, on occasion, are asking for packaged products or services with elements not available within the province, thus inhibiting local bids.

It is NEIA’s view that many of these issues are caused by RFPs that delineate a project or product in exact terms, e.g. defining not just the final deliverable but also how that deliverable should be achieved. This eliminates new ideas and alternative solutions from the outset, and discourages innovative thinking. Government (and Crown agency) RFPs should be prescriptive in desired outcomes, not processes.

  • Action Recommended:
    Newfoundland and Labrador to review procurement process to ensure it is supporting – and not inhibiting – local supply and innovation.

  • Action Recommended:
    Newfoundland and Labrador to investigate using outcome-based RFPs (as opposed to process-prescriptive).


Have any ideas, suggestions, or issues with this policy recommendation? Join the discussion and leave your comments below!

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