The Public Procurement Act came into effect on March 24th, 2018.

Legislation and Policy


Overview of Regulations to accompany An Act Respecting Procurement by Public Bodies

Thresholds for an open call for bids:

  • Goods – remains at $10,000;
  • Services – increased from $10,000 to $50,000;
  • Public Works – increased from $20,000 to $100,000;
  • Engineering Services and Architectural Services – set at $100,000;
  • Lease of Space – increased from $10,000 annually to $100,000 (contract value).


  • Exceptions have been added to the new regulations in the event that an open call for bids may compromise security; and if a prequalified supplier list has been established using a request for qualifications;
  • Exceptions can be made in situations of “emergency or a situation of urgency”;
  • Economic development – Building on Section 7 of the Public Procurement Act, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council can approve an exemption that is recommended by the Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation where the procurement is in the best interest of the economic development of the province, and is not precluded by trade agreements. Group Purchasing:

Group Purchasing:

  • The act provides for group purchasing;
  • The regulations permit a public body to delegate its purchasing authority to another public body for the purpose of group purchasing.

Delegation of Authority:

  • The head of a public body may delegate any power, authority, right, duty or responsibility to a person within that public body;
  • The delegation must be in writing, in the form required by the Chief Procurement Officer, and must identify the person and position to whom the power is delegated and specify the monetary limit.
  • Rules are the same for government departments and agencies, boards and commissions.

Absence of Bids:

  • If no bids, or no qualified bids, are received from an open call for bids, a public body may acquire the commodity through a limited call for bids;
  • This reduces the administrative burden of a second open call and saves time in the procurement process.
  • Limited Call for Bids and Procedures:
  • If an open call for bids is not required because the acquisition is below the applicable threshold or the compromise of security exception applies, the public body shall issue a limited call for bids;
  • At least three quotations would be obtained, or a fair and reasonable price determined based on market conditions;
  • The Chief Procurement Officer may identify other procurement processes for use by public bodies;
  • The Chief Procurement Officer may also identify a preferred approach for use by all or select public bodies for specific commodities, thresholds, or both.

Change Orders and Extensions:

  • Thresholds set at 10 per cent of the original contract value or $15,000, whichever is greater;
  • Change orders or aggregate value of change orders in excess of the threshold, or a change order with a value equal to or greater than $1,000,000 shall be reported to the Chief Procurement Officer. Previously, reports were not centrally collected;
  • Provision of information in required form to ensure compliance with framework.

Reporting Requirements:

  • Transitional reporting requirements while the new electronic notification system is being developed;
  • Public bodies will provide the Chief Procurement Officer with award information respecting open calls for bids and exceptions within 15 days, and the information will be made publicly available;
  • Most reporting intended for the electronic notification system can be achieved through the existing Government Purchasing Agency website, with the exception of 30(d) which will come into force on April 1, 2019, by which time a new electronic notification system is to be built.