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CAO Guide on Procuring Goods and Services

Procurement refers to the process of acquiring goods, works or services from an external source. This guide provides condominium directors with assistance and information on the process.


Understand and document procurement needs

This section of the guide provides information on the two project categories all purchasing needs fall into Operational or Special.

Operational projects are renewed regularly and may include condo management, consulting, elevator repair and maintenance, cleaning, garbage disposal and more.

Goods and services that are acquired occasionally are considered special projects. Some examples include, roof repair, waterproofing, window replacement and others. Solar panels, electric vehicle chargers, installing “green roof” and others are capital improvements.

The other topics tackled in this section of the guide are:

  • Understanding the competitive bidding process
  • Establishing a realistic procurement timeline



Identify and select the right approach

Section two of the guide focuses on this step of the process and provides details on:

  • Bidding – a formal procurement process where a bid is launched with a call to suppliers to provide prices for goods or services as specified in the scope of work.
  • Request for Proposal: Used for complex projects where the process or final service or good may not be clear, such as landscaping design, consulting services, architectural or engineering services and other projects
  • Request for Quote
  • Project delivery methods
  • Types of bids and contracts
  • Budgetary consideration
  • Building a business case for certain purchase decisions
  • Documenting purchasing needs


Find the right goods and supplier

Typically, the condo board will oversee the bidding process, however, it may be a good idea to create a special committee to oversee the purchase of expensive services.

Section 3 of the guide does a deep dive into designing an effective procurement process with:

  • Legal checks for compliance with by-laws, local laws and regulations
  • Ensuring the procurement process is fair and transparent
  • Selecting the right time to procure the goods or services
  • Developing the right bid evaluation criteria
  • Documenting results and preparing the bid package
  • Creating a bidders list


Select and run a successful procurement process

Once the bidding gets underway, the guiding principles discussed in this section of the procurement guide will ensure the bidding process is high quality. The other topics discussed are:

  • Issuing the bid
  • Types of bids, invitational or open
  • Hosting a bidder information session
  • Bidding period
  • Permissible bid submissions
  • Receiving bids


Make the purchase and award the contract

When the bidding period has ended and the bidding has closed, the next step will be when the condo board opens the bids. This section of the procurement guide provides details on that step. It includes topics such as:

  • Withdrawn bids
  • Late bids
  • Bid opening
  • Evaluating bids
  • Bid analysis and evaluation
  • Interviewing bidders
  • Checking references
  • Negotiating with bidders
  • Selecting the successful bidder
  • Entering into a contract
  • Managing claims and disputes


Review and monitor purchasing decisions

A condo board should review its procurement policy to ensure it addresses all procurement efforts and practices, is comprehensive, and that its elements are in accordance with the condo corporation’s governing documents. The review and monitoring must also include:

  • Documenting the condo’s contractual obligations
  • Tracking warranties and guarantees
  • Tracking contract renewal and termination dates
  • Assessing past procurement experiences
  • Special purchasing situations
  • Procurement checklist for directors


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