RFP Terms and Conditions

General Information and Instructions

Proponents to Follow Instructions

Proponents should structure their proposals in accordance with the instructions in this RFP. Where information is requested in this RFP, any response made in a proposal should reference the applicable section numbers of this RFP.

Language

All proposals are to be in English, or both English and French.   If there is a conflict or inconsistency between the English version and the French version of the proposal, the English version of the proposal shall prevail.

No Incorporation by Reference

The entire content of the proponent’s proposal should be submitted in a fixed form, and the content of websites or other external documents referred to in the proponent’s proposal but not attached will not be considered to form part of its proposal.

References and Past Performance

In the evaluation process, BNS may include information provided by the proponent’s references and may also consider the proponent’s past performance or conduct on previous contracts with BNS.

Information in RFP Only an Estimate

BNS makes no representation, warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy of the information contained in this RFP, received from the RFP Contact, or issued by way of addenda. Any quantities shown or data, or opinion contained in this RFP or provided by way of addenda are estimates only and are for the sole purpose of indicating to proponents the general scale and scope of the Deliverables. It is the proponent’s responsibility to obtain all the information necessary to prepare a proposal in response to this RFP.

Proponents to Bear Their Own Costs

The proponent shall bear all costs associated with or incurred in the preparation and presentation of its proposal, including, if applicable, costs incurred for interviews or presentations.

Proposal to be retained by BNS

BNS will not return the proposal, or any accompanying documentation submitted by a proponent.

No Guarantee of Volume of Work or Exclusivity of Contract

BNS makes no guarantee of the value or volume of work to be assigned to the successful proponent. The agreement to be negotiated with the selected proponent will not be an exclusive contract for the provision of the described Deliverables. BNS may contract with others for goods and services the same as, or similar, to the Deliverables or may obtain such goods and services from resources within BNS.

Business Registration

Proponents may be required to be registered to carry on business in accordance with applicable laws.  For information on the business registration requirements of the Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stock Companies, please consult:

http://www.novascotia.ca/snsmr/access/business/registry-joint-stock-companies.asp

The status of a proponent’s business registration does not preclude the submission of a proposal in response to this RFP.  A proposal can be accepted for evaluation, regardless of (i) whether the company is registered, or (ii) whether its business registration is in good standing.  However, a contract cannot be awarded unless the successful proponent is registered and in good standing, in accordance with applicable laws.   

If the proponent’s business is not required to register in Nova Scotia, the proponent will be required to submit registration from their applicable jurisdiction. 

Communication after Issuance of RFP

Proponents to Review RFP

Proponents shall promptly examine all of the documents comprising this RFP, and

  1. report any errors, omissions, or ambiguities; and
  2. direct questions or seek additional information

in writing by email to the RFP Contact, as set out in section 1.2, on or before the Deadline for Questions.  BNS is not obligated to respond to questions or comments received after this period has passed.  No such communications are to be directed to anyone other than the RFP Contact. BNS is under no obligation to provide additional information, and BNS will not be responsible for any information provided by or obtained from any source other than the RFP Contact. It is the responsibility of the proponent to seek clarification from the RFP Contact on any matter it considers to be unclear. BNS will not be responsible for any misunderstanding on the part of the proponent concerning this RFP or its process.

All New Information to Proponents by Way of Addenda

This RFP may be amended only by addendum in accordance with this section. If BNS, for any reason, determines that it is necessary to provide additional information relating to this RFP, such information will be communicated by addendum on the Nova Scotia Procurement Web Portal. Each addendum forms an integral part of this RFP and may contain important information, including significant changes to this RFP. Proponents are responsible for obtaining all addenda issued by BNS.

Post-Deadline Addenda and Extension of Submission Deadline

If BNS determines that it is necessary to issue an addendum after the Deadline for Issuing Addenda, BNS may extend the Submission Deadline for a reasonable period of time.

Verify and Clarify

During the evaluation process, BNS may request further information from the proponent or third parties in order to verify or clarify the information provided in the proponent’s proposal, including but not limited to clarification with respect to whether a proposal meets the mandatory technical requirements set out in Section D.3 of the RFP Particulars (Appendix D). BNS may revisit and re-evaluate the proponent’s response or ranking on the basis of any such information.

Notification and Debriefing

Notification of Outcome of Procurement Process

Once an agreement is executed by BNS with a proponent, notification of the outcome of the procurement process will be posted on the Nova Scotia Procurement Web Portal or shared directly with those invited to participate in the tender process. 

Debriefing

Proponents may request a debriefing after posting of the outcome of the procurement process on the Nova Scotia Procurement Web Portal or notification by BNS. All requests must be in writing to the RFP Contact and must be made within sixty (60) days of posting of the outcome of the procurement process. The intent of the debriefing information session is to aid the proponent in presenting a better proposal in subsequent procurement opportunities. Any debriefing provided is not for the purpose of providing an opportunity to challenge the procurement process or its outcome.

Supplier Complaint Procedure

If a proponent wishes to file a complaint regarding the RFP process, it must provide written notice to the RFP Contact within sixty (60) days of posting of the outcome of the process on the Nova Scotia Procurement Web Portal, or notification from BNS, and BNS will respond in accordance with its Supplier Complaint Protocol.

Conflict of Interest and Prohibited Conduct

Conflict of Interest

BNS may disqualify a proponent for any conduct, situation, or circumstance, determined by BNS, in its sole and absolute discretion, to constitute a Conflict of Interest. For the purposes of this Section, “Conflict of Interest” has the meaning ascribed to it in the Submission Form (Appendix B).

Disqualification for Prohibited Conduct

BNS may disqualify a proponent, rescind an invitation to negotiate or terminate an agreement entered into if BNS, in its sole and absolute discretion, determines that the proponent has engaged in any conduct prohibited by this RFP.

Prohibited Proponent Communications

A proponent shall not engage in any communications that could constitute a Conflict of Interest and must take note of the Conflict-of-Interest declaration set out in the Submission Form (Appendix B).

Proponent not to Communicate with Media

A proponent may not at any time directly, or indirectly, communicate with the media in relation to this RFP or any agreement entered into pursuant to this RFP without consent of BNS, and then only in coordination with BNS.

No Lobbying

A proponent shall not, in relation to this RFP or the evaluation and selection process, engage directly or indirectly in any form of political or other lobbying whatsoever to influence the selection of the successful proponent.

Illegal or Unethical Conduct

Proponents shall not engage in any illegal business practices, including activities such as bid-rigging, price-fixing, bribery, fraud, coercion or collusion. Proponents shall not engage in any unethical conduct, including lobbying, as described above, or other inappropriate communications; offering gifts to any employees, officers, agents, elected or appointed officials or other representatives of BNS; submitting proposals containing misrepresentations or other misleading or inaccurate information; or any other conduct that compromises or may be seen to compromise the competitive process provided for in this RFP.

Rejection of Bids

BNS may reject a bid based on past performance or based on inappropriate conduct, including but not limited to the following:

  • illegal or unethical conduct as described above;
  • the refusal of the Contractor to honour its submitted pricing or other commitments; 
  • any conduct, situation or circumstance determined by BNS, in its sole and absolute discretion, to have constituted an undisclosed Conflict of Interest; or
  • BNS’s past experience with the bidder within the last 18 months for similar or related services

Confidential Information

Confidential Information of BNS

All information provided by or obtained from BNS in any form in connection with this RFP either before or after the issuance of this RFP

  • is the sole property of BNS and must be treated as confidential;
  • is not to be used for any purpose other than replying to this RFP and the performance of the agreement for the Deliverables; and
  • must not be disclosed without prior written authorization from BNS
  • must be returned by the proponent to BNS immediately upon request of BNS

Confidential Information of Proponent

A proponent should identify any information in its proposal, or any accompanying documentation supplied in confidence for which confidentiality is to be maintained by BNS. The confidentiality of such information will be maintained by BNS, except as otherwise required by law or by order of a court or tribunal. Proponents are advised that their proposals will, as necessary, be disclosed, on a confidential basis, to advisers retained by BNS to advise or assist with the RFP process, including the evaluation of proposals.

Personal Information International Disclosure Protection Act

The ‘Personal Information International Disclosure Protection Act ‘ (PIIDPA), creates obligations for the Government of Nova Scotia and its service providers when personal information is collected, used, or disclosed. Provisions related to PIIDPA requirements are included in the agreement terms.   A copy of the Act is available online at: http://nslegislature.ca/legc/statutes/persinfo.htm

Procurement Process Non-binding

No Contract A and No Claims

This procurement process is not intended to create or be deemed to create a formal, legally binding bidding process and shall instead be governed by the law applicable to direct commercial negotiations. For greater certainty and without limitation, this RFP shall not give rise to any Contract A-based tendering law duties or any other legal obligations arising out of any process contract or collateral contract. 

No Contract until Execution of Written Agreement

This RFP process is intended to identify prospective suppliers for the purposes of negotiating a potential agreement for the Deliverables. No legal relationship or obligation regarding the procurement of any good or service shall be created between a proponent and BNS by this RFP process until the successful negotiation and execution of a written agreement between a proponent and BNS for the acquisition of such goods and/or services.

Non-binding Price Estimates

While the pricing information provided in proposals will be non-binding prior to the execution of a written agreement, such information will be assessed during the evaluation of the proposals and the ranking of the proponents. Any inaccurate, misleading, or incomplete information, including withdrawn or altered pricing, could adversely impact any such evaluation or ranking or the decision of BNS to enter into an agreement with a proponent for the Deliverables.

Cancellation

BNS may cancel the RFP process without liability at any time prior to the execution of a written agreement between BNS and a proponent.

Governing Law and Interpretation

These terms and conditions of the RFP Process (Part 3):

  • are intended to be interpreted broadly and independently (with no particular provision intended to limit the scope of any other provision);
  • are non-exhaustive and shall not be construed as intending to limit the pre-existing rights of the parties to engage in pre-contractual discussions in accordance with the common law governing direct commercial negotiations; and
  • are to be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of BNS of Nova Scotia and the federal laws of Canada applicable therein.

Participation of Eligible Public Sector Entities

By submitting a proposal in response to this RFP, a Proponent irrevocably undertakes and agrees that if successful, and following execution of an agreement with BNS, it will make the specified goods and/or services available to any public sector entity eligible to participate in this procurement process upon request by a public sector entity seeking access to those goods and/or services, provided however, that the Proponent’s obligation to allow participation by other public sector entities does not extend to circumstances in which the Proponent would have to make capital or operational expenditures in order to accommodate subsequent requests for goods or services by public sector entities. 

The Proponent may only provide the goods and services specified under this RFP to additional entities by entering into a separate contract with the new entity (“Subsequent Contract”).  The Proponent acknowledges and agrees that BNS will not be a party to any Subsequent Contract, nor will BNS be liable in any respect for any obligation under, or act or omission by a party to, a Subsequent Contract.

For the purposes of this section, a public sector entity means any provincial government or provincially funded entity in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador, including municipalities, universities, community colleges, school boards, health authorities, housing authorities, agencies, boards, commissions, and crown corporations. 

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