Types of Contract Work
Forests Organizational Structure
Ministry of Forests
Contract Notification and Procurement Methods
Independent Companies under Contract to the Ministry of Forests
Contract Award and
ContractsUnless otherwise specified, includes all ministry contracts for the
supply of works (construction) and services. The term does not include contracts
where the ministry's primary purpose is to acquire goods.
ContractorUnless otherwise specified,
includes the terms Consultant, Supplier, Service Provider, Vendor, and the like,
where any of these provides works or services under contract.
Types of Contract Work
The Ministry of Forests requires the resources of the private sector to achieve
many of its program goals related to managing, protecting, and conserving British
Columbia's forest and range ecosystems. The ministry,
therefore, encourages all qualified contractors to compete for its contracted
service and construction activities. Types of ministry contracts include (but not
Aerial forest fertilization
Brushing and weeding
Forest management stand tending
Ground spray or aerial herbicide application
Preparing sites for tree planting (prescribed burning or mechanical)
Range fencing and repairing
Range weed control
Recreation site construction and maintenance
Recreation trail building and maintenance
Root rot surveys
Silviculture survey prescriptions and layout
Tree or insect surveys
Useful tree planting information links can be found at our Forest
Practices Branch home page.
Construction project management
Geotechnical terrain stability assessments
Road, bridge and building construction, and maintenance
Heavy Construction Rentals for:
Mop-up services (post fire clean-up)
Area boundary marking
Cruising (forest stand surveys)
Logging plan layouts
Planning/Forest Inventory Mapping:
Various types of land and forestry mapping and surveying
Advisory and audit services
Computer system development and maintenance
Forestry research projects
Training development or delivery
First aid services
Office equipment and field equipment repairs
Temporary office work
Ministry of Forests Organizational
The ministry's administrative structure is fully decentralized, and contracting
opportunities are, therefore, available from various ministry offices throughout
the province. Each ministry office has full authority and responsibility for the
administration and management of contracts within its geographical or functional
The Ministry of Forests has forest district offices located within forest
regions (each forest region has its own office). In the Victoria headquarters
area, there are ministry branch offices. The ministry also operates specialized
facilities throughout the province, such as the Surrey Tree Seed Centre, regional
fire centres, research stations, fire equipment depots, and fire rapattack bases.
To find the ministry office nearest you, use
the ministry's Internet web site at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/mof/regdis.htm
or check the blue pages of your local telephone book in the Government of British
Columbia section, under "Forests."
Ministry of Forests Contract
Notification and Procurement Methods
The Ministry of Forests is committed to providing all qualified contractors
with fair access to ministry contracts. Virtually all ministry contracts are
awarded on a competitive basis. The following is a summary of the notification
(also referred to as "solicitation") methods used by the ministry:
Open Invitation: this Internet site
including Agreement on Internal Trade applicable contracts (most contracts greater
than $100,000); (notices may also be concurrently advertised in local papers
appropriate to the ministry issuing office).
Select Invitation: from an established select
list of pre-qualified contractors;
Direct Invitation (for emergencies,
confidential or sole suppliers, and various contracts less than $25,000).
In contracting for work or services, the ministry uses the following
procurement (also referred to as "competition") methods:
Invitation to Tender (ITT) - An ITT is
a formal, sealed tender process that is typically used for capital construction,
maintenance, operational service (including most program field activities), and
other routine ministry work/service contracts.
Invitation to Quote (ITQ) - An
Invitation to Quote is typically used for the same types of work/service as an
Invitation to Tender, except that an Invitation to Quote is less formal and its
use is, therefore, restricted to certain situations.
Request for Proposals (RFP) - A Request
for Proposal is a request to contractors to submit proposals on how and at what
price they would provide a service. The RFP describes the results to be achieved
rather than the approach to be used, and allows bidders to be creative.
If a procurement notice specifies a mandatory pre-bid meeting and/or worksite
viewing tour, the ministry will only accept bids from contractors that have
attended the formal meeting/tour.
Details regarding availability of contract information packages and tender
forms are contained in the contract advertising notice. The contract information
packages normally contain everything a contractor needs to know about bidding, the
contract, location, viewing, performance standards and payment procedures.
Contractors wishing to obtain information or bid on a particular contract
opportunity should follow the procedures specified in the contract advertising
notice. Please do not respond to this site for information on specific contracts.
Ministry offices set up and maintain select lists (also known as
"source", "bidders", or "eligibility" lists) of
pre-qualified contractors for recurring types of contracting activities. Select
lists are established by advertising, normally once a year. Contractors must make
a submission and achieve a pre-determined acceptable scoring level in areas such
as experience, qualifications, work capacity and past contract performance, in
order to be placed on a list. Contractors on the list are invited, in total or on
a rotational basis, to submit bids for contracts that may occur throughout the
year. Contractors who miss the submission deadline may apply at any time to be
placed on a list but, in order to be added, must also achieve the pre-determined
acceptable scoring level as did the contractors already on the list.
Contact your local ministry office to determine if there is an eligibility list
for the type of work you specialize in and ask how you can apply to be placed on
Basic Contractor Eligibility
Contractors and people who work for them must be either: Canadian citizens,
landed immigrants, permanent residents, or have a valid employment visa. Anyone
signing a contract with the ministry must be at least 19 years old. Normally, all
contractors must be registered with the Workers'
Compensation Board of British Columbia
(WCB), and they must observe all of the laws of the federal, provincial, and
municipal governments, where applicable. This includes the Employment Standards
Act and the Human Rights Act. For more information about employment
standards in British Columbia, call 1-800-663-3316. For information on human
rights, call the BC Council of Human Rights at 1-800-663-0176.
For safety reasons and in order to understand the terms of the contract, some
contracts require an on-site contractor's representative who is fluent in both
written and spoken English. This individual would be on-site at all times that the
work is being performed, to supervise the contractor's workers and translate when
Depending on the type of contract, other eligibility requirements may also
apply and they will be stated in the contract information package. The most common
requirement is proof, to the ministry's satisfaction, that the contractor has
satisfactorily completed a previous project of the same type and size. Some forest
districts and regions also have a contractor performance rating system for certain
activities. Contractors must, therefore, confirm their rating and eligibility to
bid prior to submitting a tender. Contract information packages should indicate
whether a performance rating system is in place.
A ministry representative, who is usually named in the contract information
package, is assigned to manage and inspect every contract. Contact the ministry
representative if you have any questions on contract eligibility requirements.
Some contracts (such as silviculture and construction) normally require a 10%
holdback from each contract payment; it is held in a ministry trust account until
40 days (55 days for construction contracts) after satisfactory contract
completion. The holdback protects the ministry from third party claims, as might
be demanded by WCB, Revenue Canada, or Employment Standards Branch.
Some contracts may also require the contractor to provide the ministry with a
bid deposit and/or a performance security (usually 10% of the contract price)
prior to the commencement of the work. Performance securities are released to the
contractor upon satisfactory contract completion and are subject to forfeiture, if
the contractor abandons, terminates, or fails to satisfactorily complete the work.
The advertising notice and contract information package will specify if a bid
deposit is required. The contract information package will specify if a
performance security is required and if a holdback will be deducted from contract
Working for Independent Companies
under Contract to the Ministry of Forests
The ministry undertakes a wide range of contracted activities in managing
British Columbia's forests. Independent contractors normally bid competitively to
obtain ministry contracts, and the successful bidders carry out the work under
contract with the ministry.
Persons seeking employment with independent contractors should be aware of
their rights under the law, and should understand the specific details of their
For detailed information concerning your rights as an employee, contact any Employment
Standards Branch office of the Ministry of
Labour. If you have a specific question about the Employment Standards Act
or Regulation, you may call: 1-800-663-3316 (toll-free) or 660-4000 in the Lower
Contract Award and Management
Contracts are not awarded at the Invitation to Tender or Request for Proposal
opening. Bids are evaluated in private and contract award is normally made within
the following ten days. Bid deposits are returned after the contract has been
The successful bidder, upon receiving a contract award letter, is normally
sign and return the contract;
provide proof of independent WCB coverage;
provide a government Certificate of Insurance as proof of any specified
provide contract performance security if specified in the contract package.
Failure to comply with the requirements of the contract award letter will
normally result in forfeiture of the bid deposit and/or potential disqualification
from bidding on future ministry contracts for up to two years. Refer to the
Invitation to Tender or Request for Proposal package for specific details.
The ministry will ask the contractor to sign and return the contract for
counter-signing; a copy is then sent to the contractor. The contract must be
signed by both parties prior to commencement of work; this protects the ministry
and the contractor by ensuring that each party is aware of their rights and
obligations. Contractors should, therefore, thoroughly read and understand the
contract clauses and performance requirements to ensure they reflect what was
originally bid on. Contractors should discuss any apparent contract discrepancies
with the ministry representative before signing the contract.
Developing a good business relationship with a contractor is important to the
ministry. Contractors are often requested to attend a "pre-work
conference" with the ministry representative prior to starting work in order
to review the contract requirements, discuss scheduling, and clarify expectations.
Contractors are also encouraged to maintain regular communication with the
ministry representative during the contract term.
The scheduling or need for inspections (or progress meetings) by the ministry
is normally dictated by the type and complexity of the contract work, the rate of
progress in accomplishing the work, and the reliability of the contractor.
Contract inspections normally occur in three stages:
an initial inspection, after a minor amount of work has been accomplished;
progress inspections, based on milestones or a period of time passing, often
done randomly and without warning; and
final inspection, to determine whether or not the contract is complete, and to
identify any remaining deficiencies or inadequacies to be rectified.
A contractor should immediately advise the ministry representative if problems
are encountered (e.g., change in work site conditions, access problems, or
financial difficulties) that may affect satisfactory contract performance. Such
communication allows the ministry to assist with strategies to overcome the
difficulty. The ministry will not normally extend a contract completion date or
allow contract changes unless the reasons for doing so are, in the ministry's
opinion, justifiable and warranted. Ministry
Contract Management Policy requires written
pre-authorization for any Change of Work Orders or Contract Amendments.
Ministry contracts contain conditions covering non-compliance and poor work
performance. If a contractor fails to rectify any work deficiency or conform to
the contract requirements, the ministry representative normally takes the
following standard, progressive steps to enforce the contract:
1. Written Instruction
2. Notice to Comply
3. Stop Work Order
4. Contract Cancellation
If an inspection reveals a serious or dangerous deficiency, the ministry
representative normally proceeds immediately to the Notice to Comply or Stop Work
Order stage. After failed repeated attempts to obtain compliance, the ministry
usually cancels the contract, forfeits any performance security, and/or assesses
damages, if necessary. Contract cancellation may also negatively affect the
contractor's eligibility to bid on future ministry contracts.
The ministry strives to pay all contract invoices as close as possible to 30
days of receipt of the invoice, or the date the ministry representative inspects
and authorizes payment for the work, whichever is later.
The Financial Administration Act does not permit interest on contract
payments, performance security deposits, or holdbacks until the 61st day after the
date the money becomes due. The due date is calculated from the date the ministry
receives the invoice or has authorized payment/release (whichever is the later),
to the date the Ministry of Finance and Corporate Relations prints the cheque.
Interest rates are set by the Office of the Comptroller General. Interest claims
of less than $5 are not payable.
Early Payment Discount
Discounts can represent a substantial savings to government. Therefore, the
ministry generally attempts to accept any early payment discount that is 2% or
greater and exceeds the cost of fast tracking the payment. Contractors interested
in providing an early payment discount should discuss the matter with the ministry
representative. Early payment discounts are not considered in the evaluation of
Electronic Funds Transfer
To reduce mailing time in the payment process, contractors may request that
contract payments be deposited directly into their bank account. To apply, contact
the finance section of your local ministry office to obtain a Direct Deposit
Application Form. Bring a voided company cheque with you. New applications require
four to six weeks to process.
Invoices must contain sufficient detail to be identified with the specific
contract. At a minimum, the following items should be included in an invoice:
full legal name and address of the contractor (as shown on the contract);
date of invoice;
a description of the work/services completed;
the dates/hours/units or lump sum being charged;
the rate of pay (hourly, daily, unit price, or lump sum, as applicable); and
the contract or project number.
The Government of British Columbia does not pay the federal Goods and Services
Tax (GST). The GST will be removed from any invoices, including expense claims. It
is the responsibility of the contractor to apply directly to Revenue
Canada for Input Tax Credits for any GST
paid on the contract. Call Revenue Canada at 1-800-959-5525 for more information.
Some contracts, usually professional or consulting services, allow for
reimbursement of reasonable expenses referred to as cost recoverable contractors.
The contract will detail the types of expenses that will be reimbursed, up to a
maximum dollar amount.
Expense receipts (originals or legible photocopies) must accompany the payment
request. The following expenses require receipts: accommodation, rented vehicles,
hired equipment, parking, courier costs, long-distance telephone calls, ferry or
air travel. Other types of expenses should be properly itemized on the payment
Contractors are encouraged to use the government's Master Standing Offer (MSO)
agreement with suppliers of short-term vehicle rentals where their business with
the ministry warrants vehicle rental. Collision Damage Waivers and Personal
Accident Liability will not be reimbursed where the vehicle rental is obtained
outside the MSO. Ask the contract ministry representative for more information.
The ministry representative must provide you with documentation in order for you
to have access to the MSO at rental agencies.
Contract Dispute Resolution
The ministry's objective is to provide fair, prompt, and inexpensive
resolution of disputes with contractors. We encourage disputes to be resolved
locally. Failing resolution at that level, the contractor and ministry can take
the dispute to mediation or arbitration, if they both agree.
Either process is far less expensive and time-consuming than litigation.
Arbitration is a procedure whereby the disputing parties appoint a private person
or adjudicator called the arbitrator. The arbitrator reviews the evidence and
arguments of each party to make a decision that is binding. Mediation is a
process whereby a mediator facilitates the discussion between the disputing
parties to achieve a mutually arrived at agreement. The mediator does not impose
a decision, but assists the parties in negotiating their own agreement. The
mediation or arbitration process is facilitated by either the BC International
Commercial Arbitration Centre (604-684-2821) or the BC Arbitration and Mediation
If you have a general problem or question on a ministry tendering/contracting
practise, please contact the appropriate district or regional manager, or branch