Alberta Construction Association, in concert with the Canadian Construction Association, sent a letter to Infrastructure Minister Sohi expressing our concern with Private Members Bill C‐ 344 (An Act to Amend the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act – Community Benefit).
Bill C‐344 defines community benefits to mean:
“[A] social, economic, or environmental benefit that a community derives from a construction, maintenance or repair project, and includes job creation and training opportunities, improvement of public space and any other specific benefit identified by the community”
The Bill provides the Minister the power to require bidders to provide information on the community benefits derived from the project, prior to awarding the contract. ACA is opposed to using the procurement of construction services to advance unrelated community benefits and other public policy objectives where they jeopardize the integrity of the competitive bid system (ACA Public Policy 4.2, developed and endorsed by our members).
ACA opposes procurement practices in which bids are subjectively evaluated on the basis of provision of goods and services not specified in the original tender. This lack of transparency violates the principle of fairness of selecting the lowest priced evaluated compliant bid. As goods and services cannot be provided for free, such procurement practices in fact use up scarce capital resources for other purposes. Further, such practices invite perceptions of unfair insider information of bidders and of potential corruption of procurers.
ACA urges that all Members of Parliament reconsider the need for this Bill.
You can read the full letter here.