To initiate a challenge under the bid protest mechanism, the supplier makes a written complaint to the procuring entity in question within 10 days of the date the supplier knew or should have known of the basis for its complaint.  (If a supplier does not act within the 10 days, it forfeits its right to use the bid protest mechanism to address its complaint). 

The supplier and the procuring entity then have up to 20 days to consult with a view to arriving at a mutually satisfactory resolution of the complaint.

If consultations do not resolve the complaint, the supplier may, within 14 days of the end of consultations, write to request the appointment of an independent arbiter to adjudicate its complaint. (If the supplier does not act within the 14 days, it forfeits its right to proceed further under the bid protest mechanism).

The supplier’s written request must detail the factual grounds of its complaint along with any supporting documentation, the alleged violation of the NWPTA, and the remedy sought by the supplier. The request must also include the signed consent form in Schedule 7  and a financial deposit which represents an advance on the costs of the arbitration process that the supplier may be required to pay should the arbiter rule against the supplier.

The procuring entity then submits its written response within 14 days of the supplier’s letter.

The arbiter adjudicates the matter based solely on the written statements presented by both parties to the complaint. In normal circumstances, the arbiter issues a final report within 10 days of the last submission. 

The arbiter’s report will contain: findings of fact; a determination as to whether the procurement was consistent with the NWPTA; if applicable, possible recommendations as to how a procuring entity can bring itself into compliance; and a determination of which party to the complaint pays for the cost of the complaint process (up to a maximum of $50,000).  The arbiter may also order the procuring entity to reimburse the supplier for its costs of preparing a bid for the procurement that is the subject of the challenge (up to a maximum of $50,000).    

Please note that the following are not subject to the Bid Protest Mechanism until:

January 1, 2019 for procurements by Manitoba. Crown corporations, government-owned commercial enterprises and other entities that are owned or controlled by the government through ownership interest; regional; local; district or other forms of municipal government; school divisions or publicly funded academic, health and social service entities, as well as any corporation owned or controlled by one or more of the preceding entities.

The ability of Manitoba vendors to use the bid protest mechanism, with respect to the procurements of the other three Parties, comes into effect when Manitoba’s corresponding government entities become subject to procurement obligations. In other words when Manitoba’s MASH entities become subject to the procurement rules of the NWPTA on January 1, 2019, Manitoba vendors will be able to challenge MASH procurements in the other three provinces.

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