Construction File: BCCA introduces the Electronic Bidding System
The BCCA Electronic Bidding System is one component of the on-line bidding tools that were developed by BCCA along with Infinite Source Systems. What has been built is a seamless system that has the capability to eventually include everyone in the bidding chain from material suppliers bidding to subsubcontractors through to the general contractors bidding to owners. These on-line bidding tools have the capability to revolutionize bidding in the industry. Infinite Source Systems have already been using the tools with their private sector clients; we understand with great success and positive response from the users.
BCCA will initially be using the on-line bidding only for the Electronic Bidding System. Eventually we expect to offer the use of all on-line bidding tools to other users in the public sector through the Regional Associations. It is anticipated this will happen sometime in early 2010 if all goes well.
The on-line system was developed to provide a number of advantages to the industry:
- Substantially reduce the potential for bidders to submit non-compliant bids.
- Have general contractors receive the bids in an efficient electronic format that allows a quicker more reliable method of analyzing the bids.
- Reduce the impact on the environment by decreasing the use of paper and the carbon foot print from vehicles used to transport bids. As a side note, this innovation may allow owners to access additional points on sustainable building rating systems such as LEED.
Almost two years in the development and after beta tests that involved contractors in all four western provinces BCCA is about to launch its Electronic Bidding System (EBS). The EBS, an on-line internet based bidding system, will replace the BCCA Bid Depository with the first projects closing in October or November, 2009.
Electronic Bidding System Rules of Procedure have been created and will be available on the BCCA website soon. The process for Bidding Authorities has been simplified from the Bid Depository requirements as the project documents need only now specify the closing date and time. This information will be available on-line to anyone interested in bidding; membership in an Association is not required to participate.
As well as those reasons mentioned above for why the system was developed there are other functions of the EBS that will assist Bidding Authorities:
- Using the EBS should remove the need for project documents having to assist with distribution of scope of work information via addendum. The EBS will allow BCCA to communicate much easier with trade contractors and general contractors about scope of work issues as Pre-Bid Interpretations will now be posted on-line for all users to see.
- Updated trade contractor bidder information will be available on-line immediately after the closing time.
To get more information about the BCCA Electronic Bidding System or to have project documents (including BCDC 2, 2008) set up for its use please contact your Regional Construction Association or Warren Perks at the BCCA Electronic Bidding System at 1-800-699-9011 (or 250-475-1077 in Victoria).