Construction File: Job Order Contracting

To support public owners in their efforts to hold themselves accountable to taxpayers through fair open, and transparent procurement practises, the BCCA offers Thresholds for Procurement of Publicly Funded Construction policy.

The BCCA policy recommends that the following thresholds should apply to all publicly funded construction projects:

  1. Any construction opportunity with an estimated value of less than $25,000* should be put out for bidding to a reasonable and cost-effective extent.
  2. Any construction with an estimated value of between $25,000 and $100,000* must have bids solicited by one of the following means:
    • Opportunities posted on and industry platform such as BidCentral (and or BC Bid)  for an open public bidding process; and/or
    • An invitation shall be extended to all contractors on the registry of pre-qualified contractors that meet the criteria for the specific project.
  3. Any construction opportunity with an estimated value over $100,000* must be advertised on an industry platform such as BidCentral (and or BC Bid)  in a fair, open and transparent public process.
  4. The solicitation of contractors for the establishment of a registry of pre-approved contractors must be in a manner that is appropriate to the value, complexity and profile of the business opportunity, with the following requirements;
    • Must be obtained through an opportunity posted on and industry platform such as BidCentral 
    • Opportunities shall be solicited at regular intervals not to exceed one year.
    • The opportunity for a contractor to be added to a registry of pre-qualified contractors shall be provided continuously.

*value not limited to but including service, maintenance, small projects and capital projects. For the MUSH sector this threshold is $200,000 under Trade Agreements but BCCA would recommend a policy at $100,000.

The construction industry is very aware that today’s public owners are challenged by resource limitations, but reminds owners that short-cut procurement solutions  such as Job Order Contracting (JOC) can further degrade a project’s success through the loss of fair and open process. After the initial competition for services, the work is performed exclusively by the successful contractor and their select subcontractors and suppliers. This often continues for a period of many years, reduced transparency and competition for services.

JOC advocates claim that projects are completed faster and cost less, while the quality of the work is equal to or higher than that of projects done using design-bid-build. There is no evidence to support this outcome, and in fact the BCCA believes that JOC procurement strategies result in higher cost or lower quality, or both. Time savings are due exclusively to modifications in the procurement process, and are in no way attributable to a reduction of the actual time for construction.

JOC could potentially expose public owners to any or all of the risks identified in the Auditor General for Local Government’s report on Town of Rossland:

  • Lack of controls, oversight, clear policy, and documentation.
  • Risk of corruption.
  • Questionable value for money.  
  • Inadequate protection of the taxpayer’s interests.

To help public owners enter confidently into any procurement process, the BCCA recommends two key steps:

  1. Choose contractors via a qualifications-based selection process.
    The ideal approach is to establish a pre-qualified list of contractors as the basis for the awarding of future contracts. Refer to BCCA Policy on Thresholds for our recommended guideline on how to maintain a registry of pre-approved contractors in a fair, open and transparent manner.
  2. Retain the services of Construction Managers.
    Construction managers can solicit bids from individual trade contractors for each project by invitation (see BCCA’s guide for Construction Management here).  Choose your Construction Manager well, based on qualifications and experience. Limit the term to two years at a maximum.

These steps will protect the public interests through:

  • Open book budgeting, scheduling and tendering in accordance with best practices.  
  • Generate competitive tendering and assure value for money.
  • Manage the risks identified by the Auditor General for Local Government in the Town of Rossland Report.

An economic and political system based on freedom of enterprise provides the best value for BC’s tax payers. All levels of government have an innate responsibility to ensure public tendering is conducted in a fair, open and transparent manner for capital projects and maintenance to ensure value for money, versus initiating processes that limits competition and value.

For further information or assistance in procuring construction services for public projects, please refer to the BCCA website

December 06, 2016

Chris Atchison Named BCCA President

The British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA) announced today that Chris Atchison has been named incoming President, replacing retiring incumbent Manley McLachlan. The handover will begin on January 3, with McLachlan staying on in an advisory capacity until March 31, 2017.
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September 26, 2016

Ross McLean Receives Distinguished Service Award

The BC Construction Association has awarded a Distinguished Service Award to Houle Electric’s Regional Manager Ross McLean, in recognition of his contributions to the growth and stature of British Columbia’s construction industry.
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April 25, 2016

50 job placements already secured by LNG Canada Connect program

Connecting qualified workers with job opportunities in the skilled trades in Terrace and Kitimat is crucial to successful workforce development, particularly for the nascent LNG industry. To address this challenge, B.C. Construction Association (BCCA) teamed up with LNG Canada to create the LNG Canada Connect initiative. This initiative is completely funded by LNG Canada and is an extension of our Skilled Trades Employment Program (STEP).
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February 23, 2016

BC Construction Industry Hiring Workers Back From Alberta

VICTORIA, BC – Strong activity in British Columbia’s construction industry is drawing skilled workers back to the province from Alberta and more young people are entering the trades, according to the 2016 Construction Industry Survey released today by the BC Construction Association, in partnership with Progressive Contractors Association and Construction Labour Relations.
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February 18, 2016

Construction Innovation Study Shows BC Behind the Curve

The British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA) has published an industry study that reveals BC’s construction sector is lagging behind other jurisdictions when it comes to innovation. “BC is a leader in green building, wood, and procurement technologies, but we have catching up to do in most areas of construction innovation,” says Manley McLachlan, President of the BCCA. “Construction is an extremely competitive industry: employers are holding their cards close. The result is that we’re great at on-the-job problem solving but too often missing the big picture.”
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February 01, 2016

BC Ironworkers to Help Rebuild Lakay Trade School in Haiti

Five members of the Local 97 of the Ironworkers Union of BC are volunteering their time to help rebuild the Lakay Trade School in Haiti. The school is a new two story steel structure, and the Canadian welders will bolt and weld the vertical alignment and attach the steel sheeting to the second floor and roof.
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December 22, 2015

Construction File: Onerous Bidding Conditions in 2015

The soon-to-be-published ‘Building a BC Construction Innovation Strategy’ (a joint initiative of BCCA and the Home Owner Protection Office) points out one of the biggest hindrances to innovation and productivity in the construction industry: the inequitable allocation of risk down the supply chain to those least able to support it.
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July 20, 2015

Construction File: Job Order Contracting

To support public owners in their efforts to hold themselves accountable to taxpayers through fair open, and transparent procurement practises, the BCCA offers Thresholds for Procurement of Publicly Funded Construction policy.
Read More
July 07, 2015

Harper Government Invests in Trades Training Programs

The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of State, Chief Government Whip, and Member of Parliament for Vancouver Island North, on behalf of the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification (WD), announced $1.6 million in funding to the British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA).
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June 29, 2015

BC Building Act & Guide

The Building Act is new legislation introduced in spring 2015. The Building Act is B.C.'s first act dedicated just to building and construction - it's designed to modernize and streamline the building regulatory system.
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May 08, 2015

Construction File: Post Closing Over Budget Negotiations

The rationale of the tender process is to replace negotiation with competition and, subject to the terms of the tender documents, negotiation is generally not permitted in the tender process. One of the primary reasons why negotiation is not permitted is to prevent bid shopping. Generally, where the tender documents expressly permit negotiation, negotiation is only permissible so long as it is consistent with what is expressly provided in the tender documents.
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April 28, 2015

Wood Innovation Design Center (WIDC) Wins Award for Innovation in Architecture

BCCA would like to congratulate Michael Green Architecture on its Award of Excellence for Innovation in Architecture, received for the design of the Wood Innovation Design Center (WIDC) in Prince George, BC. The eigh-storey building is the first tall wood building in Canada built beyond current building codes, and North America’s tallest contemporary timber building.
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June 17, 2014

Construction File: Prompt Payment Creates a Sustainable Industry

Construction work is project based, with unique project teams assembled through a tendering process. These project teams typically involve an owner who is the buyer of construction services from a general contractor, who in turn employs sub-contractors and often sub-sub-contractors. Add numerous suppliers to the mix, at all levels of the contracting pyramid.
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