Construction File: COOLNet meets the requirements of AIT
The Agreement on Internal Trade applies to purchases made by all provincial and territorial governments and their associated agencies, including publicly funded academic, unless specifically exempted under the agreement. It covers the procurement of goods and services over $100,000 and construction over $250,000. The Agreement specifies that suppliers can be electronically notified of bid opportunities covered by the AIT.
The Purchasing Commission has selected the Internet as its preferred means of complying with the AIT and a number of bid opportunities can now be accessed through BC Bid. However, this government service is not the only electronic means for advertising bid opportunities in compliance with the AIT, nor, in fact, is it the traditional location for most contractors to seek out these opportunities. Contractors traditionally look to their local planrooms, managed by construction associations, for construction project information.
The Construction Opportunity On-Line Network (COOLNet) was created by construction associations across Canada to maintain and promote an electronic distribution network for the dissemination of construction project opportunity information (including plans and specifications). The principal objective of COOLNet is to be recognized by owners, architects, engineers and all construction firms as their primary source of project opportunity information in Canada and to provide the most economical and technologically viable means of disseminating this information. It is a free service and open to the public.
In British Columbia COOLNet (www. coolnet.bc.ca) is managed by the BC Construction Association's four regional members: Northern BC Construction Association, Southern Interior Construction Association, Vancouver Regional Construction Association, and Vancouver Island Construction Association. What does this mean for you? It means that in order for you to meet the requirements of the AIT you needn't do anything different than you have always done. Simply place documents into the planrooms where they will automatically be listed on COOLNET and thereby complying with the requirements of the AIT.
Crown corporations, academic institutions, municipalities and other government agencies can post their construction opportunities at the site and be assured of maximum exposure to contractors from across the country in total accord with the requirements of the AIT and, of course, at no cost or additional time to the agency.
The Construction File is a publication of the BC Construction Association.
For additional information contact the BCCA.