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City cutting bidding process red tape

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The city of Grande Prairie is trying to make it easier for developers to get approvals after submitting proposals.

They currently request a 90 day period to assess bids. Procurement Manager Laurie Gaudet says if the process goes over it could change the bid.

“Often times we can’t get the reports through fast enough to be able to reward within those 90 days. So then we would have to reach back out to the bidders to see if they’ll hold their pricing.”

Gaudet says depending on what the quote is for it can have a major impact. Right now the process can take about up to 140 days this could cut that down to 30 to 40 days. Gaudet says this could also get projects started faster.

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“Gaining these efficiencies for our contractors is going to also hopefully increase our bidding pool.”

Every proposal the city receives is scored against guidelines which are clearly stated in any RFP’s put out. The scoring used previously gave pricing a heavier weighting. Gaudet says now they will be able to focus more on the technical aspects.

“Because when we do request for proposals it’s not about the lowest bid, it’s about getting the best value. If we are able to obtain those best value procurements through the points on the technical side it means that we’re actually getting a better product.”

Mayor Bill Given says this will eliminate the need for projects to come back to committee or council multiple times.

“If a project or a purchase has been approved in the overall city budget, which council does annually, then management has the full authority to go out and procure that service [or] purchase that service or that project as long as it’s been previously approved in the budget.”

Projects that are not included in the budget or that come in significantly higher than the original dollar figure approved would still go before committee and council. Council approved the update to city bylaws at Monday’s council meeting.

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