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February 2016

Progress made on industry concerns with federal real property projects

ACEC establishes liaison committee with BGIS


ACEC has established an industry liaison committee along with Architecture Canada, the Canadian Construction Association and Interior Designers of Canada.

Improvements are being made to procurement and terms and conditions used on projects administered by Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions (BGIS) on behalf of the federal government. Industry had been expressing concern with current BGIS business practices and BGIS has responded with a number of changes that will benefit ACEC member firms:

  • BGIS clarified that Complyworks, a compliance management system, is not a requirement for working for BGIS on Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) projects through project delivery services (however those who continue to work through Property/Facility Management Services do need to register with ComplyWorks and maintain qualification requirements. 
  • The standing offer threshold for RP-1 is being increased from $25K to $100K. 
  • A new Request for Standing Offers (RFSO) for RP-1 will be issued in the National Capital Region within the next two months.  This RFSO would be 80% weighted on qualifications (rather than lowest bid among prequalified suppliers).
  • BGIS is looking towards bundling some RP-1 projects, within buildings or campuses, to better address timelines and value.
  • BGIS has agreed to adopt more realistic minimum insurance levels.
  • There is agreement in principle to replace BGIS in-house agreements with standard industry agreements with supplementary conditions.
  • “Sample” supplementary conditions have been provided to industry associations for comment in preparation for adopting industry agreements.
  • BGIS internal concerns relate to project timelines.  BGIS is in negotiations/workshops with PSPC to streamline timelines.  Implications for consultants include deliverable processes through the pre-design stage to tender document preparation.

PSPC, formerly Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC), had outsourced ongoing operations and maintenance of a significant amount of the federal government’s real property assets to BGIS. The outsourcing contracts, titled RP-1 and RP-2, appear to indicate a trend in PSPC contracting with a view to the evolution of RP-N to respond to emerging service delivery requirements. ACEC and its industry partners now have a forum to address concerns and improve the working relationship with BGIS through the newly established liaison committee. Future steps include:

  • BGIS is working to reduce payment times from 60 days to 45 days (from receipt of invoice and supporting documents).
  • A BGIS/industry workshop will be held in April 2016 to develop supplementary conditions to be used with OAA 600 (standard agreement for architectural services).
Subsequent workshop(s) have been proposed to develop supplementary conditions to be used with ACEC Document 31 for major structural, electrical/mechanical, geotechnical, civil/site servicing, environmental, etc.

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