Some local construction companies have recently raised concerns about the results of our request for pre-qualification (RFPQ) process which identified a list of companies that will be invited to bid on a list of specific upcoming projects. These concerns have generated considerable discussion in our community and as this discussion continues we think it’s important to provide the following facts about our pre-qualification process:
* Through a fair and open pre-qualification process Niagara College has identified a list of companies that are qualified to bid on the following specific list of projects:
o Welland Campus – Advanced Manufacturing & Innovation Centre
o Welland Campus – Recreation Facility
o Welland Campus – Student Commons
o Niagara on the Lake Campus – Culinary Expansion
o Niagara on the Lake Campus – Athletic Facility
* All other capital projects at Niagara College regardless of value will continue to be open to any general contractor who meets specific requirements of the particular project to submit a bid. In other words this short list of pre-qualified companies will only be used for the five specific projects identified in the RFPQ.
* As a publicly-funded institution Niagara College is required to comply with provincial procurement legislation. These laws are very clear on the issue of favouring companies based on whether or not they are local: it is prohibited. For Niagara College or any other publicly funded institution in Ontario to give preference to local bidders in a pre-qualification or a tendering process would be against the law and would bring significant consequences for the college.
* This process complied with all of the principles laws and directives that govern public purchasing in Ontario and as such was not designed to favour or exclude local companies in any way.
* It’s also important to note that while no local companies were successful in this specific process local companies have been successful in bidding for a wide range of projects goods and service contracts at Niagara College
* Niagara College is proud to be a major contributor to Niagara’s economy. In addition to spending on average more than $38 million locally on goods and services each year we are a major employer in Niagara we provide the skilled knowledgeable graduates who drive key industries in Niagara.
* We welcome more than 4000 students from out of region each year who contribute millions to the local economy through rent and the purchase of goods and services from local business.