Construction File:


Contractors are headed into some busy times in the next few years because of the 2010 Olympics and a more optimistic outlook for the economy in BC. One of the biggest impacts that this will have on the construction industry is the availability of quality Trade Contractors to construct some of the projects. How is it that Owners will then be able to attract these quality contractors to their projects?

What is it that attracts Trade Contractors to a project? Firstly, it is that they will be treated fairly in the bidding process; with some assurance that the process is fair, open and transparent … will they, if they give their best price, be awarded the project? Secondly, if they are successful will they have a fair contract that will ensure a balance of the risk between them and the General Contractor and/or the Owner? And finally, will they be working in an environment that is harmonious and conducive to profitability?

What is it that exists in the industry today and has existed since the 1950’s that can offer an Owner the best opportunity to have these quality Trade Contractors on their projects? It is simply, the use of Bid Depository. All of the needs mentioned previously are met by the use of Bid Depository.

Since Trade Contractor can see their competitors bids after contract award, Bid Depository is the only method that allows them to know if they have been treated fairly in the bidding process. Bid Depository specifies the use of a standard industry contract, which sets out a fair and balanced allocation of the risk and, can only be modified with their consent. Bid Depository helps ensure profitability and with that comes more of a co-operative working environment where they are less likely to cut corners.

In the construction marketplace today, we hear many concerns from Owners about the quality of the contractors and the Owner’s desire to prequalify to ensure that they do get the best. Prequalification will cost Owners more money to procure their facilities because of limited competition, yet the paradox is that there is a tendency to not support the use of industry standards, because of a questionable belief that it will cost more money! Industry standards serve to bring out the best in the industry, promoting professionalism.

Today Bid Depository is an Industry Standard and, while the Bid Depository does not claim to have all the answers, like other professional standards it provides a solid base to create a fair and transparent process for Trade Contractor Bidding.

This is why some Owners/Tendering Authorities support the use of Bid Depository;

  • “As the bonding requirements for Bid Depository have an inherent effect of prequalifying the Trade Contractors, there is often a higher quality of workmanship on projects when Bid Depository is used”.
  • “The environment in which the work is performed is more harmonious and there is a greater spirit of co-operation, which often results in higher quality and fewer disputes”.

By using the Bid Depository, the Owner becomes a participant in a process supporting industry standards and professionalism, and which provides those elements essential in the management of public funds – that being transparency, accountability, fairness, quality, and competitive pricing. Whether it is a busy time or not, the Owner has some assurance that they will attract the best Trade Contractors to their projects, when they use Bid Depository.

The Construction File is a publication of the BC Construction Association.
For additional information contact the BCCA.