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University of Toronto Procurement Policy

Business Board of the Governing Council approved revisions to the University of Toronto Procurement Policy on April 28, 2020. The Policy, which includes the Supply Chain Code of Ethics and Approval Authority Schedule governs the acquisition of goods and services, including construction, consulting services and information technology with University funds from all sources, including the operating, research, capital and ancillary funds and all other funds held in trust, at its disposal. In addition to applicable legislation, regulations, domestic and international trade agreements, the University is also bound by requirements of funding agencies, to the extent that those requirements comply with applicable legislation, regulations, domestic and international trade agreements.

General Policy Objectives

While the University Procurement Policy establishes high level procurement governance, its ongoing operation is delegated to the University of Toronto administration, which has procurement processes, procedures and related financial guidelines (detailed in the Guide to Financial Management on the Financial Services website) in place that are modified from time to time to comply with institutional policies, applicable procurement legislation and regulations, domestic and international trade agreements, and good business practice.

To ensure consistent application of Procurement Policy principles and requirements, staff and faculty are strongly encouraged to visit this website which provides comprehensive procurement information including tools, templates, and methodologies as well as any new services and programs that may be developed from time to time.

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Purpose

  1. That goods and services including construction, consulting services and information technology are acquired by the University through a process that is fair, open, transparent, non-discriminatory, geographically neutral and accessible to qualified suppliers, subject only to the permitted exceptions set out in this Policy;
  2. That the University complies with its obligations under applicable trade agreements and other legislation and regulations; and
  3. The consistency in the administration of procurement processes and purchasing decisions by the University.

Principles

Procurement activities at the University are to be undertaken in accordance with the following principles:

Supplier Access, Transparency, and Fairness

Access for qualified suppliers to compete for the University’s business must be open and the procurement process must be conducted in a fair and transparent manner providing equal treatment to suppliers. Suppliers must have equal access to information on procurement opportunities, processes and results.

Where the University imposes conditions for participation in a procurement, it shall limit such conditions to only those that are essential to ensure that a supplier has the legal and financial capacities, and the commercial and technical abilities, to undertake the relevant procurement.

Procurement Planning

Prior to any procurement activities, the University shall undertake planning to identify the goods and/or services required to meet its needs, to determine the appropriate procurement method and the appropriate approvals required. The University shall not prepare, design, or otherwise structure a procurement, select a valuation method, or divide procurement requirements in order to avoid the obligations of this Policy.

Conflict of Interest

Conflict of interest, whether actual, potential or perceived, must be avoided during the procurement process and the ensuing contract. It is the responsibility of individuals involved in procurement decision making or a procurement process to disclose any actual, perceived or potential conflicts of interest according to the University’s institutional policies on conflict of interest.

Geographic Neutrality and Reciprocal Non-Discrimination

The University must ensure that access for suppliers to compete for business is geographically neutral with respect to other jurisdictions that practice reciprocal non-discrimination with Ontario.

Accountability

The University must be accountable for the results of its procurement decisions and the appropriateness of the processes.

Sustainability

Procurement planning and activities should be undertaken with a view to promoting social, environmental and financial sustainability.

Out of Scope

This Policy does not apply to:

  1. The acquisition of a good, a service, or any combination thereof, procured with a view to commercial sale or resale, or for use in the production or supply of a good or service for commercial sale or resale; and
  2. Participation in any commercial arrangements where the University is not acquiring any goods or services such as affinity programs, sponsorships, and memberships.

Compliance

The University will determine whether a given purchase of goods or services will be carried out by means of a competitive or non-competitive procurement in accordance with relevant administrative regulations and which include procurement processes, procedures and related financial guidelines provided in the GTFM. These will be amended from to time, having regard to the value of the goods or services and the applicable thresholds in accordance with applicable legislation, regulations, domestic and international trade agreements.

Exceptions to competitive bidding requirements must not be for the purposes of avoiding competition or to discriminate against or favour specific suppliers. In rare circumstances, limited tendering (single or sole source purchases) provisions may be used.

Code of Ethics

As a publicly and privately funded institution, the University of Toronto must maintain high legal, ethical, managerial, and professional standards in the management of the resources entrusted to it. In accordance with the Broader Public Sector (BPS) Procurement Directive, effective April 1, 2011, and as amended from time to time, the University of Toronto formally adopted the Ontario BPS Supply Chain Code of Ethics to ensure an ethical, professional and accountable BPS Supply Chain. The Code of Ethics applies to all involved in procurement activities including University administration, staff, faculty and suppliers:

I. Personal Integrity and Professionalism

Individuals involved with Supply Chain Activities must act, and be seen to act, with integrity and professionalism. Honesty, care and due diligence must be integral to all supply chain activities within and between Broader Public Service (BPS) organizations, suppliers and other stakeholders. Respect must be demonstrated for each other and for the environment. Confidential information must be safeguarded. Participants must not engage in any activity that may create, or appear to create a conflict of interest, such as accepting gifts or favours, providing preferential treatment, or publicly endorsing suppliers or products.

II. Accountability and Transparency

Supply Chain Activities must be open and accountable. In particular, contracting and purchasing activities must be fair, transparent and conducted with a view to obtaining the best value for public money. All participants must ensure public sector resources are used in a responsible, efficient and effective manner.

III. Compliance and Continuous Improvement

Individuals involved with purchasing or other Supply Chain Activities must comply with this Code of Ethics and the laws of Canada and Ontario. Participants should continuously work to improve supply chain policies and procedures, to improve supply chain knowledge and skill levels, and to share leading practices.

Approval Authority Schedule

In addition to the Supply Chain Code of Ethics, and in accordance with the Broader Public Sector (BPS) Procurement Directive, the University is required to establish an Approval Authority Schedule (AAS). The following AAS was revised and forms part of the University Procurement Policy approved by Business Board on April 28, 2020:

Goods and Non-Consulting Services

Total Procurement Value before taxes Means of Procurement Competitive Process Non-Competitive Process
Up to $9,999.99 Informal
(1 Written Supplier Quote)
Budget Owner
or Designate
Budget Owner
or Designate
$10,000.00
to
$49,999.99
Invitational
(2 Written Supplier Quotes)
Budget Owner
or Designate
One Level Higher
than Budget Owner
$50,000.00
to
$99,999.99
Invitational
(3 Written Supplier Quotes)
Budget Owner
or Designate
One Level Higher
than Budget Owner
$100,000.00
and above
Open Competitive Budget Owner
or Designate
One Level Higher
than Budget Owner

Consulting Services

Total Procurement Value before taxes Means of Procurement Competitive Process Non-Competitive Process
Up to $99,999.99 Invitational
(3 Written Supplier Quotes)
Budget Owner
or Designate
President
$100,000.00,
but not exceeding
$1,000,000.00
Open Competitive Budget Owner
or Designate
President
$1,000,000.00
and above
Open Competitive Budget Owner
or Designate
Business Board

As the steward of the University of Toronto Procurement Policy, central Procurement Services sets standards through the issuance of institutional procurement policies, procedures, broad-based programs and initiatives within ethical, legal and professional frameworks.