Effective date: July 1, 2012
Applies to all WCB staff purchasing goods and services on behalf of the WCB.
Policy subject: General
To define the process that governs the purchase of goods and services by Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) staff.
Best Value means the acquisition of goods and services through a competitive process which results in supply arrangements at the most effective life cycle cost (i.e., a combination of purchase prices, amortization, maintenance, repair, operating and disposal costs), in the correct quantities, at the right quality, and from the most qualified, responsive and responsible vendor or supplier.
Bid means an offer submitted in response to a tender to supply goods or services, or to purchase assets at a specific price or price formula, under stated terms and conditions.
Contract signatory means the WCB staff member with designated authority to purchase goods and services.
Expression of interest (EOI) means a list compiled of prospective vendors and suppliers who are interested in participating at a future date in a competitive bidding process for a particular good or service. The list of prospective vendors and suppliers will be viewed when WCB staff do not have a solid idea of the type of good or service required. Viewing this list is the starting point in the overall tendering process.
Purchase order means an authorized legal contract to acquire goods or services.
Purchase request means a request for the purchase of goods and services to be approved by the applicable purchasing authority.
Purchases for the internal administration of the WCB means all goods and services procured for internal day to day business (e.g., paper, printer cartridges, business cards).
Purchases on behalf of customers means goods and services required to facilitate return-to-work or vocational rehabilitation programs (e.g., equipment, tools, modifications to residence, vehicle or workplace).
Request for proposal (RFP) means an invitation to potential vendors and suppliers for bids where the requirements for goods and services may not be clearly defined and the expected price is likely to exceed $2,500. Vendors and suppliers will outline their methodology, approach in delivery, price and timelines.
Request for quotation (RFQ) means an invitation to vendors and suppliers to provide pricing and delivery information for clearly defined goods and services, generally of a low dollar value (e.g., $2,500). A request for quotation may be issued to multiple vendors or suppliers as an informal tender.
Standing offer means a contract for standardized goods and or services to be purchased and delivered on an as-required basis for specific periods of time at prearranged prices and delivery conditions (e.g., printer cartridges, paper products, business cards, ergonomic chairs).
Tender means the process in which qualified vendors and suppliers are invited to submit sealed bids for the supply of specific and clearly defined goods and services during a specified timeframe. The tendering process includes a request for quotation and request for proposal.
- The WCB autonomy is acknowledged by the Saskatchewan Government with respect to the purchase of goods and services required to complete daily operations. While the WCB does not fall within the jurisdiction of The Purchasing Act, 2004, the WCB observes the guiding principles and best practices. WCB procurement practices also comply with the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA) where applicable.
- The following principles have been adopted to govern all purchase and procurement transactions of the WCB:
- To procure goods and services that support achievement of the WCB’s corporate objectives in a fiscally responsible and competitive manner;
- To ensure a fair, open and accountable process; and
- To ensure goods and services are purchased in accordance to best value.
- The annual administration budget process or program budget process is the method by which the WCB approves the overall spending required for the operations of the WCB. Subsequent decisions to purchase budgeted goods and services are made throughout the year and must be approved in accordance with this procedure.
- This procedure applies to goods and services purchased for the internal administration of the WCB and on behalf of WCB customers. This procedure also applies to the provision of health care services unless rates are set by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health, or negotiated with health care professional associations.
- For medical aid prescribed by a treating physician or health care provider (e.g., bandages, heating pads), or paid in accordance with established WCB policy (POL 19/2010, Allowance – Clothing, POL 11/2016, Expenses – Orthotics/Appliances – Provision, Replacement and Repair, and POL 11/2019, Medication Coverage), this procedure will not apply.
- When purchasing goods and services for the internal administration of the WCB and on behalf of WCB customers, WCB staff will adhere to the principles of ADM PRO 01/2017, Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct:
- Confidential information will not be disclosed unless it is necessary in order to fulfill job responsibilities.
- Situations where there may be a conflict or a perceived conflict of interest will be avoided.
- If an employee believes that they have information regarding a wrongdoing that has been committed or is about to be committed, or if they have been asked to commit a wrongdoing, the employee may make a disclosure to WCB’s Designated Officer in accordance with POL 05/2012, Public Interest Disclosure Act Procedure.
- To maximize benefit and minimize the risk to the WCB, every effort must be made to acquire goods and services through a competitive purchasing process. Competitive procurement practices are accomplished by tendering for goods and services.
- Whenever possible, standing offers will be initiated to ensure that long-term consistency of service, quality and performance requirements are met.
- For unanticipated expenditures of goods and services (not included in the annual administrative or program budget) exceeding $2,500, a written business case must be documented and signed by the WCB staff member making the purchase. In addition, the WCB staff member must report to their direct supervisor the reasoning for the unanticipated expenditure.
- Purchases by a department must be authorized by the department having the corporate mandate to manage the product or service.
Purchase Authorities and Spending Limits
- WCB staff with the designated authority to purchase goods and services on behalf of customers can, without secondary approval, purchase goods and services where the amount is less than $5,000.
- Managers responsible for each cost center may designate (in writing) a limit of two employees (e.g., Supervisor and Administrative Assistant) to purchase, without secondary approval, goods and services for the internal administration of the WCB where the amount is less than $5,000.
- Approval limits for the internal and external purchase of goods and services by WCB staff are outlined through ADM PRO 01/2022, Secondary Approval Levels.
- Managers, Team Leaders, Directors, Vice-Presidents (and designates) and the Chief Executive Officer (and designate) cannot authorize their own purchase requests unless the amount is less than $100.
- Where the good or service cannot be filled from an existing contract, standing offer, stock or inventory and the price of the good or service is estimated to be less than $5,000, a WCB staff member with the designated authority to make purchases may select a vendor or supplier from a list established and maintained by the Purchasing Team.
- Where the price of the good or service is estimated to be greater than $5,000, a tender, in accordance with Points 19 to 21, is required.
- On occasion, there may be a situation that presents unique conditions that can only be met by one vendor or supplier. The following situations may require a single source purchase request:
- Maintenance by a specific company on equipment to ensure warranty conditions are met;
- Equipment has already been purchased that is only compatible with another specific product obtained from the same source;
- Continuity of service for a project where it would be detrimental to the WCB if the service provider was to be changed;
- Project or program commencement is imminent; or
- A customer is in a location where there is only one vendor or supplier and it is cost effective to use that vendor or supplier.
- Single source purchase requests for emergency purchases will only be acceptable where:
- There is an unforeseen interruption to the normal course of business (e.g., electrical services that shut down operations); or
- Purchases need to be made after regular office hours and or within a short period of time (e.g., same or next day).
- Receipts for incidental purchases, or minor expenses typically under $100 that are not budgeted for, but are essential to the business of the WCB, must be submitted for secondary approval before reimbursement from Financial Services can be received. In every case, reimbursement for incidental purchases requires secondary approval.
- Purchase orders are required in order to obtain goods or services exceeding a cost of $500. Exceptions include, but are not limited to:
- Contracts for advertising;
- Contracts established by Legal Services on behalf of other departments or for its own purposes;
- Contracts established prior to the effective date of this procedure;
- Travel expense claims;
- Incidental expenses; and
- Purchases for telephone, postage, utilities, rent, membership fees, association fees, or registration fees.
- Purchase orders are issued when the Purchasing Team selects a vendor or supplier, or when a vendor or supplier has been selected through a tender.
- Where the WCB has a signed contract with a vendor or supplier, purchase orders are issued when goods and services are requested directly from that vendor or supplier.
Tendering Requirements by Procurement Value
- When the expected cost of the good or service over the life of the contract is greater than or equal to $5,000, a tender (which includes a request for quotation and request for proposal) may be conducted by email or written proposal.
- For purchases of goods that are expected to be greater than or equal to $10,000 over the life of the contract, it is mandatory to formally issue tender notices, either written or electronically, and obtain written bids or submissions. These must be documented through the purchasing system.
- For purchases (other than for the provision of health care services) of:
- goods at a cost greater than or equal to $10,000;
- services at a cost greater than or equal to $75,000; or
- construction at a cost greater than or equal to $100,000.
equal opportunity will be provided to vendors and suppliers from British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan in accordance with the NWPTA. Tender notices will be issued on a central electronic tendering system (when available).
- An expression of interest may be used to compile a list of prospective vendors and suppliers that can be used at a future date when preparing a tender. However, the expression of interest must be prepared using the same process for a tender, ensuring criterion and evaluations are documented. This same process will be used for obtaining professional services.
- A minimum of three vendors or suppliers (when available) will be contacted to quote on a contract.
- The WCB will re-tender all business contracts (including standing offers) every five years unless the CEO provides written permission not to re-tender. Where tendering is bypassed, the WCB must re-tender the business contract after an additional five years.
- WCB representatives for the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union (SGEU) will be notified of intentions to finalize new contracting out of work arrangements.
- Where there is labour involved in the contract to be performed on WCB premises or the premises of a WCB customer, a current WCB “Letter of Good Standing” must be supplied by the bidder before a decision can be made to award the contract.
- Travel services are excluded from the tendering process and may be obtained in accordance with ADM PRO 03/2015, WCB Staff Business Expenses.
- Motor vehicles permanently assigned to WCB staff will be leased. The lease is to be arranged and managed by the Purchasing Team. Other short-term rental vehicles will be arranged by the Purchasing Team or WCB employees (e.g., out-of-town rentals) in accordance with this procedure and ADM PRO 04/2015, WCB Staff Motor Vehicle Travel and Expenses.
Awarding the Contract
- Evaluation criteria for the selection of the successful vendor or supplier must be clearly defined and documented within the tender.
- The successful vendor or supplier will be chosen by the Purchasing Team, or where directly tendered, by a panel with a minimum of three members, including the contract signatory and a member of the Purchasing Team.
- All contracts must be endorsed by Legal Services.
- The WCB will award contracts based on the principles of best value.
- The Purchasing Team or contract signatory is responsible for monitoring and managing vendor and supplier performance relative to the terms and conditions of the contract. Evaluations of business contracts (including standing offers) will be completed:
- When reviewing current performance (such evaluations may occur at any time during the contract);
- When determining if the contract should be renewed; or
- Upon completion of the contract.
Receipt of Goods
- Goods must be inspected and reconciled with the packing slip and or the purchase order prior to distribution. The receipt of goods will be coordinated by the Purchasing Team.
- Purchases of goods and services on behalf of customers require the WCB staff member who initiated the purchase and a member of the Purchasing Team to verify and document receipt of goods to the claim file, coordinate returns and determine how credit will be received.
- Invoices must have a valid purchase order or contract billing number (unless the purchase is exempt in accordance with Point 16 above).
- Where there is labour involved in a contract for services performed on WCB premises or that of a WCB customer, prior to making payment a clearance letter must be obtained to ensure the contractor’s account is current. Where an out-of-province contractor is awarded the contract, registration with the WCB is required in accordance with POL 07/2002, Coverage Within Saskatchewan – Out of Province Employers.
- Where costs exceed the maximum contract value amount, the contract signatory must obtain appropriate secondary approval before payment of invoices can be made.
- For internal purchases, Finance will annually reconcile all suppliers with aggregate payments exceeding $100,000 to the Corporate Solicitor’s active contract list. This also applies to purchases on behalf of customers, but will be reconciled by the responsible department. The lists will be forwarded to the CEO annually for review.
(1) March 1, 2022. Housekeeping changes for minor updates including removal of references to secondary approval amounts.
(2) March 6, 2017. Procedure review completed.
(3) January 1, 2014. References updated in accordance with The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013.
(4) PRO 50/2007, Procurement Procedure (effective January 16, 2007 to June 30, 2012; effective May 31, 2007 for claims management).
(5) PRO 50/2000, Procurement Procedure (effective January 1, 2000 to January 15, 2007).
(6) ADM 31/95, Procurement Policy (effective December 1, 1995 to December 31, 1999).
(7) ADM 17/96, Procurement Policy (effective April 1, 1996 to December 31, 1999).
POL 11/2016 Expenses – Orthotics/Appliances – Provision, Replacement and Repair
POL 07/2002 Coverage Within Saskatchewan – Out of Province Employers
POL 05/2004 Vocational Rehabilitation – Equipment and Tools
POL 04/2015 Modifications – Home, Vehicle, and Work
POL 19/2010 Allowance – Clothing
POL 11/2019 Medication Coverage
PRO 11/2019 Medication Coverage
PRO 11/2014 Vocational Rehabilitation – Self Employment Plans
ADM PRO 01/2017 Code of Conduct and Ethics (WCB Staff)
ADM POL 02/2000 CEO Authority for Procurement (WCB Staff)
ADM PRO 03/2015 WCB Staff Business Expenses (WCB Staff)
ADM PRO 04/2015 WCB Staff Motor Vehicle Travel and Expenses (WCB Staff)
ADM PRO 07/2016 Disposal of Surplus Assets (WCB Staff)
ADM PRO 01/2022 Secondary Approval Levels (WCB Staff)