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Procurement Opportunities

Learn more about the procurement process in East Hants and apply for open competitions.

Procurement Governance

In 2011 the Public Procurement Act (2011) was enacted by the Province of Nova Scotia. The Act is applicable to all public sector entities and is intended to improve transparency and accountability, standardize practices and create a governance structure for public sector procurement in Nova Scotia.

Procurement for the Municipality is managed by individual departments with the Finance Department providing oversight to the organization with respect to procurement practices and issues.

The Municipal Procurement Policy guides the procurement decisions made the Municipality of East Hants.

Open Competitions

The Municipality of East Hants (East Hants) will, from time to time, issue public Requests for Proposal, Requests for Construction, Requests for Standing Offer and other requests for which competitive responses are required.

It is East Hants’ practice to share the names of parties who have downloaded or otherwise requested documents related to a procurement competition.

Electronic Submission Protocol 

East Hants accept responses to competitions by electronic upload as described below.

We request that vendors follow the following steps:

Vendors will be notified of their status in the competition after an award is made. Debrief, when requested within thirty days of notification, will be held by phone at a time scheduled in advance with the Procurement Officer.

Disclaimer: The vendor is responsible for uploading and submitting all documents by closing time.  The vendor must account for the time to upload documents which depends on the size of the document.  The Municipality of the District of East Hants (the “Municipality”) shall not be liable for, and vendor releases the Municipality from, any damage or loss of any kind whatsoever related to vendor’s failure to submit documents by closing time for any reason.

Frequently Asked Questions

East Hants works hard to treat all potential suppliers fairly. While specific requirements of individual jobs may vary, we strive to ensure our approach and our respect for firms competing for our work remains consistent.

Goods, services and construction over a minimum threshold have to go out for public competition. Under those thresholds, we’re free to look for a minimum of three quotations through an invitational process.

Review our Procurement Policy

The “Who has downloaded this” link is designed to encourage suppliers to connect. Traditionally, electricians, plumbers and businesses market their services to subcontractors or general contractors bidding on large commercial jobs. This list allows for this type of interactivity. We do not limit it to construction activities either, as the Municipality believes that there are a number of talented firms that may not have all of the skills or resources in-house to respond to a competition; knowing who else is interested allows them to potentially partner up to provide services or to market their specific skills to a larger firm. Large project teams are often made up of a variety of consultants and sub-consultants with different skills, expertise and talents, and the Municipality wishes to encourage these types of partnerships.

The Public Procurement Act of Nova Scotia is the primary set of rules for Municipal procurement. We are tasked to be open, fair, efficient, effective, consistent and transparent in our dealings, supporting the principles of sustainable procurement included in the Act, all the while using public money wisely.

East Hants must also act in accordance with a number of trade agreements when the purchase is over a certain dollar value. The new Canada Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) are two examples. These treaties attempt to remove barriers to trade so that Canadian companies can be more competitive in markets other than Nova Scotia, but they obligate us to be fair to other jurisdictions as well.

Managing all of these requirements can be complicated and setting things out clearly requires us to be exact (and wordy, we know!).

Every job is different and we try to be clear in our procurement documents as to what is required for that instance of work. Generally, Council policy requires that everyone we hire, regardless of their status under the Workers’ Compensation Act of Nova Scotia, must have workplace injury insurance. We expect contractors to be adequately insured for the work that they do, including commercial general liability insurance, auto insurance, and, in the case of consultants, errors and omissions coverage.

We consider the other requirements in our documents carefully to protect the interests of the citizens of East Hants. If you find something in a competition document that doesn’t make sense or which seems to be overkill, reach out to us before the competition closes. We listen, but we can’t always make the changes requested.

Just like you, we want good value and a good business transaction with no surprises.

Our competition documents are the tools we use to communicate our needs. We’ll be as clear as we can about what we want and what we expect, we’ll tell you what we want to know and what we value, and we’ll tell you the things upon which we’ll base our award. Sometimes price will be the most important thing and sometimes we’ll have a set of standards we’ll look for before we’ll even consider your price; point is, you’ll know before you bid and can make your choices accordingly.

We expect suppliers to commit to the jobs they take and to perform the work to a reasonable standard of quality, completely and in line with our requirements.

All public competitions (Tenders, RFPs, and Standing Offers) will be advertised through the Nova Scotia procurement website. The Nova Scotia website has the Tendering Opportunities Notification System (TONS) feature which allows you to subscribe to certain criteria and get automatic notifications. The NS website will direct you to the East Hants website to download the documents.

Download competition documents from our website for free. Once registered for a competition, you can elect to receive automatic notifications of Addenda and similar changes to the competition, but always check our site before you submit in case a notification was missed. We recommend you only download documents from our website to ensure you receive the most up-to-date information.

Every competition contains a description of what the response needs to looks like and what the rules are for submitting. Please read these carefully because the procurement rules we live by are very unforgiving. Most importantly, make sure you include anything which we say must be included and make sure to sign your response.

If you are unsure about something or if we’ve made a mistake, let us know before the competition closes so we can address it. Questions ware typically answered in an addendum to all suppliers.

We will get back to you.  Really.

We’re a small municipality so it takes us time to get through an evaluation process which can include reading and re-reading the submissions, confirming compliance to the requirements, verification (adding up the numbers or calling references), clarifying anything that is unclear, and, finally, scoring. There may be several evaluators, so all of the scores have to be compiled to determine a top-rated response. Once we have determined the highest-rated proposal or tender, we may have to get approval from Council or the CAO to proceed with award.

Once award is announced, we will:

  • Inform unsuccessful proponents
  • Update the Nova Scotia Procurement website with the successful proponent’s name and, in most cases, the expected value of the contract
  • Provide a debrief to those suppliers who request one within 30 days of notification an award has been made. We will debrief successful proponents too, if they ask.
  • A debrief will only provide feedback on the suppliers’ own proposal or tender with the goal to help the proponent improve future responses
  • We encourage and accept feedback from the supplier with respect to the process

If you are successful, you will be asked to sign a contract, usually based on the sample contract included in the competition documents. While there is some room to negotiate small details before the final contract is signed, suppliers must identify any objections to the terms of the sample contract before the competition closes. The Municipality will attempt to be reasonable, but typically clauses like indemnification, insurance, WCB coverage, and performance obligations have been carefully thought through and will not be changed.

East Hants will not typically accept a limitation of liability in a contract. While we recognize suppliers need to protect themselves too, we go to them because they are experts, because they understand the risks in the work they do, and because we expect them to do good work that we can rely on and that they will stand behind.

Once the contract has been signed by both parties, it moves over to the department to manage. The supplier must provide any documents they promised (Certificate of Insurance, Bonds, WCB letters, etc.) prior to starting the work.

At the end of any project involving an outside supplier, we want to look back and clearly see three things:

  • Excellent value to the taxpayers of East Hants;
  • A smooth procurement process satisfactory to both the supplier and East Hants; and
  • A growing, professional, and mutually beneficial relationship between East Hants and the supplier, in accordance with the rules in which we operate.


The municipal contact person responsible for the procurement process is Michael Hatfield, Procurement Officer.