ACEC-SK Chair Meets with Minister of Central Services

On April 2, 2014, Jason Gasmo, ACEC-SK Board chair met with the Honourable Nancy Heppner, Minister of Central Services, together with a small delegation from Consulting Engineers of Alberta.  The purpose of the meeting was to share information with the Minister about the initial interest expressed by Services Alberta for using a Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) procurement framework for consulting engineering and geoscience professional services.

This meeting was timely because ACEC-SK was advised just prior to Christmas, 2013, that Central Services was introducing its own new procurement processes which in fact were contrary to QBS – focusing more on cost as a major factor in the decision-making process rather than qualifications.  

Therefore, the meeting also focused on how QBS provides a far superior outcome for the taxpayer over price-based procurement processes.  ACEC-SK asserted that QBS is a transparent, defensible process, and would fulfill the government’s need for accountability.

The Minister directed new Deputy Minister Richard Murray to set up a meeting among representatives from Central Services and ACEC-SK that would review processes to procure consultants for projects up to the threshold of $75K. Although our industry understood that sole-sourcing was the process of choice up to the $75K threshold, ACEC-SK members consistently report they are now receiving calls from the Central Services to obtain three prices, or a request to complete a short-form RFP.  

The purpose of the meeting was to create a workable solution acceptable to both parties and was held on April 24.  ACEC-SK looks forward to seeing changes implemented soon from Central Services that will benefit our members.

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