VICTORIA - The Government of B.C. has officially launched its two-page, short-form request for proposals (SRFP) making it easier for small businesses to sell to government.
The shorter form will be used for government opportunities valued at less than $250,000, where it makes sense. The change streamlines the request for proposals process, making it easier for small businesses to apply and compete for work. The SRFP is one of several measures announced in 2013 to increase small businesses participation in government procurement opportunities.
The scope, process and templates for the two-page form were developed through extensive consultations - 14 sessions with 273 vendors, ministry and broader public sector staff during fall 2013. Several ministries piloted the short form RFP in January and February with positive results.
Benefits of the simplified two-page form:
- Reduces the amount of time required to manage the request for proposals process overall.
- Previously, the average length of a request for proposal was around 18 pages but could be upwards of 80 pages with submitted responses being much longer, sometimes up to a few hundred pages.
- Uses a smart form, a fillable online PDF document with rules built in that provides consistency in the experience for vendors and ministries. This includes better alignment between what is being asked for, and what is being evaluated.
The simplified two page form delivers on a BC Small Business Accord commitment to reduce barriers to government’s procurement process. The form also aligns with a recommendation to streamline procurement processes and templates, as outlined in the report Doing Business with Government Project, released by the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training in March. Recommendations in the report are intended to reduce the barriers facing small businesses and improve their ability to sell to government.
Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business -
“As part of the key principals of the Small Business Accord, it’s our goal to make British Columbia the most small business friendly jurisdiction in Canada. Providing a simplified application process is crucial in helping small businesses sell to government. As small business continues to be a key economic driver in B.C., it’s important that government work to provide opportunities that will help businesses grow long term.”
Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services -
“This new two-page smart form is making it much easier for small businesses to apply for government opportunities.
“By simplifying the application and making it less time consuming for people to complete process, we are making it easier for small businesses to do business with government and creating long-term growth opportunities for businesses throughout the province.”
John Winter, president and CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce -
“The small businesses throughout B.C. and our members in particular will be delighted to learn of the measures the Province is taking to enable more B.C. businesses to take advantage of and participate in the extensive procurement opportunities that exist. And to remove at the same time these bureaucratic measures is an added bonus.”
- Government posts approximately 300 RFPs to BC Bid each year.
- The Canadian Federation of Independent Business recently released its annual report card grading provinces on their efforts to cut red tape; and British Columbia was the only province to be given an ‘A’ rating - for the third year in a row.
- Red tape is defined as burdensome, often unnecessary, government administrative processes and regulatory requirements.
- Since 2001, government has reduced regulatory requirements by over 42%.
- Regulatory requirements are defined as government imposed obligations, licenses and laws with which citizens and businesses must comply.
- The BC Small Business Accord was developed by small businesses throughout the province to establish a list of priorities to make B.C. the most business-friendly jurisdiction in Canada. The six Accord principles guide the manner in which government interacts with and considers the interests of the small business community.
About the two-page, short-form request for proposals (SRFP): www.gov.bc.ca/SRFP
Final report for the Small Business - Doing Business with Government Project: www.jtst.gov.bc.ca/selltobcgov/
To learn more about the BC Small Business Accord, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/smallbusinessaccord
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour
Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business