Standing offers

Standing offers provide government and public sector entities with access to commonly purchased goods, services and construction at predetermined prices or discounts during a particular period of time.

The Government of Nova Scotia needs to use existing standing offers to buy goods, services and construction. Public sector entities can also use existing standing offers.

Procurement establishes standing offers for commonly purchased goods and services that meet the needs of government. Standing offers help government save time and money when buying goods and services.

Standing offers are contractual arrangements between the Government of Nova Scotia and pre-approved suppliers. Under the terms and conditions of a standing offer, the supplier agrees to provide goods, services or construction on an "as required" basis during a particular period of time and at a predetermined price or discount. The terms and conditions are set in advance and vary depending on the types of goods, services or construction the supplier will provide.

A standing offer doesn’t create a contractual commitment or define the volume of business with a supplier.

Standing offers need to follow the Standing Offer Protocol in the Procurement Manual and the Sustainable Procurement Policy.

Types of standing offers

Several different types of standing offers are established on an ongoing basis. Standing offers for goods include items like fuel oil, office equipment, building supplies and shop material. Standing offers for services include consultants for communications, business, information technology, training, human resources and temporary staffing services. Standing offers for construction include items like road maintenance.

Issuing standing offers

Standing offers are issued throughout the year and last for different periods of time.

Becoming a standing offer supplier

In most cases, standing offers are issued as regular tenders. If you want to be considered as an approved supplier, you need to respond to the tender during the specified timeframe with the information requested. Some standing offers have ongoing onboarding where you can be added as a supplier at anytime. Other standing offers may open onboarding at specific times during the term of the standing offer contract.

Mandatory use of standing offers

Government is required to use existing standing offers first when looking for a supplier.

When government needs a particular good, service or construction, it must review existing standing offers before making a purchase.

If there’s an existing standing offer, government or a public service entity issues a purchase order and sends it directly to the supplier it wants to work with. Once the supplier receives the purchase order, it is authorized to provide the goods, services or construction outlined in the purchase order. After delivery is complete, the supplier can invoice the government of public sector entity for payment.

Approved suppliers are eligible for consideration when a government or public sector entity need arises. But being an approved supplier isn’t a guarantee of business.

Spending thresholds

Government needs to follow procurement processes for low-value purchases or high-value purchases depending on the value of the contract.

Managed service provider

Government and Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) use Flextrack as a managed service provider to coordinate standing offers for these services:

  • communications
  • executive search
  • information technology (IT)
  • managed business
  • temporary

Flextrack also manages vendor engagement, reviewing proposals, selection of successful resources, proposals and invoicing.

Group purchasing organizations

Group purchasing organizations (GPO) help healthcare facilities and government save money and improve efficiencies by combining their purchases to negotiate discounts with manufacturers, distributors and other vendors.


Related legislation