The Construction Bid Depository of Ontario (CBDO) is quietly closing up shop, but its last chairman still believes in the bid depository process.
TORONTO – The Construction Bid Depository of Ontario (CBDO) is quietly closing up shop, but its last chairman still believes in the bid depository process.
“It is a transparent and clear system, but essentially the support from the industry has been withdrawn over time,” said Al Prowse, chairman of the CBDO.
The CBDO was incorporated as a not-for-profit entity designed to meet its financial needs through successful bidder fees, sales of bid depository tendering forms and envelopes, and through trade association support funding.
“The associations kicked in money to keep it going, but it just could not get to the point to stimulate more business,” Prowse noted.
The ceasing of operations at the CBDO is not unusual, as the Manitoba Bid Depository voted to suspend operations of its bid collection service in April 2007 as well.
The Winnipeg Construction Association is considering assuming responsibility for the maintenance of the Manitoba Trade Definitions.
The association is creating guidelines for trade definition use outside of the bid depository system.
The National Trade Contractors Coalition of Canada (NTCCC) has been an advocate of the bid depository system and promoting it across Canada was one of its top three priorities.
In March 2006 the NTCCC began to collaborate with the CBDO and George Brown College to roll out traditional and web-based marketing and communications strategies as well as the creation of a video in support of bid depository use.
“We feel the bid depository system is a fair, equitable and transparent process which gives good bang for the buck. However, it was difficult to promote something that was not being used very often,” said Richard McKeagan, spokesperson for the NTCCC.
“The only province where it is stable is Quebec and that is because it is mandatory.”
He said that the growth of various building models, such as private public partnerships and design-build, could be contributing to the decline of bid depository use at this time.
“I also believe that there is a whole new generation in the construction industry that is not up to speed about the bid depository system and its benefits,” McKeagan added.