Vendor Complaint Review Process
The Vendor Complaint Review Process (VCRP) grew out of the need for a method to address issues arising from government procurement processes, as identified by the vendor community. Although the Procurement Governance Office created the VCRP, each ministry is responsible for setting its own timeframe to achieve the steps that make up the process. The following is a brief review of the escalating VCRP process and the time limits specific to the Ministry of Social Development. If you have any further questions about the process, please direct them to the ministry VCRP contact.
Financial Administration and Procurement Services
PO Box 9950 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria BC V8W 9R6
VCRP and Procurement Contacts
The VCRP Contact is able to answer vendor questions related to the VCRP process, but mainly functions as a facilitator for the process itself. The Procurement Contact is responsible for researching both informal and formal vendor complaints, for preparing reports on formal complaints, and for informing vendors of the outcome of their complaints. For more information on the roles the two contacts play, refer to the attached VCRP process.
Vendors can submit complaints about the solicitation process whether the ministry awards a contract competitively or non-competitively. Vendors who wish to submit complaints about direct-awarded contracts may do so within 30 business days of the direct award. Vendors who wish to submit complaints about a competitive process may do so at any time during the process or within 30 business days of receiving notice of the competition's outcome.
The First Step: The Informal Review
A vendor complaint can undergo up to three reviews at the ministry level. The first, an informal review, takes place before any other VCRP activity occurs. Informal reviews resolve many smaller complaints and often involve simply answering vendor questions and providing vendors with additional clarification.
Although vendors may send informal complaints to the VCRP Contact, the Procurement Contact is responsible for conducting informal reviews, which do not require a written report or a reference number. A VCRP Contact who receives an informal vendor complaint will forward the complaint to the Procurement Contact within two days. The Procurement contact must acknowledge receipt of the complaint within five days, and notify the vendor of the outcome of the review of the complaint within 30 days.
The Second Step: The Formal Review
Vendors who are unsatisfied with the outcome of the informal review of their complaints are able to submit their complaints for a second, formal review. Formal reviews are more detailed and result in a written report.
To initiate a formal complaint, the vendor must submit a completed Vendor Complaint Review Form to either the VCRP contact or the Procurement Contact. Every formal complaint that arrives at the ministry receives a reference number from the VCRP Contact, who then forwards the complaint to the Procurement Contact. Procurement Contacts who receive formal vendor complaints directly must contact the VCRP Contact for a reference number within 5 days of receipt of the complaint.
The Procurement Contact is responsible for researching the complaint, and for preparing a written report and forwarding it to the vendor and the VCRP contact, along with the outcome of the complaint, within 30 days of receipt.
The Third Step: The Director Review
Vendors who are unsatisfied with the outcome of the informal review of their complaints are able to submit their complaints for a third review by the Director of Financial Support. The Director will prepare a written report that includes the outcome of the investigation as well as steps the vendor can take to pursue the complaint further if still unsatisfied.
The three steps that take place within the ministry should resolve the majority of the vendor complaints SD will receive. However, if a vendor is still unsatisfied after receiving the report from the Director, Financial Support, the Director will refer the vendor, and all information related to the complaint, to the PGO, which will then assume responsibility for the investigation.
The following is the process for registering a Vendor Complaint relating to procurement activities carried out by or for the Ministry of Social Development (pursuant to Core Policy Chapter 6.0, Part II - Vendor Complaint Review Process for Government Procurement).
Ministry of Social Development
Vendor Complaint Review Process