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.