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About SBDI

What Is The Bid Depository System?

The Bid Depository is a method of receiving sealed tenders from subtrade contractors in a way that the sanctity of bidding is maintained. Those receiving tenders obtain firm quotations in writing and in an adequate time frame to compile their own Bids completely and accurately, on an understood and previously agreed upon scope of work common to all bidders.

The Saskatchewan Bid Depository System requires the trade contractor to submit their tender in accordance with the Bid Depository Rules and Regulations. Bid Security is a requirement of the Saskatchewan Bid Depository System for Bids over $40,000. The sealed tender is delivered to the designated Bid Depository office at a specific time and date.

It is important to note that any contractor can use the system; there are no membership requirements.

The User's Manual and Trade Scopes are reviewed on an annual basis. Over time there have been amendments made to the Standard Rules and Procedures and to the Trade Scopes. Recommendations for amendments to the Rules and Trade Scopes come about as a result of usage experience and out of a review process that involves the Construction Industry in Saskatchewan. All Saskatchewan Branches of the Saskatchewan Bid Depository use common Regulations and Trade Scopes. Common closing times accommodate contractors who may not reside in the community in which the project is closing. General Contractors and Owners both enjoy the benefit of province-wide participation in the tender process.

Why The Need For A Bid Depository System?

The Construction Industry in Saskatchewan believes that a uniform tendering system is necessary for building construction projects where the owner requires a lump sum tender based on plans and specifications and where a large number of General contractors, trade contractors and suppliers are involved in the tendering process.
A uniform system of tendering prevents last minute tenders, incomplete tenders, qualified tenders, and prevents the “shopping” of tenders.  The system decreases the risk to General contractors, in turn protecting the owner’s investment.  The development of the Standard Rules and Procedures along with the Trade Scopes maintains an orderly system within this diversified industry.

What Are The Advantages Of A Bid Depository System?

For the Owner and the Tender Calling Authority:

  • The System encourages more contractors to bid because of the inherent fairness of the system.

  • More competition favours the owner.

  • The system fosters confidence between the General and Subcontractor.

  • The system promotes a harmonious relationship within the construction team which serves the owner.

  • The system allows the General Contractor time to prepare and finalize the tender.

  • The system alerts the tender calling authority to problem areas.

  • The sanctity of the bids and the security of the system insure public owners that the bidding process is fair and open and will stand up under public scrutiny.

  • Required security provides assurance of legitimacy of subcontractors.

  • Takes the hassle out of dealing with tenders.

  • Finally, the system prevents the added burden of last-minute sub-trade questions.

For the General Contractor:

  • The General Contractor receives clear, unqualified bids in writing.

  • The Trade Scopes ensure Bids are based on a previously agreed upon and understood scope of work common to all bidders.

  • The system encourages every trade to bid all General Contractors.

  • The incidence of misunderstandings and bidding withdrawals is significantly lowered.

For the Subcontractors:

  • Subs are able to bid General Contractors knowing the sanctity of their bid will be maintained.

  • The system promotes mutual trust.

  • The system creates better co-operation throughout the project through a clear definition and understanding of the Scope of Work.

Finally, the Rules and Standard Procedures provide a dispute resolution mechanism that ensures complaints and violations of the regulations are dealt with quickly and expeditiously with serious sanctions imposed on any transgressors. 

Here’s How The System Works

  1. The subcontractor addresses copies of their tender to the General Contractors bidding the Project. The trades may bid to the General Contractor of their choice. It is not necessary to bid all the Generals.

  2. The subcontractor addresses an additional copy to the SBDI.

  3. Clearly marked envelopes are used to distinguish between the General Contractor copy and the SBDI copy.

  4. All marked envelopes are enclosed in an official large white envelope addressed to the SBDI. This envelope must be delivered before the specified tender closing time and deposited in the designated box for that project at a SBDI Branch.

Immediately after the common closing, the envelopes are shipped to the closing SBDI branch and opened. The enclosed envelopes are then dealt with as follows:

  1. The subcontractors’ envelopes are released to the General Contractors.

  2. One copy of each bidders tender is retained by the SBDI.

So How Do You Specify The Use Of The Bid Depository System?

There is a simple procedure to be followed by the tender calling authority, which simply involves the tender calling authority to notify the appropriate SBDI branch in writing of their intent to use the system.

The recommended wording for this instruction is as follows:

Saskatchewan Bid Depository Inc. Rules, Regulations and Trade Definitions effective January 1, 2007 and subsequent amendments approved by the SBDI prior to receipt of bids, shall apply to this project. 

Sealed tenders from designated subtrades shall submit their bids for General Contractors to the:

(Name of Closing Branch)

before 2:00 p.m. on ___________, 20 ____.

(3 working days prior to the General Contractors closing).

What About The Construction Management Process?

Many will ask how the Bid Depository System fits with the Construction Management process where there is obviously only one General Contractor. The answer is that the system of review and the flexibility built into the system allow the Bid Depository to make amendments to the Rules and Procedures that accommodate the Construction Management process. The procedure is not that complicated. The local branch management committee that is carrying the project is empowered to meet with the Construction Management Team to determine what amendments are necessary to allow the Management team to utilize the Bid Depository. The recommendations are reviewed by the Provincial Executive of the Bid Depository to insure the fundamental principles of the Bid Depository System have not been breached. The agreed upon amendments are published as pre-tender rulings and apply to that specific Construction Management project only.


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Copyright © 2005 Saskatchewan Bid Depository Inc.
Last modified: December 19, 2008