Contract Management Regulations for the Awarding of Municipal ContractsBy Joanne Côté Lawyer
The Act mainly to recognize that municipalities are local governments and to increase their autonomy and powers (Bill 122), which was passed on June 16, 2017, sets out provisions relating to the required and optional content of current municipal contract management policies.
In this regard, since January 1, 2018, all contract management policies and any amendments to such policies must be adopted by regulation. Current contract management policies adopted by resolution prior to January 1, 2018, are deemed contract management regulations. The adoption of a contract management regulation - as opposed to a resolution - enables municipalities to determine criminal sanctions in the case of infringements.
Bill 122 also introduces the possibility for municipalities to determine the way in which all contracts under $100 000 will be awarded, including the option to allow municipalities to award such contracts through direct negotiations.
Regardless of value, all municipal contracts awarded through direct negotiations must include measures to ensure a rotation among contracting parties in the contract management regulations.
Finally, it is important to note that Bill 122 does not entail the obligation to change the contract management policies in effect since January 1, 2018. However, in certain cases, these contract management policies must be amended to include new contracting party rotation regulations when municipalities may award contracts, regardless of value, through direct negotiations (and in the case of contracts under $25 000 in particular). Indeed, Bill 122 stipulates that contract management regulations apply to all contracts, including those that are excluded from the bidding process.