PS Online, which some say is difficult for users, will be replaced with a new system called ProServices. The changes affects contracts valued at less than the free trade threshold of $78,500.
During the summer and early fall, Public Works held consultations with industry to determine what form the new system should take.
In a notice posted on procurement site Merx, Public Works indicated the mandatory supply arrangement tool would initially be used for work required under the Task and Solutions Professional Services list as well as Task-Based Informatics Professional Services.
Keith Parker, the founder of local procurement consulting firm The Proposal Centre, said he is urging companies wanting to bid on contracts of these types to apply for qualification as soon as it opens.
There’s talk swirling around government circles that TSPS and TBIPS procurements may require that qualifying firms have a ProServices account to submit bids, he said.
“This is the opportunity for independent micro-businesses and small businesses to get on (the list),” Mr. Parker said.
ProServices is part of a larger strategy by the government to unite all professional services purchases under a national procurement strategy, which will put all contracts under the same rules and system, Mr. Parker noted.
“This is one of the most significant things to happen in government purchasing for a long time,” he said.
Once the system is live, firms can apply for ProServices and the government has said that it will not be a difficult process, Mr. Parker said. But there is expected to be a rapid intake for the system when it first goes live, which could delay applications if firms wait too long. Additionally, current users of PS Online will not be grandfathered into ProServices.
A request for proposals for ProServices likely come this fall, and the system is expected to be put in place sometime in 2013.