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20.61. Specifications

Clear, detailed specifications and identified business requirements are required for each procurement including ensuring that the following are incorporated: 

  • physical characteristics;
  • functional, performance or expected results;
  • quality characteristics defined by recognized, third-party standards bodies; and
  • intended use descriptors such as consumer grade, industrial grade, medical or laboratory grade, or suitability for use under extreme conditions.

When developing specifications, observe the following considerations and inclusions:

  • specifications cannot unduly restrict suppliers from bidding;
  • specifications are written in a manner that encourages open, fair and transparent competition;
  • specifications must be generic and non-branded where possible, except that where there is no other way to describe a specification.  Trade mark or brands may be employed by way of reference, but shall not be used as the specification itself;
  • any specific requirement for contract performance security, if such security is necessary;
  • all information that goes to a bidder's decision to submit a bid or calculate proposed pricing is to be included in the solicitation.  For example, specific site restrictions or conditions, engineering reports or any other factors that a bidder should know prior to submitting a bid is to be identified; and
  • the specifications should contain any legal requirements including any indemnification, insurance requirements or any other legal requirements affecting the delivery of the goods or services in the competition document.