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Local Government Procurement: Beyond "Contract A"

Most local government officials dealing with procurement matters have at least some familiarity with ‘Contract A’. It is also well understood that the existence of Contract A can give rise to significant legal issues and exposure to liability in connection with a procurement process. In this context, it is often necessary to consult with legal advisors and to make difficult procurement decisions based on the risks of different courses of action in dealing with bidders and awarding a contract.

What is perhaps less clear is the extent to which other legal constraints can impact local government procurement decisions. In the context of a process that does not involve Contract A, or a Contract A process that includes a waiver or limitation of liability in favour of the procuring local government, are there legal requirements that can nevertheless affect a procurement decision? Is a public procurement process legally required at all?

This paper looks beyond Contract A and examines some of the other legal issues that can affect local government procurement, including the impact of current legislation and Provincial trade agreements, as well as the role of the Courts.

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