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Queen's University

Procurement Policy

Category:  Finance
Approval:  Vice-Principals' Operational Committee 
Responsibility:  Director Strategic Procurement Services
Date initially approved:  March 5, 2012
Date of last revision:  May 28, 2014


"Consulting Services" means; the provision of expertise or strategic advice that is presented for consideration and decision-making. 

"Preferred Suppliers" means; those suppliers with which we have established contracts following a rigorous tendering process that is compliant with the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act. 

"Controlled Goods" means; Items that are on the Canadian Export Control List. The Canadian Export Control list consists of a catalogue of goods and technologies whose possession and export are controlled by the Government of Canada. The list is divided into seven groups and different governmental agencies have authority to regulate specific groups. The Canadian Controlled Goods Directorate regulates three of these groups and classifies the items in them as controlled goods and technology, e.g., military, strategic, and military-related goods and technology, as well as dual-use goods such as specified advanced materials, and specified telecommunications systems and equipment.

Purpose/Reason for Policy:

The purpose of the Purchasing policy is to;

  • Promote transparency and accountability in the use of public funds by establishing guidelines for the acquisition of products and services whether by purchase, rental or lease.
  • Define the limits of authority
  • Provide guidelines that will maximize value-for-money 

Scope of this Policy: 

This policy applies to the acquisition of products and services, by purchase, rental or lease, except as noted below under exceptions, regardless of the ultimate source of funding, unless specifically indicated otherwise by the funding source. Where funding regulations are more restrictive than University regulations, the funding regulations will take precedence.

Policy Statement:


Queen's University must maintain high legal, ethical, managerial, and professional standards in the management of the resources entrusted to it as a publicly funded institution. We must ensure that products and services are acquired in a manner that ensures the University:

  • Obtains value for money by incurring the lowest cost in the fulfillment of specified needs with appropriate levels of quality and service;
  • Uses fair and open process when calling for, receiving and evaluating quotations and tenders from qualified, efficient suppliers;
  • Meets its statutory, legal and ethical obligations in the acquisition of products and services by purchase, rental or lease; and
  • Employs trained staff skilled in purchasing techniques including negotiating contractual terms and conditions, cost reduction techniques, and cooperative buying processes.

Ontario Broader Public Sector (BPS) Procurement Directive

The University has adopted the Ontario Broader Public Sector (BPS) Procurement Directive and theBPS Procurement Code of Ethics as required by the Ontario Ministry of Finance with effect 1st April 2011.

Ontario Broader Public Sector Procurement Code of Ethics

Goal: To ensure an ethical, professional and accountable procurement program at Queen's University.

  1. Personal Integrity and Professionalism
    All individuals involved in purchasing or other supply chain-related activities must act, and be seen to act, with integrity and professionalism. Honesty, care and due diligence must be integral to all supply chain activities within and between BPS organizations, suppliers and other stakeholders. Respect must be demonstrated for each other and for the environment. Confidential and personal information   must   be safeguarded. Participants must not engage in any activity that may create, or appear to create a conflict of interest, such as accepting gifts or favours, providing preferential treatment, or publicly endorsing suppliers or products.

  3. Accountability & Transparency
    Supply chain activities must be open and accountable. In particular, tendering, contracting and purchasing activities must be fair, transparent and conducted with a view to obtaining the best value for public money. All participants must ensure that public sector resources are used in a responsible, efficient and effective manner.

  5. Compliance & Continuous Improvement
    All BPS supply chain participants must comply with this Code of Ethics and the laws of Canada and Ontario. Participants should continuously work to improve supply chain policies and procedures, to improve supply chain knowledge and skill levels, and to share leading practices.

 Conflict of Interest 

Any Staff or Faculty who has any interest, direct or indirect, in any supplier under consideration by the University and is part of the decision-making process shall;

  1. declare the nature and extent of the interest as soon as possible and no later than the meeting at which the matter is to be considered;
  2. refrain from taking part in any discussion or evaluation of proposals in relation to the supplier concerned;
  3. withdraw from the meeting when the matter is being discussed.

In  particular, and without limiting the  generality of the foregoing, unless specifically authorized by the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) or designate, after full written disclosure of the conflict, a staff/faculty member shall not;

  1. with University funds or with funds administered by the University, knowingly authorize the purchase of equipment, supplies, services or real property from a source with which the staff/faculty member, or any individual with whom she/he has an immediate familial, sexual or financial relationship,  has  a material financial interest; or
  2. engage any individual with whom the member has an immediate familial, sexual or financial relationship in any capacity for which remuneration comes from University funds or from funds administered by the University.


Queen's University will employ an open competitive process when required and whenever possible to increase the chances of achieving the greatest value for money. However, in some specific situations as described in this Sole/Single Source Section, competitive procurement processes may not be warranted.

Expenses for Consultants And Other Contractors

In no circumstances can hospitality, incidental or food expenses be considered allowable expenses for consultants and contractors under the Broader Public Sector, Travel, Meal and Hospitality Directive, or in any contract between an organization and a consultant or contractor. Therefore, they cannot claim or be reimbursed for such expenses, including;

  • meals, snacks and beverages,
  • gratuities,
  • laundry or dry cleaning,
  • valet services,
  • dependent care,
  • home management,
  • personal telephone calls

See the Broader Public Sector Procurement Directive for information about procurement and contracts. Reimbursement for allowable expenses can be claimed and reimbursed only when the contract specifically provides for it

 Access for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

When procuring goods, services and facilities, Queen's University will incorporate accessibility criteria and features. Where applicable, procurement documents will specify the desired accessibility criteria to be met and provide guidelines for the evaluation of proposals in respect of those criteria. Where it is impractical for Queen's University to incorporate accessibility criteria and features when procuring or acquiring specific goods, service or facilities, the Director of Procurement will provide a written explanation.

Personal Purchases

The University Procurement system may not be used for personal purchases.

Preferred Suppliers

Preferred suppliers must be used whenever possible and staff and faculty should refer to these first when sourcing products or services. It is recognized that the preferred suppliers may not always meet the needs of staff or faculty in particular and alternative suppliers may be used if justified. Contact Strategic Procurement Services prior to buying in-scope goods or services from a non-preferred supplier.

A full list of preferred suppliers can be found on the Strategic Procurement Services Website


Current exclusions from Procurement policy are:

  • Insurance
  • Investment services
  • Library Information Resources
  • Bookstore retail items
  • Radioactive Isotopes
  • Controlled Goods

For the specifics of ordering radioactive isotopes, please see the Environmental Health & Safety Radiation Safety ManualSection 10.


Indicate what responsibilities are assigned, and to whom, under the policy.

Tendering and purchase of Utilities and construction is delegated to Physical Plant Services with the support of Strategic Procurement Services.

Tendering and purchase of IT Hardware and Software is delegated to IT Services with the support of Strategic Procurement Services.


Contact Officer: Director, Strategic Procurement Services
Date for Next Review: 31 October2016
Related Policies, Procedures and Guidelines:  Board of Trustees Code of Conduct (PDF*, 16 KB) Contract Signing Authority (PDF*, 80 KB),Procurement Card policy, Hospitality Policy (PDF*, 115 KB), Perquisites Policy (PDF*, 77 KB), Procurement Procedures, Procurement Process Guidelines
Policies Superseded by this Policy: Procurement Policy, March 2013

*PDF files can be viewed using Adobe Reader.





Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000