Overview - CFI Procurement

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The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is an independent corporation established in 1997 by the Government of Canada. The Foundation's goal is to strengthen the capability of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals, and other not-for profit institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development. By investing in research infrastructure projects, the CFI supports research excellence, and helps strengthen research training at institutions across Canada.

Detailed information related to CFI purchasing can be found in the CFI Program and Policy Guide and the associated Complementary Information published by the CFI. These pages summarize the information needed to ensure purchasing and document management is compliant with the CFI guidelines, Queen's University Policies and Broad Public Sector Acts/Agreements.

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The Role of SPS

Strategic Procurement Services (SPS) oversees the acquisition of products and services on behalf of the University. For CFI purchasing the role of SPS is one of a consultative nature assisting the Principal Investigator (PI) with the procurement of required products and services while ensuring that applicable University policies and procedures, sponsor terms and conditions as well as all applicable federal and provincial legislation and regulations governing the acquisition of products and services are adhered to. SPS staff handle processing of CFI-funded purchase orders, public tendering for CFI-funded goods/services over $100,000 in value and Category 2 In-Kind Fair Market Value Assessments (any in kind contribution over $500,000 or between $100,000 and $500,00 but greater than 10% of the total project budget). CFI Project Applications and Finalizations are handled by the Vice-Principal (Research) Portfolio (VPR) - External Funding.

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CFI Quotations

All of the information on the Research Purchasing Basics page applies to CFI purchases. It is important to remember that no commitment to purchase any item from a Supplier is in place until a Purchase Order is issued containing agreed upon terms and conditions between the Supplier and Queen's University. If you are building a budget for a research project, request a Budgetary Quote from the Supplier. There is often considerable time between budget approval, award of funds and placement of an order.

In addition, CFI quotations involving educational discounts or in kind contributions must conform to the examples below.

The CFI provides only 40% of the funding for infrastructure projects it supports.  Additional matching funds must be sought elsewhere.  Often, part of these matching funds comes from equipment discounts, in-kind contributions of time, or donations from suppliers. In calculating the value of in-kind contributions, CFI expects that there will normally be a List Price and a discounted Educational Price for equipment or other infrastructure. Discounts over and above a company's standard educational price are considered in-kind contributions. If the supplier does not have an educational price, discounts over and above Fair Market Value or Best Customer Price (which may be the same as, or lower than, the List Price) are considered in-kind contributions. 

In-kind contributions must be documented in a quotation or cover letter from the supplier. The documentation must clearly indicate one of the following:

Case A: Supplier has a standard educational discount.

In order to document that the actual selling price on the quotation is discounted from an educational price, suppliers will have to include, for every item that includes in-kind:

  1. the list price,
  2. the standard educational price, and
  3. the actual selling price.

For example:
$200,000   List Price
$180,000   Educational Price
$150,000   Actual Selling Price
$ 30,000    In-kind Contribution

Case B:  Supplier has no standard educational discount and fair market value or best customer price is lower than the list price

If suppliers do not offer an educational price, and the price is discounted from a fair market value or best customer price, then the supplier will have to include: 

  1. the list price,
  2. the fair market value or best customer price (the CFI eligible cost),
  3. the actual selling price, and
  4. a statement that the company does not offer standard educational prices

For example:
$250,000  List Price
$200,000  Fair Market Value/Best Customer Price
$180,000  Actual Selling Price
$ 20,000   In-kind Contribution

Case C:  Supplier has no standard educational discount and fair market value or best customer price is the same as the list price

If suppliers do not offer an educational price, and the list price is the same as the fair market value or best customer price, then the supplier will have to include: 

  1. the list price
  2. the actual selling price, and
  3. a statement that the company does not offer standard educational prices, and that the list price is the same as the fair market value or best customer price.

For example:
$125,000  List Price
$100,000  Actual Selling Price
$ 25,000   In-kind Contribution  

See Section 6.5 of the CFI Program Guide for more information.

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What is an Educational Discount and why it is required on all CFI quotes?

An educational discount is a discount offered to all educational institutions. It is considered a normal discount; therefore is not an eligible CFI In Kind Contribution. All quotes must make reference to educational discounts. If an educational discount is not provided, a statement stating this should appear on the quote.

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What is an "In Kind Contribution?

In kind contributions are defined as eligible non-monetary resources that external eligible partners provide to eligible projects. The CFI considers all contributions made by an eligible institution to a project to be a cash contribution. It is the price that would be agreed to in an open and unrestricted market between knowledgeable and willing parties dealing at arm's length who are fully informed and not under compulsion to transact. The fair market value is the price an institution would normally be expected to pay in such circumstances, after normal and educational discounts, but prior to consideration of any special discount that may be offered as a contribution towards a CFI project.

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How was the Cash price determined on the Itemized List?

(Net Selling Price + Freight + Customs Costs + Installation Costs) x non-refundable HST rate of 3.41% (if applicable).

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How do you calculate total eligible cost (also known as Fair Market Value)?

Cash Price (see above) + In kind contribution

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CFI Document Retention

All original documents complete with supporting documentation will be retained by the Researcher and SPS for audit purposes. This includes quotations, purchase orders, shipping documents and invoices.  It is vital that the Researcher keeps all shipping documents/packing slips related to CFI purchases and copies of any invoices received, these will be requested during audits by the CFI. The retention period for these records is a minimum of six (6) years plus the current year (7 years in total).  In addition, the CFI can request an audit up to three (3) years after the final report for a project is filed.

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CFI Pre-spend Purchases

For purchases that precede the award of a CFI please clearly state in the "Edit Header Comments" section of the requisition that the purchase is for a CFI project (include the name of the lead Researcher and the item number the purchase corresponds to). It is important to flag pre-spend purchases so that the correct documents are retained for project finalization and audit.

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Purchasing IT Hardware & Accessories for a CFI Project

If you intend to purchase IT hardware and accessories for your CFI project, please ensure to check the CFI Format IT Quotations webpage that lists each vendor and their contact for obtaining CFI format quotations. Quotations are required so orders can be placed through PeopleSoft as Purchase Orders.

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