The COVID-19 pandemic has had a far reaching and unprecedented impact on all Nova Scotians including our valued colleagues in the building design and construction industry. We have all had to transition the way we work for the safety of ourselves, our families and our broader community. We’ve had to navigate this transition in business model while simultaneously dealing with the complicated everyday life challenges that have become the new norm during COVID-19. While it has not been easy, our industry has proven to be adaptable and nimble in this transition.
The Building Project Services Division of the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal would like to express its appreciation to our colleagues in the design and construction industry for their continued support on our infrastructure projects. We would like to reinforce that the Province’s design and construction project work will continue during this time as we recognize that the infrastructure work is vital to Nova Scotians and critical to the economy.
To assist consultants and contractors, processes such as Requests for Proposals and Construction tendering are being transitioned to an electronic system utilizing the Province’s e-bidding system, Ariba Discovery.
For construction tendering and as a short-term measure, the Province will only accept electronic bid bonds as bid security on General Contract bids for bids where bid security is required. Bid Bonds must be legally enforceable and verifiable by the Minister with respect to the totality and wholeness of the bond form, including the content as well as digital signatures and seals. Performance Assurance from General Contractors must also be in the form of Performance Bonds and Labour & Materials Payment bonds during this time in electronic, legally enforceable and verifiable format. Other forms of Performance Assurance will not be accepted. General Contractors are advised to contact their Surety provider for information on Electronic Bid Security and Performance Assurance.
With respect to other pre-award and post-award submissions including but not limited to items such as Safety Certificates, Workers Compensation Coverage, resumes, and other similar forms, contractors may submit scanned copies. Items such as Statutory Declarations accompanying Applications for Progress Payments are to be submitted as scanned copies of original documents with wet signatures (personally signed in pen). All submitted documents must be capable of being printed.
Building Project Services has also transitioned to electronic approvals of Consultant and Contractor invoices and change management processes. We believe this will facilitate the turn around of this critical documentation and keep everyone safe and healthy.
Regarding safe work practices on construction sites with respect to COVID-19 restrictions, please review the information provided by the Government of Nova Scotia, Federal Government of Canada and the Construction Association of Nova Scotia at the following websites:
- Government of Nova Scotia: novascotia.ca/coronavirus
- Government of Canada: canada.ca/coronavirus
- CANS: https://www.cans.ns.ca/