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The timing in how this abundance of work will hit the market is critical.
Lipp is hopeful the tenders are awarded quickly with as little delay as possible
and that the work is sequenced in a slow drop rather than a downpour.
A quick procurement process, she feels, will be the key to the industry’s
success or failure in the delivery of the program.
“If we don’t sequence that work in a manner where contractors can
plan and bid responsibly, that’s going to be a challenge because we’ll then
be faced with a capacity issue,” she said. “The other thing is to make sure
government understand the importance of awarding these contracts fast.
The way the system is set up now, it takes anywhere from five to 20 days
to award a project. If you triple the workload coming onto the market but
internally the processes aren’t tweaked to be able to expedite contract
awards…that’s going to be a real problem for our members.”
Factor in a provincial election that will occur on or before Oct. 20. Once
the writ drops, government will pause all business communications, including
the awarding of tenders, until sometime after the election.
This could leave contractors in limbo as they await word on their bids
The uncertainty could wreak havoc with the labour force, as well.
As it stands, 75 per cent of a contractor’s workforce must come from
Saskatchewan. Should out-of-province companies swoop in to take part
in the feeding frenzy, those foreign contractors could pull workers from
other provinces. Lipp said labour could be a challenge for everyone who
takes part in the bidding free for all.
“We’re aware much of the work will hit the market later in the year,”
she said. “But having an early game plan helps in planning for the year
ahead. There will be bidding on stimulus projects tendered by RMs, cities
and towns, as well as by the Water Security Agency. This is why it’s
important that these upcoming projects are sequenced properly and integrated
“The quicker we can get to work, the quicker we can get people back
to work. Having this tender scheduled released early definitely helps.”
VITALII MIRONOV / 123RF
thinkbigmagazine.ca | Quarter 4 2020 | Think BIG 19