Price led SNC-Lavalin to victory in Trillium Line procurement, despite lower scores on technical and financing plans
The price must have been right when it came to SNC-Lavalin’s winning bid for the Trillium Line expansion, judging by how the company’s technical and financing scores stacked up with the competition during the procurement process.
It seems the total submission price was the only area where SNC, bidding under the name TransitNEXT, beat the other two shortlisted bidders, and beat them handily.
However, the losing bidders received better scores when it came to the technical plans and the quality of their financing plans.
According to the city’s internal scoring documents, SNC received the “minimum” score of 70 per cent for the quality of its financing plan, but the other two bids scored 80 per cent and 85 per cent.
SNC, though, received a perfect score when it came to the total submission price. A point system identified 450.00 as the maximum score for the financial proposal and SNC receive 450.00. The other two total submission price scores were 169.82 and 53.39.
This newspaper asked the city for the two losing bid prices. The city refused to disclose them, citing “competitively sensitive information.”
The value of the SNC’s agreement with the city is $1.6 billion, which takes into account the construction and 27 years of maintenance.
The strength of SNC’s total financial submission ultimately secured the deal with the city.
The company’s technical score, and each of the scores for the four technical categories, were well below the competition’s scores, even after a reassessment of the proposals, according to the city documents.
On the first assessment, SNC scored 68 per cent for general technical requirements, 61 per cent for the design submission, 68.52 per cent for the construction submission and 59.64 per cent on its maintenance and rehabilitation plan. The total technical score was 63.61 per cent.
After the reassessment, SNC’s scores were 70.71 per cent, 63.58 per cent, 71.86 per cent and 65.40 per cent, respectively. The total technical score was 67.27 per cent after the reassessment.
The other two bids finished with technical scores of 85.78 and 84.91, which were both slightly better (less than one percentage point) than their first assessments.
When it came to the technical assessment, the city had a threshold of 70 per cent for a bidder to remain in contention. The city’s request for proposals gave the city discretion to allow a proponent to continue in the procurement process, even with a technical score below the threshold.
The city said this week that it needed to consider any potential “bid challenge” by a bidder in deciding to keep SNC alive in the procurement. A challenge could have delayed the Trillium Line project. The city also noted that it considered the severity of the difference between the threshold and the score, which, when it came to SNC’s technical score, was less than three percentage points.
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