A Standing Offer Arrangement (SOA) is a general agreement between CIDA and a Consultant which defines the nature of the services to be provided to CIDA by the Consultant, the financial limit and duration of the SOA, and the per diem fee rate(s) to be utilised during the life of the SOA. Other important information in the SOA includes the name(s) of the individual(s) whose services will be provided (unless it is a SOA for levels of service), the process by which services may be called for by CIDA through a Requisition, the process for the payment of invoices (for fees and expenses) by CIDA, and other terms and conditions of the SOA. A Standing Offer Arrangement is not, in itself, a contract. CIDA is not obligated to requisition services under the SOA and the Consultant is not obligated to accept a specific assignment. A Standing Offer Arrangement will normally be valid for three (3) years and will expire when either the financial limit or the expiry date is reached, whichever happens first. Standing Offer Arrangements are established in accordance with CIDA's sourcing policies on the basis of an evaluation of the education, skills and experience of the Consultant and the comparative costs for services.
There are two basic types of SOA:
Arrangements for named individuals: Under this type of Arrangement, SOA will be signed with individuals or firms/organizations for the services of specific named individuals. Substitution of personnel will not be acceptable;
Arrangements for levels of service: Under this type of Arrangement, SOA will be signed with firms/organizations for unnamed consultants at various levels of service, i.e. senior, intermediate, and consultant (junior) at agreed upon per diem rates and for specific sub-sector fields. CIDA will approve individual consultants under these levels of service once a year during the life of the Arrangement. In exceptional circumstances, the approval of a consultant can be given on an assignment specific basis.
When the usage of the whole group (or a major portion of it) requires attention, the following general principles will govern amendments for extensions or increases:
If an extension in time is required, all Standing Offer Arrangements that were awarded under the same competition must be extended for the same time period. (One SOA can not be singled out for special attention);
If an increase in the financial limitation is required, all Standing Offer Arrangements that were awarded under the same competition must have their financial limitation increased in the same proportion to the original amount awarded. (One SOA can not be singled out for special attention).
(Standing Offers which may not be very active at the time of such extensions or increases maintain a right to such amendments should they become active and require such action.)
Once a Standing Offer Arrangement has been established, the services of the individual(s) specified in the SOA may be called upon for specific assignments by means of a Requisition through the process described earlier in this document and in each SOA.
The Requisition will be issued directly by the Program Unit requiring the services and will be administered by a Program Manager or Technical Specialist. Such a Requisition constitutes a contract between CIDA and the Consultant and, when signed by both parties, authorises the specified individual to proceed with the work according to the agreed budget and schedule.
The basic tools in the Requisition process are Appendices "E", "F", and "G" of the SOA and the basic process is described earlier in this document and in each SOA.
However, there are two possible approaches which could deviate from the standard Requisition process.
First, it should be noted that competition at the Requisition stage is a simple matter which may be considered by the Project Manager. The competition would be amongst Consultants within the same Standing Offer Arrangement sub-sector or discipline. The competition would be based on the time required to complete the assignment as the daily rates would already be known to the Project Manager as they will be fixed within the SOA. Such competitions would be simple and straightforward and would utilise Appendices "E" and "F" of the SOA. Detailed proposals at the Requisition stage are not allowed.
Second, while SOA are issued as fixed time-rate agreements (i.e., agreed upon per diem fees), CIDA reserves the right to offer work on a fixed-price basis (or lump sum basis if expenses are known). The SOA has alternate Appendices "E-1", "F-1" and "G-1" to deal with fixed-price Requisitions. This approach normally simplifies payments and reporting, but assumes a greater level of definition of the assignment by the CIDA Program Manager. Such work assignments will link payments to satisfactory products, outputs or results. Advances or payment upon the signing of a Requisition are not allowed within the SOA.
Invoices are to be submitted to the Program Manager in accordance with the Terms of Payment of the Requisition/SOA. SOA are issued as fixed time-rate agreements, and Requisitions will normally follow this approach.
However, as indicated above, CIDA reserves the right to offer work on a fixed-price basis, in which case the invoices will be submitted on that basis as products are produced.
When an assignment is completed and the invoices paid (or if an assignment is postponed indefinitely), the CIDA Program Manager should close the Requisition to free up any unused commitment amounts for future use. However, this does not require an amendment or other document from the Consultant.