University of Saskatchewan

Financial Services (FS)

May 24, 2012

University Procurement Procedures Affected by NWPTA

A new trade accord signed by the governments of Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia will affect University of Saskatchewan procurement procedures beginning July 1, 2012. For most departments that buy goods and services, the only difference to note is the change in dollar thresholds provided below.

For departments that may require Purchasing Services to post a bid opportunity notice, both the thresholds and procedural changes that follow should be noted.

The New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA) requires that post-secondary and similar institutions provide open and non-discriminatory procurement procedures where the anticipated costs are at or above the following thresholds:

This means that the university will be required to post bid opportunity notices (Requests for Pre-qualification, Requests for Tender, Requests for Proposal, etc.) at or above these procurement thresholds, on SaskTenders, an electronic tendering site operated by the government of Saskatchewan; additional means of providing notices may also be used. Failure to comply with the NWPTA provisions could result in fines of up to $5 million, though this aspect of the agreement is still in development.

The NWPTA procurement thresholds are separate from and do not replace the university Purchasing Policy or Signing Authority thresholds. Although there is general alignment among the various documents, they represent distinct requirements and obligations.


Contact for further information:

Purchasing Services at 966-6704 or


About the NWPTA 

The NWPTA is an accord between the governments of Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia that creates Canada's largest, barrier-free, interprovincial market. It came into effect July 1, 2010, and will be fully implemented on July 1, 2013, but will apply to all broader public sector organizations in Saskatchewan, including our university, on July 1, 2012.

The NWPTA builds on the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) between British Columbia and Alberta while providing the clarity Saskatchewan was seeking on public ownership of Crowns and the ability of municipalities to support economic development.

British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan have committed to: