MERX
Canadian Public Tenders What Is Canadian Public Tenders?
Français
Canadian
Public Tenders
Agencies, Crown &
Private Corporations
U.S. Tenders
Private
Construction
NEED HELP?
1-800-964-MERX (6379)

Frequently Asked Questions


GENERAL

What is MERX Canadian Public Tenders?
Who uses MERX Canadian Public Tenders?
Is MERX part of the government?
Is MERX Canadian Public Tenders a solution only for large businesses?
Who does business with the Canadian public sector?
What services are available?
How many opportunities are open on MERX Canadian Public Tenders at any given time?
Why are opportunity notices sometimes available only in English or French?
If the abstract is not clear, how can more detailed information be obtained?
What is the Document Request List and how can I use it?
Are there international opportunities posted on MERX Canadian Public Tenders?
What is a MASH sector opportunity?
When are opportunities posted on MERX?

 

TENDERING

What is a Standing Offer?
What is a Supplier Arrangement?
What is a Vendor of Record (VOR)?
How do I become a Vendor of Record (VOR)?
What is an Advance Contract Award Notice (ACAN)?
How do I bid on a tender?
What is the process for asking questions related to tenders listed on MERX?

 

AWARDS

What is the difference between a closed opportunity and an awarded opportunity?
How far back can I search the awards database?
If awards are not posted, can we request them through MERX?
How are contracts generally awarded?
If we are not awarded a contract, how do we know why we were unsuccessful?

 

REGISTRATION

Do I have to be a paid member of MERX to login to the system?
How do I subscribe to MERX Canadian Public Tenders?
Can I subscribe to MERX Canadian Public Tenders without having to provide a credit card number?

 

SEARCHING

How do I search for opportunities on MERX Canadian Public Tenders?
How do I find Standing Offers, Supplier Arrangements or VORs?
What information is searched when using the keyword search?
How do I search using a solicitation number?

 

OPPORTUNITY MATCHING

What is Opportunity Matching and is it for me?
Is there a charge for using Opportunity Matching?
When using Opportunity Matching, is it necessary to search terminology in both English and French?
Can I update my Opportunity Matching profile at no cost?
Is there support available to help with creating effective Opportunity Matching profiles?

 

ORDERING

How do I order a document?
How do I download an order?
In what format will I receive my downloaded tender documents?
How do I verify my order history?
How do I view an ordered document that has not yet been received?
If I order an opportunity on MERX Canadian Public Tenders, are details of my order sent to the Government?
How do I ensure that I receive amendments?
Can more than one person in my organization receive notifications of amendments?
How do I change an amendment notification setting for a specific opportunity?
What is the difference between ‘receive amendments’ and ‘receive notifications’?
Is it possible to obtain documents for tenders that have already closed?
Why are some documents available only in one language?

 

PROFILE

How do I update my contact or organization profile?
Can more than one contact within my organization be added to MERX?
How do I view which subscriptions I am currently subscribed to?
How can I change the User ID associated to my account?

 

BILLING

How do I pay my bill?
How do I change my credit card information?
How do I obtain my statements online?

 

SUPPORT

How do I access help?
What do I do if I have received a warning that my account has been locked out?
What Internet browsers are compatible with MERX?
What does encryption do?

GENERAL

What is MERX Canadian Public Tenders?
MERX Canadian Public Tenders is where business finds billions of dollars in contracting opportunities from the Canadian public sector. MERX Canadian Public Tenders includes federal, provincial and MASH sector opportunities, making it easy for you to find new opportunities, bid on them and win the business from customers interested in the goods or services you provide.

Who uses MERX Canadian Public Tenders?
Every level of the public sector uses MERX Canadian Public Tenders to post their procurement requirements. Whether it is to meet global trade agreements or broader public sector procurement rules, purchasing departments turn to MERX to improve productivity, reduce their procurement costs and provide accountability to all stakeholders.

Is MERX part of the government?
MERX is not a government owned service. MERX is the trademark under which MERX, a subsidiary of Mediagrif Interactive Technologies operates.

Is MERX Canadian Public Tenders a solution only for large businesses?
A majority of businesses that use MERX Canadian Public Tenders belong to the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) classification. Statistics show that over 80% of our customers belong to organizations with a workforce of fewer than 50 employees.

Who does business with the Canadian public sector?
Thousands of companies across Canada have realized the opportunity associated with providing goods or services to various levels of government. Open tendering is a requirement of public sector organizations in their mandate to be “open”, “fair” and “transparent” and most levels of government across Canada are required to advertise opportunities over $25,000. MERX Canadian Public Tenders has the largest and most complete listing of public sector opportunities available at your fingertips. Register today and take advantage of all the opportunities waiting for you on MERX Canadian Public Tenders.

What services are available?
As a MERX Canadian Public Tenders subscriber, your business can benefit tremendously by accessing Canadian public sector tender opportunities. View a detailed list of our services.

How many opportunities are open on MERX Canadian Public Tenders at any given time?
There can be anywhere from 1,700 to 2,500 open tenders on MERX at any given time. These opportunities are posted from federal, provincial and municipal government departments as well as from universities, school boards, social welfare agencies and hospitals from across the country. Visiting MERX everyday and maintaining an Opportunity Matching Profile is the best way for you to make sure you never miss another opportunity.

Why are opportunity notices sometimes available only in English or French?
The contracting authority is responsible for selecting the language in which the opportunity notice and tender documents are published on MERX Canadian Public Tenders.

If the abstract is not clear, how can I obtain more detailed information?
The opportunity abstract is provided for information purposes only. Refer to the "Associated Components" for authoritative information. MERX asks you to direct all queries pertaining to the language, content or any missing or inaccurate information within a opportunity abstract to its originator. The contact information of the purchasing agency in question is located in the ‘Contact(s)’ section of the abstract.

What is the Document Request List and how can I use it?
The Document Request List allows you to identify partnering opportunities for government contracts and gain valuable competitive information. This feature is accessible by clicking the Document Request List link from within an opportunity notice abstract. Non-Subscribers have access to this service only after they order the documents.

Are there international opportunities posted on MERX Canadian Public Tenders?
Yes. In addition to the thousands of Canadian tender opportunities available from all levels of government, subscribers can also search MERX Canadian Public Tenders for open international opportunities.

What is a MASH sector opportunity?
A MASH sector opportunity refers to a tender that is posted from a Municipality or an Academic, Social or Healthcare organization. This acronym is used to describe the organizations in the broader public sector.

When are opportunities posted on MERX?
Opportunities are posted on MERX Canadian Public Tenders multiple times every business day.

Back to TOP

 


TENDERING

What is a Standing Offer?
A standing offer is not a contract. It is an offer from a potential supplier to provide goods and/or services at pre-arranged prices, under set terms and conditions, when and if required. No contract exists until the government issues an order or "call-up" against the standing offer. There is no actual obligation by the government to purchase until that time.

What is a Supplier Arrangement?
Supplier arrangements are non-binding agreements with suppliers to provide a range of goods or, more commonly, services on an "as required" basis. They are lists of qualified suppliers identified as potential sources from which departments can obtain firm price quotations on specific requirements. Supplier arrangements include a set of predetermined terms and conditions that will apply to any subsequent contracts. Supplier arrangements allow departments to solicit bids based on their specific scope of work and in this way they differ from standing offers which only allow departments to accept a portion of a requirement already defined and priced. Many supplier arrangements include ceiling prices which allow departments to negotiate the price downward based on the actual requirement or scope of work.

What is a Vendor of Record (VOR)?
Used by the Government of Ontario, “a VOR arrangement is a procurement arrangement resulting from a fair, open and transparent procurement process that authorizes one or more vendors to offer specific goods or services to ministries for a defined time period, with terms and conditions and pricing as set out in the particular VOR arrangement.”

http://www.doingbusiness.mgs.gov.on.ca/mbs/psb/psb.nsf/EN/faqs

How do I become a Vendor of Record (VOR)?
“To become a VOR for a particular commodity, you will need to respond to a Request for Proposal (RFP) and be successful in that evaluation process. The evaluation process will vary from situation to situation as appropriate and will be described in the RFP. Typically, RFPs to become a VOR are posted on MERX to ensure that vendors are aware when these opportunities are available to them.”

http://www.doingbusiness.mgs.gov.on.ca/mbs/psb/psb.nsf/EN/faqs

What is an Advance Contract Award Notice (ACAN)?
An Advance Contract Award Notice (ACAN) is used by the Government of Canada. It is “a public notice indicating to the supplier community that a department or agency intends to award a good, service or construction contract to a pre-identified supplier believed to be the only one capable of performing the work, thereby allowing other suppliers to signal their interest in bidding by submitting a statement of capabilities. If no other supplier submits a statement of capabilities that meets the requirements set out in the ACAN, the contracting officer may then proceed with awarding the contract to the pre-identified supplier. It is important to note that an ACAN is not a competitive process; however, competitive approval authorities may be used if there is no successful challenge.”

http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/app-acq/arp-pns/ap39u3-pn39u3-eng.html

How do I bid on a tender?
The tender documents (available on MERX) will explain how to submit your bid, how you should layout your proposal and how it will be evaluated. It is important to review the general conditions and standard instructions.

What is the process for asking questions related to tenders listed on MERX?
Every tender document is unique. Please refer to the tender documents to identify the designated contact person and the final date allowed for questions to be asked.

Back to TOP

 


AWARDS

What is the difference between a closed opportunity and an awarded opportunity?

Closed or Former Opportunities are notices that have passed their closing date but are still accessible on MERX Canadian Public Tenders. Subscribers may browse through the Former Opportunities database to research and track buying patterns of the public sector.

Awards are notices indicating that an organization won a particular contract and may include financial information about the award. These award notices are not mandatory and are posted at the discretion of the buying organization.

How far back can I search the awards database?
Awards data on MERX can be searched going back seven years.

If awards are not posted, can we request them through MERX?
MERX Canadian Public Tenders does not receive award notices for every opportunity as some buyers choose not to publish this information. Please contact the contracting authority for the tender in question.

How are contracts generally awarded?
The evaluation criteria that will be used to choose the winner will be clearly identified in the tender documents. The tender documents will state what requirements are mandatory, which are desirable as well as the weighting of the areas to be scored. They will also list the selection factors which will determine the contract winner. If you have questions regarding a specific tender, please contact the appropriate contracting authority.

If we are not awarded a contract, how do we know why we were unsuccessful?
Upon request, many government contracting authorities will provide a debriefing to organizations if they are unsuccessful.

Back to TOP

 


REGISTRATION

Do I have to be a paid member of MERX to login to the system?
No, but you must be a paid member in order to have unlimited access to download or order tender documents. Alternatively you may register as a Basic subscriber and pay a one-time access fee. For a low monthly fee you can have unlimited electronic access to all tender documents posted on MERX Canadian Public Tenders.

How do I subscribe to MERX Canadian Public Tenders?
Click on the Register button located on the MERX home page. You will be prompted to read and accept the MERX Terms and Conditions and to complete the online registration process. A summary page will be presented to confirm the subscription selection. The last page of the registration process will present you with a Supplier Confirmation Letter which will include your User ID and password. We recommend that you print and store this page in a secure location. You will be brought to the MERX Login page. Once you log in, you may immediately use MERX Canadian Public Tenders and benefit from all of its services.

Can I subscribe to MERX Canadian Public Tenders without having to provide a credit card number?
No, but you must be a paid member in order to have unlimited access to download or order tender documents. Alternatively you may register as a Basic subscriber and pay a one-time access fee. For a low monthly fee you can have unlimited electronic access to all tender documents posted on MERX Canadian Public Tenders.

Back to TOP

 


SEARCHING

How do I search for opportunities on MERX Canadian Public Tenders?
From the MERX Canadian Public Tenders home page you can easily find the opportunities relevant to your business through our list of opportunities sorted by industry type. This list displays the number of open tender opportunities by industry category and the number of new opportunities published that day.

Alternatively, from the MERX Canadian Public Tenders home page, you can enter a keyword to conduct a simple search for open tender opportunities or, if you wish, access the advanced search tool for refined searches.

If you are a subscriber to MERX Canadian Public Tenders, you can also access these search engines after you have logged on.

How do I find Standing Offers, Supplier Arrangements or VORs?
To locate these opportunities, simply choose the appropriate option from the ‘Popular Searches’ drop down menu in the search bar.

What information is searched when using the keyword search?
MERX will search through: the title, organization name, abstract, solicitation number, region of delivery, region of opportunity, tender type, agreement type, GSIN and categories.

How do I search using a solicitation number?
To search using a solicitation number, simply enter this number into the search area of the search bar (just as you would enter a keyword).

Back to TOP

 


OPPORTUNITY MATCHING

What is Opportunity Matching and is it for me?
One free Opportunity Matching Profile is included in the Basic and Complete subscriptions. Opportunity matching is designed to look for opportunities of interest to your business and send the matches to you each weekday provided there is a match. You create the search criteria, save your profile and we'll do the rest. It is important to test your new profile before saving it to make sure that you are receiving the opportunities that are relevant to your business.

Is there a charge for using Opportunity matching?
Your first Opportunity Matching Profile is available free of charge. Adding up to three profiles to your account will cost $1.95/month, for up to nine profiles the cost is $2.95/month. Additional charges are automatically billed to your account. If you have more than one profile at any time during a month, you will be charged.

When using Opportunity matching, is it necessary to search terminology in both English and French?
Yes, it may be necessary to search using both English and French terminology as the MERX search engine does not translate when it searches. The language of the abstract will determine which terminology is used and available to be searched on.

Can I update my Opportunity Matching Profile at no cost?
Yes, your free Opportunity Matching Profile can be updated at any time and at no cost. For information on how to update your profile, please see the tutorial ‘Manage My Opportunity Matching Profile’.

Is there support available to help with creating effective Opportunity Matching Profiles?
Our Customer Support agents are available to assist you in creating your Opportunity Matching Profile. Please contact us at 1-800-964-6379 or merx@merx.com for assistance.

Back to TOP


ORDERING

How do I order a document?
You can order a document by clicking on the Order link next to the opportunity you are interested in and following the instructions. MERX Canadian Public Tenders offers different delivery options that include download, email, fax, mail, courier, and pick-up. Prices for alternative delivery options vary according to the size of the document and the delivery option. For more information, please see the ‘How to Order Documents’ tutorial.

How do I download an order?
Once you have submitted your order, you will be presented with the Order Confirmation page. Any items that you have ordered via download will appear as a button under the column entitled Delivery Details. Click on the 'Download link' to view your document. Most files are in PDF format. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your workstation to read the files. Some files, at the buyer's request, are in their native format (such as Microsoft Word). If you wish to download the file to your local hard drive, you can right click the 'Download' button and depending on your browser select 'Save Link As' or 'Save Target As'.

You cannot download files until your order has been successfully processed. PDF files on MERX are best viewed using Adobe Acrobat Reader version 6.0 or higher. For more information, please see the ‘How to Order Documents’ tutorial.

In what format will I receive my downloaded tender documents?
Portable Document Format (PDF) by Adobe is the standard format used on MERX Canadian Public Tenders. You may download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader. PDF files on MERX are best viewed using Adobe Acrobat Reader version 6.0 or higher.

At a posting organization’s request, MERX will distribute electronic documents for download, email, and CD/DVD delivery in their native file format (such as Microsoft Excel). Should you experience difficulties using an electronic document that is not in PDF, please contact the contracting authority to resolve the issue.

How do I verify my order history?
Access your Opportunity Ordered List located under Account Activity from the supplier home page once you have logged in to your account. The information on this list will include the date you submitted your order, the opportunity reference and solicitation number, and the order confirmation number. You will also be able to see the status of your order. There are three statuses:

  • Processing: The order has not been processed.
  • Approved: The order has been processed and sent via the delivery method selected by the user.
  • On-Hold : An order may be put “On-Hold” if there are fees and the credit card number is invalid, if there are delays in printing or if a buyer supplied item has not been replenished.

How do I view an ordered document that has not yet been received?
If your document is available electronically you will be able to download your document at any time from the Opportunity Order Confirmation page by clicking on the Confirmation Number.

If I order an opportunity on MERX Canadian Public Tenders, are details of my order sent to the Government?
By ordering on MERX Canadian Public Tenders, elements of your company’s information (name, address, contact information as well as the solicitation number) are automatically made available to the applicable Contracting Authority.

How do I ensure that I receive amendments?
An amendment (also known as an update or addenda) is a piece of documentation that is issued by the contracting authority after an opportunity has become active on the MERX Canadian Public Tenders site.

It is recommended that you always choose ‘Receive Notifications’ for each of the opportunity notices that you intend to bid on. By choosing not to receive notifications of amendments and updates, you run the risk of not being able to obtain details of changes to the requirements, closing date, or any general information. This may put your bid at a disadvantage causing it to be non-responsive / non-compliant. The amendment selection box can be found under the column Order Setting on the Order Basket page. Once notified of the amendment, you simply log into MERX Canadian Public Tenders and download the amendment.

MERX Canadian Public Tenders also offers a value added service that ensures that any amendments or updates are automatically delivered to you. By choosing to receive amendments, you will automatically receive the amendment documents by fax or email and will incur any costs that may arise from the choice of this option. If you do not want to receive amendments but simply the notification that one has been issued, simply select Receive Notifications.

Can more than one person in my organization receive notifications of amendments?
The amendments are sent only to the contact information of the account from which it was ordered. As such it is not possible to have the amendments delivered to someone else in your organization.

How do I change an amendment notification for a specific opportunity?
Once you have logged into your account, select My Account Activity. The list of opportunities you have ordered will appear. Simply locate the opportunity in question and change the setting under the Receive Amendments column.

What is the difference between ‘receive amendments’ and ‘receive notifications’?
Notification of Amendments will send you a notification of any amendment or cancellation pertaining to the opportunity you ordered. Once you receive the notification you will need to login to MERX and order the amendment documents. This option is available free of charge.

Automatic Delivery of Amendments will automatically send all amendment documents to you as soon as they become available. They will be sent by email, however if the documents are too large to be sent via email they will be sent via courier. This option is available at a nominal fee; please see our pricing page for more information.

Is it possible to obtain documents for tenders that have already closed?
If you have ordered the tender documents for this closed opportunity, you may still access the documents from your account activity. However, Drawings and Specification Packages (DSPs) are not available after closing.

Why are some documents available only in one language?
The contracting authority is responsible for selecting the language in which the opportunity notices will be published on MERX Canadian Public Tenders.

Back to TOP

 


PROFILE

How do I update my contact or organization’s profile?
It is important that both your contact and organization‘s profile be up to date so that documents ordered are delivered to the proper location. For more information on how to update this information, please see the ‘Update My Organization’ or ‘How to Create/Edit User Accounts’ tutorials.

Can more than one contact within my organization be added to MERX?
Yes, more than one contact within your organization can be added to MERX. The supplier coordinator can add multiple contacts within one organization. Please contact the supplier coordinator for your MERX account to be added to your existing organization. Please be advised that each supplier may be charged with applicable fees. If you are the supplier coordinator and would like assistance adding contacts to your organization, please view the ‘How to Create/Edit User Accounts’ tutorial for more information.

How do I view which subscriptions I am currently subscribed to?
To determine what you are currently subscribed to on your account, login to MERX. Select View Own Service Details, from Manage My Account in the left hand menu. This will allow you to view/edit your current subscriptions. For more information or assistance please contact MERX Customer Support at 1-800-964-6379 and an agent would be pleased to help.

How do I change the User ID associated to my account?
For security reasons each User ID is unique to every account in our system and cannot be modified. The ID is only visible to the User.

The only way to change the User ID would be cancel the current account and to create a new account. An additional fee may apply for this transaction, and all order history from the cancelled contact will be lost.

Back to TOP

 


BILLING

How do I pay my bill?
Chargeable MERX services are charged automatically each month or in advance annually, as the case may be, to your VISA, MasterCard or American Express card. Your credit card information was provided to MERX when you registered or when you elected to use a chargeable service.

How do I change my credit card information?
Login to MERX and click the Customer Profile under Account Activity. Select the Credit Card Information link (for supplier coordinators only) and update your credit card information as required.

How do I obtain my statements online?
MERX statements are available online to supplier coordinators. To access your statements online, login to MERX and click the Account Activity menu located on the left side of the supplier menu. Under the online statements header, click on the View link. Select the MERX statement you wish to view, you will find detailed information from the last 12 months. Please see the View Online Statements in our Tutorials section for a video demonstration.

Please note, statements by mail are also sent if there is a balance on your account.

Back to TOP

 


SUPPORT

How do I access help?
For more information on how to use MERX Canadian Public Tenders, visit our Tutorials section where you will find videos demonstrating how to use various features and functions available on the MERX service.

What do I do if I have received a warning that my account has been locked out?
A MERX password security feature limits the number of failed login attempts. After 10 consecutive failed attempts your account will be locked out. Please contact MERX Customer Support at 1-800-964-6379 to unlock your account.

What Internet browsers are compatible with MERX?
When a new browser version is released, we make every effort to ensure that MERX is upgraded so that it is compatible.

What does encryption do?
Encryption is a sophisticated scrambling technique used to guard private information while it is transmitted through the Internet. To recognize that your transmission is encrypted, some browsers will display a small icon on your screen that looks like a lock or a key. MERX uses 128-bit encryption, which is currently the highest form of encryption available commercially.

Back to TOP