Step One: Qualify as Aboriginal Business
In order to bid on the tenders and projects that NAFA has either affected or identified, First Nations companies must qualifies as an “Aboriginal business” according to the guidelines of the Federal government.
According to Treasury Board Contracting Policy CPN 1996-2 an Aboriginal Business is defined as “A sole proprietorship, limited company, cooperative, partnership, or not-for-profit organization in which Aboriginal persons have majority ownership and control meaning at least 51 percent, and in which, in the case of a business enterprise with six or more fulltime employees, at least 33 percent of the fulltime employees are Aboriginal persons, or a joint venture or consortium in which an Aboriginal business or Aboriginal businesses as defined in (a) have at least 51 percent ownership and control, and which certifies in bid documentation that it meets the above eligibility criteria, agrees to comply with required Aboriginal content in the performance of the contract, and agrees to furnish required proof and comply with eligibility auditing provisions.” 
Step Two: Register member companies in detail
Promoting First Nations forest products companies products and then matching opportunities with known capacity is at the heart of this program. First Nations forest products companies will provide comprehensive product specifications, volume capacity, distribution scope and other relevant information. This allows the NAFA system to match the product demands of the building projects to actual supply that exists within the value chain.
NAFA is not involved in either price negotiations or the terms and conditions of the actual transactions. We are here to help identify potential sales opportunities and to assist First Nations forest products companies the essential tools to be awarded contracts.
Step Three: Monitor and review new opportunities
There are two ways members get notifications of new opportunities: through automated emails and by visiting the NAFA website using a secure login. When a tender is of interest to a company, it is the company’s responsibility to complete the bid and submit it to the procurement officer as stated on the tender package. Should assistance be required through this process, NAFA will help wherever possible and direct additional resources as needed (i.e. PWGSC help desk staff).
Step Four: Respond to a Tender
Tendering is firmly based on the premise of getting the highest possible quality against the lowest possible price. While seemingly simple at first glance, becoming successfully awarded a tender involves levels of complexity often attributed to government processes. The administrative details related to disclosure are beyond that which is typically found in a business-to-business relationship.
The competitive process aims to get the best value for Canadians while enhancing access, competition and fairness. The majority of contracts awarded to small and medium enterprises are done on a competitive basis, making it the most common process used by the government. PWGSC buys goods and services using the following methods of supply:
Invitation to Tender (ITT)
This method is used when the requirement is valued at $25,000 and more; two or more suppliers are considered capable of supplying the requirement; the requirement is adequately defined to permit the evaluation of bids against clearly stated criteria; bids can be submitted on a common pricing basis; and it is intended to accept the lowest-priced responsive bid without negotiations.
Request for Proposal (RFP)
This method is used for complex requirements, where the selection of a supplier cannot be made solely on the basis of the lowest price. It is used to procure the most cost-effective solution based upon established evaluation criteria.
Request for Standing Offer (RFSO)
This method is used to solicit standing offers to provide goods and services on an as-and-required basis, at firm prices, as per established terms and conditions. It states the requirement, evaluation method, selection criteria, call-up procedures, and ranking methodologies, to be used for making call-ups against the authorized standing offers.
Request for Supply Arrangement (RFSA)
This method is used to solicit bids from a pool of pre-qualified suppliers for specific requirements. The intent is to establish a framework to permit expeditious processing individual bid solicitations which result in legal binding contracts for the goods and services described in those bid solicitations.
When bidding on a PWGSC set-aside tender, there are a number of unique procedures that the suppliers must follow. For example, SACC Manual clauses A3000T, M9030T and S3035T contain a certification that suppliers must complete and submit with their bid / offer / arrangement. Failure by suppliers to submit this completed certification form with their bid / offer / arrangements will render the bid / offer / arrangement non-responsive.
Step Five: Review and improve
Did a First Nations forest products company win a bid? We will help review the performance and examine the cost efficiencies that occurred during fulfillment. Did a First Nations forest products company fail to win the bid? We will try to work with the company to examine where the shortfalls were and improve the likelihood of winning subsequent tenders.
As resources become available in the future, NAFA plans to offer periodic training seminars on a variety of topics that range from MasterFormat to LEED and cross-border trade.