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Want to bid on Operating the Maid of the Mist?

motmThe Niagara Parks Commission has released details of how they intend to proceed with opening up the Maid of the Mist (Niagara Falls Boat Tour) operations bid process.  Bidders will be able to submit their proposals this spring on merx.com.  If you are interested in bidding you should preregister for a information session here.

A copy of the official Niagara Parks Commission press release is available following this jump.

The Niagara Parks Commission (the “NPC”) would like to announce its intention to enter into a competitive process for services related to the Niagara Falls Boat Tour. The NPC is determining the specific procurement approach but expects to post on the NPC community website (community.niagaraparks.com) and MERX© (www.MERX.com) a Request for Proposals (RFP) or a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) followed by an invitational RFP in the spring of this year. Due to this uncertainty about the specific procurement approach, we have referred to the procurement document below as an “RFX”.

Stakeholder Consultation Sessions

In order to prepare for the procurement, the NPC will be offering a series of stakeholder consultation sessions in which local interest groups will be invited to attend a consultative session.

* Hotel, motel and other accommodation service providers

* Restaurant, food and other related service providers

* Other hospitality service providers.

* Tour companies, ticket agencies and other related travel services

* Entertainment and other local attractions

* Retailers, manufacturers and distributors of novelty items

* Local community interest groups; and

* All other general and special interest groups

The consultations are intended to be information sharing sessions where the NPC will provide information on the following:

* a summary of the proposed procurement process; and

* procedures that have been put in place to ensure the process is open, fair and transparent.

As a means to ensure the process takes into account local interest and concerns, the NPC will be asking the participants to provide information and insight into potential opportunities and issues associated with this initiative during the consultation sessions.

Stakeholders interested in attending one of the consultation sessions can pre-register online or by mail to the following address:

Boat Tour Consultation
P.O. Box 150
7400 Portage Road
Niagara Falls, ON
L2E 6T2

Once the arrangements for the sessions have been determined, an e-mail will be sent to all respondents with a date, location and other relevant information. In the event a stakeholder is not able to attend the session, we will put in place a process for such groups to provide a written submission.

Proponents Information Sessions

The NPC will also be arranging to meet with potential bidders in a separate set of one-on-one consultations. These sessions will include a tour of the site, together with access to information related to the operations of the boat tour. Given the confidential nature of the information that will be provided, any potential bidder who wishes to participate will be required to sign a non disclosure agreement. Part of the agreement will be rules of engagement that outline requirements related to confidentiality, disclosure of information, plus standards pertaining to influence and lobbying.

Bidders interested in attending a consultation session can pre-register online or by mail to the following address:

Boat Tour Consultation
P.O. Box 150
7400 Portage Road
Niagara Falls, ON
L2E 6T2

Once the arrangements for these sessions have been determined, an information package will be e-mailed to each respondent with details on dates and location. The information package will include an invitation to respondents to attend a one-on-one meeting with the NPC procurement team, a copy of the Non-Disclosure Agreement and the Rules of Engagement. See below for more information on these documents and their requirements.

In the event a stakeholder is not able to attend the session, we will put in place a process to provide a written submission.It should be understood that potential bidders are eligible to register for both stakeholder consultations sessions as well as the proponent information sessions if they so choose.

Fairness Measures

Given the level of interest in this procurement and the subsequent sensitivities, the NPC has retained the services of a Fairness Commissioner. The Fairness Commissioner will put in place measures designed to help ensure the procurement process is open, fair and transparent. Such measures have already been implemented for all NPC employees and Commissioners.

The Fairness Commissioner will also require that all bidders who are interested in attending a one-on-one meeting with the NPC procurement team sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). The purpose of the NDA is to ensure any information shared in these meetings is held in confidence and is not made public. If a bidder elects not to sign the NDA, they will not be invited to attend a one-on-one meeting but can still bid on the RFX when it is posted.

The Fairness Commissioner has also established Rules of Engagement (ROE) which introduces some standards related to bidder influencing and lobbying. The purpose of the ROE is to establish some parameters around what is and is not allowed in terms of contact with NPC staff, using the media for self promotion or for influencing public opinion on the process or applying pressure to the NPC, NPC staff or NPC Commissioners. If a bidder elects not to sign the ROE, they will not be invited to attend a one-on-one meeting but can still bid on the RFX when it is posted.

NPC Contact Person

All correspondence related to this Pre-Notice, the stakeholder consultation sessions and the one-on-one bidder meetings must be directed through the registration form below. Any inquiries, requests for information or other correspondence sent to anyone else at NPC or otherwise will not be responded to.

Next Steps

Interested stakeholders should pre-register online or mail as noted previously by February 22th, 2010. Please be prepared to identify which stakeholder group you fit into (see the descriptions above). Once we have an idea about numbers, the NPC will make the necessary arrangements and will send out session details to all registrants.

Interested bidders should also pre-register online or mail (to the address listed previously) by February 22th, 2010. Once a bidder is registered, they will be sent a copy of the Non-Disclosure Agreement and the Rules of Engagement. Both of these documents must be signed and returned before a one-on-one meeting will be arranged.

Stakeholder Consultation Sessions – Click Here to Register Online

Proponents Information Sessions – Click Here to Register Online

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3 Responses
  1. Christopher Neblett says:

    The Niagara Region has to be my favorite vacation destination. Each time I visit I discover new things that I fall in love with.

  2. Ernest Pilz says:

    Wow, that’s a thought-provoker Want to bid on Operating the Maid of the Mist? | Niagara Blog! Ernest Pilz

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