Tom Sweeney

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Archive for December 2nd, 2009

The difference in Government procurement vehicles

Posted by sweens on December 2, 2009

Maybe it is a good thing, but apparently I am at the point in my blogging life where I am able to take requests.  So here is one, where we can look at the different Government procurement vehicles and how they work.  I would like to focus on the following:

  1. Task-Based Informatics Professional Services (TBIPS)
    1. Standing Offer
    2. Supply Arrangement
  2. Temporary Help Services (THS)
  3. Standing Offer(s)
  4. PS Online

I would like to focus on these because they are the ones that I more commonly see in my day-to-day grind. 

1.  Task-Based Informatics Professional Services (TBIPS)

TBIPS is the newest form of procurement vehicle the Government is using and it was brought in to replace the existing procurement vehicles (THS, GOL, PS Online, etc).  While the transition to TBIPS has been rocky for many departments, more and more departments are becoming familiar with how it can be used.  TBIPS certainly appears to be the procurement vehicle of choice.  It is better then THS as its dollar maximum is much higher then THS is and it allows for a contract to have options years.  This allows an organization to bring in a resource for a length of time and takes away the need for continuing to renew the same resource over and over again.  The important thing to note about TBIPS is that each firm who is qualified under TBIPS has submitted a ceiling rate for each category and they are unable to exceed this rate.

1.a) TBIPS has two categories, the first being the Standing Offer (SO) which means that the department looking to hire a resource picks the category and then goes to the lowest priced firm and works its way up until it finds a firm who can supply the resource at their ceiling rate or lower. 

1.b) The second category is the Supply Arrangement (SA) which is where multiple firms (no less then three) are invited to compete against each other  for the same position.  Firms will bid separate resources and usually the lowest cost-per-point candidate is chosen to fill the contract.

2. Temporary Help Services (THS)

Was probably the most common procurement vehicle until TBIPS came around!  The challenge with THS is that the value of the contract can not exceed $89000 so if you have a high priced resource, $89000 does not gone a long way in keeping that resource on-site for a while.  The good thing about THS is that your rates are not set in stone and you can adjust them accordingly.  If you know of an up-coming THS requirement, you can increase or decrease your rate in order to accommodate your client or your candidate.

3. Standing Offers

They are slowly no longer being issued as TBIPS was supposed to replace them and give everyone a fair chance at filling any contract position.  How they work is that a department would issue an RFP for a supply arrangement and would pick as many firms as they felt necessary and used only those firms who qualified to select their contract resources.  It is like using the same 10 companies every time and having them compete against each other.  This allows for good relationships to be formed between the client and the firm however it could also back fire.

4. PS Online

PS Online is interesting in that candidates need to be pre-approved to be on PS Online.  Categories are defined with specific skill sets and your candidate(s) must have those particular skills in order to be deemed compliant in that category.  Only candidates who were pre-approved at the time of the requirement can be submitting and closed against any open PS Online Requirement.

I hope this helps you get a better understanding of how consulting firms procure contract resources into the Government.  It can be tricky to wrap your head around it.  I am still learning on a daily basis.

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Brainhunter Embarks on Restructuring Plan

Posted by sweens on December 2, 2009

Dec 02, 2009 08:45 ET

Brainhunter Embarks on Restructuring Plan

Interim financing and bid process provide continuity

 TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire Dec. 2, 2009) –


 The Board of Directors of Brainhunter Inc. (TSX:BH) (“Brainhunter or the Company”) announced today that it has authorized the voluntary filing under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (“CCAA”) for the Company and certain of its principal subsidiaries seeking, among other things, a stay of proceedings against the Company. This means that, with the supervision and protection of the Court, Brainhunter will continue to operate normally while it engages in a process to either sell its business or restructure its liabilities and operations. As one of Canada’s leading technical staffing companies, Brainhunter is continuing all of its current operations during this restructuring process. 

 Over the past months, Brainhunter, its Board of Directors (the “Board”) and financial advisors have conducted an extensive review of strategic alternatives for addressing the Company’s debt obligations. After thorough consideration of all alternatives, the Board initiated this action in the best interests of the Company’s clients, contractors, employees, creditors and other stakeholders. 

 Chairman of the Board Don McCreesh said today, “Brainhunter’s success is rooted in the strong relationships with our clients and contractors, and we have asked the court to grant this order so that we may continue to deliver the high level of service our clients have come to expect from us.”

 An important element of the filing is a Debtor in Possession (“DIP”) interim financing facility, provided by TD Bank. This financing commitment will ensure sufficient liquidity for the continued engagement and compensation of contractors and employees, and therefore uninterrupted service to Brainhunter’s valued clients. Further, the Company will be asking the Court to approve payment of all pre-filing obligations to its contractors and for a charge on its assets to further protect the contractors.

 Brainhunter’s Board of Directors has also received and accepted a ‘Stalking Horse Bid’ from CEO Raj Singh, which has the support of the senior management team. The Company will subsequently be asking the court to approve this bid as part of a court-supervised bid process. The Stalking Horse Bid is effectively an offer to acquire the business as a going concern. It will act as a reserve bid against which other potential parties can also bid for the Company’s assets or offer to sponsor a restructuring plan. This ensures at least one viable and expedited outcome from the restructuring process and the continuation of the Company’s business without disruption of service to its clients.

 Brainhunter, like many Canadian companies, has been financially challenged by the general economic downturn. The decision to file under the CCAA was taken after considerable efforts to recapitalize the Company and reduce corporate overhead. McCreesh added, “We regret that this could not be resolved outside the scope of a Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act process. However, we believe that a court-supervised process is the best course of action and will clear the way to implement a long-term, viable solution.” 

 As part of the formal legal requirements of this restructuring, the Company has proposed that Deloitte & Touche Inc. be appointed by the Court as Monitor to provide oversight and supervise the CCAA process.

 Brainhunter specializes in the provision of staffing solutions (contingent staffing, managed staffing, permanent staffing and staffing software solutions) to major companies and governments in Canada and the United States. Currently, the largest part of the business is providing IT and engineering staffing consultants, on a contract basis, to major companies and government entities in Canada. The Company also sells recruiting related software including applicant tracking systems (“ATS”) and vendor management software (“VMS”). Brainhunter deploys over 1,500 contractors with an internal staff of over 160 personnel. Operations are ISO 9001:2000 Certified.

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