Non-Refundable “Deposits” for Tendering Documents


  • To direct the cost of tender document production to the appropriate party, the Owner.
  • To provide each bidder with a maximum of 2 sets of tender documents at minimal cost to the bidder. The provision of a free estimate for the work should be the extent of the investment by the bidder.
  • To ensure that tender documents are recycled and redistributed to the successful contractor. This process invariably reduces costs to Owners and Bidders alike and is environmentally friendly.
  • To convince all Owners to refund bidders the deposits for their tendering documents upon the return by unsuccessful bidders of their sets in good condition and within a period of two weeks. If required, the GCAO could administer a cash allowance on behalf of the owner.
  • To ensure that the above objectives are met also in the case when the bidders are only supplied with an electronic version of the tender documents, i.e. no hard copies are provided.


In cases when:

  1. the Owner/Consultant, despite being contacted by us regarding our concerns, declines to refund the deposits
  2. the non-refundable charge is in excess of $100.00 per set of documents
  3. a bidder has made a request to GCAO to invoke its policy;

The Association will suggest to Bidders that its policy will be implemented as follows:

  • The GCAO will contact all member and non-member prime contractors who have officially received tender documents. All bidders are to confirm the number of sets of documents that they have purchased.
  • The GCAO will confirm the total cost of all tender documents purchased prior to tender closing and suggest that this amount will be carried as a cost item by all bidders. The GCAO will also advise the plan takers of the cost per set of documents that the unsuccessful bidders will be entitled to invoice GCAO. The successful contractor will after having deducted the cost of their own set(s) of document as well as the cost for any non-returned sets, remit to the association the balance of this amount.
  • The intent is that 90% of the amount carried in the different tenders will be distributed to the plan takers. The 10% retained by the Association is to recompense it for administering the policy. Remittance is due to the Association upon receipt of the first progress payment.
  • The GCAO will send out notification to the unsuccessful contractors suggesting that they forward an invoice the GCAO for reimbursement. The GCAO will send a maximum of 2 notifications. If an invoice is not received within 30 days of the 2nd notification then the GCAO will retain any amount that would have been reimbursed.
  • All plan takers have the responsibility of retaining all tender documents in good condition for a period of 2 weeks after award or 2 weeks after expiry of tender period, whichever occurs first. The successful contractor will have the responsibility of picking up the documents from the plan takers. Should the documents not be made available to the successful contractor, then the successful contractor inherits the right to deduct also the amount for the non-returned set(s) from the plan taker(s) that failed to return them.

Non Implementation

  • On any given tender, if there are one or more Bidders that confirm that they will not be participating in the program the policy will not be implemented unless Board decides to make an exception.

Disciplinary Action

  • If a member after proper notification, neglects or refuses to remit the prescribed amount for distribution to the other bidders, they will be suspended from the Association until the amount is satisfied.
  • If there are extenuating circumstances as to why a member is unable or unwilling to pay, a committee will be formed to review the circumstances and report their findings to the Association’s Board of Directors. The board will render its decision as to the appropriate action to be taken.

Electronic Documents

  • In the case that the Owner only offers the plan takers an option of electronic documents, i.e. no hard copies, the same principle as above shall apply with the clarification that the costs of printing per set shall be assumed to be equal of the cost of the said documents from the applicable Construction Association Plan Room.