Discretion and Fairness in Contractor Debarment

Contractor debarment in construction contracting by public-sector entities is a hot topic in Ontario’s construction industry. Debarment is a mechanism used by public sector entities to prevent contractors from bidding for various reasons, including contractor performance. It is sometimes referred to as “blacklisting”. Such provisions have come under scrutiny, particularly when used to debar a contractor from bidding where the contractor has been engaged with litigation with the contracting entity. Various municipalities and other public sector entities have debarment provisions in their policies, procurement, by-laws, tendering documents, and/or contract provisions.

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