The BC Construction Association awarded the Town of Smithers a ‘Best of Public Procurement’ award for its airport expansion and modernization project.

A first for the industry, the award honours procurement excellence within the public sector.

Criteria for the award includes assessing whether the bidding process is fair, transparent and if association members feel comfortable bidding on the project.

Northern Regional Construction Association CEO, Scott Bone says the judging criteria is established by the association. Each region looks to find a specific example of a public agency that has demonstrated sound practical procurement practices.

“In other words when the document comes out for bidding, contractors were excited on bidding on the project because they saw it was a fair, transparent process and everyone will be treated fairly – that is why we picked the Town of Smithers.”

The regional association sets standards for local governments to properly follow.

“It is important to recognize that towns or other municipalities are spending public money so there is are both legal and ethical requirements, and an obligation to manage the expenditure in a proper way that both the taxpayers and contractors are treated fairly. The Town of Smithers was the first to adopt our recommendations to go through the formal process which is now becoming a standard across the province for other public sector agencies to use.”

The airport modernization is 30 percent complete.