Ottawa Construction Association




Ethics & Membership Discipline

The OCA By-laws Section 8 Obligations of Membership and Section 42 on Discipline outline the Association's expectation that members will abide by ethical and industry standards. Failing to do so may invoke Association disciplinary action. The following guideline details the process, procedure and disciplinary measures, which will apply in the case of a written complaint having been filed with the Association against or in respect of a member.

Disciplinary Policy Statement

Any member of the Association accused in writing of violating the spirit and intent of the recognized standard practices of the construction industry by any person, firm or organization shall, in accordance with the OCA Disciplinary Procedure, be required to answer to a Disciplinary Committee.

Defining ethical and industry standard best practices: Two nationally recognized guides as to recommended "best practices" for procuring construction services by means of a competitive bid process come from the Canadian Construction Documents Committee (CCDC) and the Canadian Construction Association:

  • CCDC 23 "A Guide to Calling Bids & Awarding Construction Contracts" - for Prime Contractor selection by bid-calling authorities. Free Download LINK.
  • CCA 51 "A Guide to Calling Bids & Awarding Construction Contracts" - for sub-contractor selection by the prime contractor. Free Download LINK.

These guides address all aspects of the bid calling and contract award process.

The principles of the law of competitive bidding is briefly described in the front of both guides. The basic bottom line is that bid-calling authorities whether a major BUYER of construction or a Prime contractor has an implied duty to treat all bidders fairly and equally.

Within CCA 51 the underlying philosophy is that Prime Contractors and Subcontractors should treat each other with mutual respect, honesty and integrity.

All contractors (Prime Contractors and Subcontractors) should compete fairly for contracts, avoiding any practice that might be construed to be in violation of fair business practices or legislation. They should not seek nor accept information concerning a competitor's bid prior to bid closing nor should it attempt to modify prices after the bid closing. They should avoid any activity that could be construed as bid shopping, a reverse bid auction or bid peddling.

If any persons or firms file one or more complaints against another person or firm, and such complaints are found to be frivolous or unfounded, the complainant may be dealt with as if they have violated the spirit and intent of the By-Laws, Code of Practice and Plans Room Rules and Regulations.

Disciplinary Procedure

  1. Complaints shall be submitted in writing to the head office of the Association.
  2. The Executive Committee shall notify the member of receipt of a written complaint, together with a copy thereof, within five working days of receipt thereof. The member may make written representations to the Executive Committee within a five- (5) working day review period, which commences upon receipt of the written complaint. Following the completion of the five (5) working day review period, the Executive Committee will either dismiss the complaint or forward the complaint to a Disciplinary Committee for investigation and action. The Executive Committee may at its discretion request from either party certain pieces of evidence to be made available in the Disciplinary Committee hearing.
  3. At the request of the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors will establish a Disciplinary Committee, which will be comprised of 5 voting members and a non-voting Chairman. No member of the Board may participate as a member of the Disciplinary Committee, where to do so would result in a real, or apparent, conflict of interest. Disciplinary Committee's findings will be determined by majority vote.
  4. The Disciplinary Committee shall only investigate complaints regarding violations of the Ottawa Construction Association's Code of Practice, Plans Room Rules or recognized standard industry practices by members of the association.
  5. A member shall be entitled to all rights and privileges afforded by membership in the OCA until the recommendations or findings are confirmed by the Board.
  6. Within ten (10) working days of its appointment, the Disciplinary Committee shall, in writing, notify the member of a hearing date. Such notice will contain the time and place of the hearing. Within ten (10) working days of receipt, the member may elect to appear at the hearing, or submit a written presentation of their position. All complainants must appear at the hearing.
  7. The order of process of the actual hearing will provide for
    • the presentation by the complainant,
    • presentation by the respondent,
    • questions by the complainant of the respondent,
    • questions by the respondent of the complainant,
    • questions by the Disciplinary Committee of both the complainant and respondent.
  8. Should a member elect not to respond to the committee's request, the Disciplinary Committee may proceed to take such action as they may consider being appropriate.
  9. Upon completion of the review or hearing, the Disciplinary Committee shall present their recommendations or findings in writing ("Report"), at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting, or a special meeting of the Board called to hear the results.
  10. Upon receipt of the Report, the Board may decide to implement, amend or dismiss the recommendations or findings. Directors must disclose any conflict of interest and refrain from voting. The decision of the Board shall require a 2/3 vote of directors present eligible to vote, and still forming a quorum.
  11. Following the vote, the Association President shall within five (5) working days, notify all parties concerned regarding the decision of the Board.
  12. A disciplined member, or a complainant, who disagrees with the decision of the Board may make application to appear before the entire Board at either the next regularly scheduled meeting or a special Board meeting, to appeal the decision.
  13. The final decision of the Board, by 2/3 vote of directors present and eligible to vote on appeals and still forming a quorum, shall be final and binding.
  14. Disciplinary actions as rendered by the Board shall be published in the association's newsletter.

Disciplinary Measures

  1. For violations of the Ottawa Construction Association's Code of Practice, Plans Room Rules or recognized standard industry practices, the following disciplinary measures may be recommended to the Board of Directors by the Special Review Committee.
    1. Where the violation is considered by the Disciplinary Committee to be minor, and that person, firm or organization is a member of the Association, the Board of Directors may either send a letter of reprimand and/or suspend the member for a period of not more than 3 months;
    2. Where the violation is considered by the Disciplinary Committee to be major, and that person, firm or organization is a member of the Association, the Board of Directors shall suspend the member for a period of not less than 3 months;
    3. Where the offending person, firm or organization is shown to have a consistent history of minor offensesand that person, firm or organization is a member of the Association, the Board of Directors shall suspend the member for a period of not less than 3 months;
    4. Where the offending person, firm or organization is shown to have a consistent history of major offensesand that person, firm or organization is a member of the Association, the Board of Directors shall suspend the member for a minimum of one year. After one full year suspension, the member may request a review of its conduct during this period by the Disciplinary Committee. If the member's conduct meets the requirements of the industry standard practices, the Committee may recommend that the Board of Directors re-admit such member.
    5. The results of the Disciplinary Committee's recommendations shall be published in the association's newsletter and any other publication deemed appropriate by the Board of Directors.

Approved by the OCA Board of Directors: March 15, 2004