The N.W.T.'s Department of Finance has relaxed the government's rules for sole-sourcing contracts to "address inflationary increases," said the minister. 

Robert C. McLeod said the government will be able to sole-source goods and non-professional service contracts worth under $25,000.

Robert C McLeod

N.W.T. Finance minister Robert C. McLeod announced changes to the government's rules for sole-sourcing contracts today in the legislative assembly to 'address inflationary increases.' (Handout)

Previously, all purchases and contracts under this category above $5,000 had to be tendered. Tendering is the process where businesses bid competitively for contracts.

The tendering triggers for other contract categories will be raised on April 1, too: professional services to $50,000 from $25,000; and architectural and engineering contracts to under $100,000.

The changes, announced Monday in the legislative assembly, "address inflationary increases since the GNWT sole-source limits were established 20 years ago," said McLeod.

Rocky Simpson, the MLA for Hay River North, was supportive of the move.

"Lots of good news out of the Minister of Finance today," said Simpson.

Simpson had called the previous limits "antiquated," saying they didn't "reflect the reality of doing business in 2016."

He also complained about the requirement for any business bidding on a government contract worth more than $100,000 to put down a five-per-cent cash bond or a 10-per-cent security bond.

"This requirement may unduly penalize small businesses that are just doing their best to get ahead or stay afloat in this economy," said Simpson.

McLeod said the department will review it "and see if there are any changes that can be made."