Frequently Asked Questions

What is E-bidding?

E-bidding is a process using an e-procurement tool to build, view, respond, submit and evaluate public tenders. SAP Ariba is the e-procurement tool used by the NS Government and Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA). SAP Ariba Discovery is the tool used by suppliers to access specific government tender opportunities.


Who is the E-bidding service provider?

As part of Government’s Shared Services Initiative, SAP Ariba was chosen as the Procurement technology solution used for goods, services and construction sourcing, contract management and spend analytics. The Province has been using this technology since September 2015, in support of all Government departments and the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA).


What are the benefits of E-bidding to me as a supplier?

  • SAP Ariba is a safe and secure cloud-based solution, accessible anywhere the internet is available.
  • There are no fees to register for or access all NS Government and NSHA public tender opportunities.
  • E-bidding will save you time and money by eliminating the need to drop off a paper copy to the Procurement office in Halifax.
  • The system allows you to build your submission from the time of posting to the time of closing by providing you with a workspace to save your work.
  • SAP Ariba has a robust notification function. Once you have identified your intention to participate in an event, notifications will be sent automatically when addendums are issued, competitions are extended or cancelled, and for other related opportunity information.
  • You will have a consolidated view of all opportunities for which you are intending to participate or have already participated.
  • You will gain access to other procurement opportunities within the Ariba Discovery Network. This is a global network that allows you to search opportunities from Ariba’s other customer organizations. Note: there may be costs to respond to opportunities with other organizations on this network.
  • Supplier profiles can be tailored for upcoming opportunities in your categories of interest (e.g. construction supplies, professional services, etc.)


Does the Tender Opportunity Notification Service (TONS) still exist?

Yes, TONS continues to exist. It is recommended that you register for both TONS and SAP Ariba Discovery to ensure that you receive notices of all public sector opportunities in Nova Scotia. Register now.


Is training available to suppliers?

Guides and training videos for E-bidding can be found here.


Why did Procurement introduce E-bidding capability?

By moving away from paper submissions to receiving and evaluating bids electronically, E-bidding provides better collaboration between Procurement and their clients and suppliers while increasing effectiveness, efficiency and accountability throughout the procurement cycle. It will also mean time saved in sourcing goods, services and construction.


Is there a cost to register or participate in an event published through SAP Ariba?

There is no cost to register with SAP Ariba Discovery or to respond to Government of Nova Scotia or NSHA opportunities offered through their service. Note: There may be costs to respond to opportunities with other organizations on this network.


Are all NS Government and NSHA procurement opportunities available in the SAP Ariba solution?

NS Government and NSHA opportunities above open tender thresholds and some invitational opportunities will be available in SAP Ariba (see thresholds and related procurement requirements here). Note: The following are not available in SAP Ariba: tenders currently offered via Bid Express, Health Pro, under threshold and non-competitive procurements, and opportunities offered via Flextrack.


How will I access E-bidding opportunities?

For open tenders – Suppliers should continue to monitor the NS Procurement tenders website for Government and NSHA opportunities. E-bidding opportunities will be clearly identified. By following the link provided on the NS Tenders site, you will be directed to an event description page in SAP Ariba Discovery. Once there, should you decide to participate or wish to investigate the opportunity further, you will need to register (or login) to download documents and submit your response.

For select invitational opportunities - If you have been invited to participate in an Invitational Competition, you will receive an email from SAP Ariba requesting your interest in participating in the event. The message will include a link to the SAP Ariba event page where you can review and respond to the opportunity.

More information about invitational competitions can be found in the Procurement Manual located on the Nova Scotia Procurement Policy website.


Can I submit a paper, email bid or other submission types, for a designated E-bidding tender event?

You will only be able to respond electronically through SAP Ariba for designated E-bidding tender events/opportunities. Paper, email and other submission types will not be accepted.


How do I submit bonds for construction projects?

Where identified in the tender, suppliers will be required to provide an electronic bond (e-bond). When completing a tender response suppliers will be asked to submit a validated bond (e-bond) as an attachment. Once the bond is obtained from the broker it must be put through a verification service which will allow for it to be validated. Suppliers attach the electronic bond to the tender response in SAP Ariba. Additional information on e-bonding can be found here.


What if I have questions about the opportunity I am bidding on?

  • For content-related questions and/or clarifications about tender content – a message board is available to you within the competition for which you are submitting a bid. This board allows you to confidentially correspond directly with the Procurement Specialist running the event, and it keeps a consolidated and centralized record of all supplier correspondence related to the event. Events are constantly monitored and responses are provided within a timely manner.
  • Technical assistance for registering and completing/submitting tender responses is available directly from SAP Ariba Discovery by calling 1-866-218-2155 (24 hours support Monday – Friday) or at
  • Guides and training videos for E-bidding can be found here.


What browser versions are certified for SAP Ariba cloud solutions?

Currently, you can use SAP Ariba cloud solutions with the following certified browser versions:

  • Apple Safari (64-bit)
  • Google Chrome (64-bit)
  • Microsoft Edge (32-bit)
  • Microsoft Edge Chromium (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Mozilla Firefox (64-bit)

SAP Ariba no longer supports the use of any version of Microsoft Internet Explorer, including Microsoft Internet Explorer 11.

Access to SAP Ariba using mobile devices is not supported.

SAP Ariba is actively working to ensure that additional browsers and versions are fully certified, but we strongly recommend using a browser version that is currently certified to guarantee the best performance with our site.


Is the SAP Ariba – E-bidding tool used by all public-sector entities?

No, the SAP Ariba E-bidding tool applies to opportunities posted by the Government of Nova Scotia and NSHA only. Bidding on opportunities posted by the IWK, municipalities, academic institutions, and Regional Centres for Education in NS is not impacted by the Government of Nova Scotia’s E-bidding tool.