Cataract Creek Provincial Recreation Area - Kananaskis Country
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Facility Operating & Service Agreements

If you are considering entering into an agreement with the Government of Alberta (the Province) for facility operation or service delivery, this provides information and guides you through the contract process.

Minimum Requirements

To be considered eligible to enter into an agreement with the Province, the following minimum requirements apply.



  • Proof of coverage is required before start up.
  • The minimum requirements are defined in Schedule "D".  The sample below is from the Facility Operating Agreement document.  The General Liability and Automobile Liability Insurance requirements are the same for Service Agreements.

The Operator shall

  1. insure its operations under a contract of General Liability in an amount not less than $2,000,000 per occurrence, insuring against bodily injury, personal injury and property damage including loss of use thereof.  Such insurance shall include non-owned automobile liability,  tenant's/occupier's legal liability  and extend to include loss or damage to the Premises and/or Equipment in Appendix B in the care, custody and control of the Operator; providing such damage arises from the Operator's negligence;
  2. maintain Automobile Liability Insurance on all vehicles owned, operated or licensed in the name of the Operator in an amount not less than $1,000,000;
  3. maintain "All Risks" property insurance on all property owned by the Operator;
  4. ensure that the policy of insurance required in (a) and (c) above is endorsed to provide the Province with 30 day advance written notice of cancellation; and,
  5. provide evidence satisfactory to the Province of all required insurance prior to the commencement of this Agreement and annually thereafter. On request the Operator shall promptly provide the Province with a certified true copy of each policy.
  • All other insurance requirements may vary depending on the specific agreement.
  • Schedule "D" can be taken to a private insurer to obtain a quote.

Workers Compensation Board (WCB) Coverage

  • WCB coverage is a standard industry requirement.
  • Proof of coverage is required before start-up.

Guarantee of Performance

  • Operators/contractors must perform their contracted services to a predetermined standard. Failure to meet these standards may result in a penalty or "debt."
  • An operator/contractor must provide a performance security deposit at the time an agreement is signed.  This is like a damage deposit for an apartment rental.
  • The deposit assures the means to pay any penalties or "debt" to the Province.
  • The performance security deposit required is
    • A minimum of 10% of the total value of the agreement or
    • An amount determined by the Province.

Criminal Record and Vulnerability Sector Check

  • All Operators are required to provide a Criminal Record Check. 
  • Due to regular engagement with children, seniors and other vulnerable people, the Vulnerability Sector Check must also be completed. 

Safety Plan

  • A safety plan is required to ensure the safety of the public, the operator/contractor and employees.
  • This document identifies how emergencies will be dealt with, contact information, and how all tasks will be performed safely.
  • There may be some start-up costs related to Occupational Health and Safety requirements. Examples include purchase of personal protective equipment or first aid training for employees.
  • Certificate of Recognition (COR) meets this requirement as it includes a safety plan.  A COR is awarded to employers who develop health and safety programs that meet established standards. Note that a COR is not required to bid on park operations opportunities. However, if an operator/contractor has a COR, it covers the required safety plan.

"Seed Money" Considerations

  • "Seed money" is generally required to cover the time between incurring expenses and generating revenue.  This depends on a number of factors including the size of the park or campground and the complexity of the services offered.
  • Expenses that may be incurred before the operating season begins include wages, spring cleaning costs, and purchase of firewood and supplies.

Contracting Opportunities

All agreement and contract opportunities with Alberta Tourism, Parks & Recreation are advertised on the Alberta Purchasing Connection. Sign on as a Vendor.  Use "Search Opportunities" with keyword "park" or "parks."

The bidding process is open to all eligible individuals and organizations.  All bid packages are compared against each other and the mandatory requirements.

  • The Province is looking for the best value for the services provided.
  • The lowest bid will not necessarily be accepted.
  • The Province also conducts a cost-benefit analysis to determine cost-effectiveness of in-house delivery of the same services.

If you are already signed up as a Vendor on the Alberta Purchasing Connection, the Commodity Codes utilized for Facility Operating Agreements are

  • K107A - Landscaping and Horticultural Services
  • M1 - Operation of Government Owned Facilities
  • M2 - Operation of Government Owned Facilities (Non Building)
  • R119L - Facility Operations Service

Types of Agreements

The Province uses two types of contracts for park operations.

Facility Operating Agreement (FOA)

  • A Facility Operating Agreement is to operate and maintain specific facility areas of a park on behalf of the Province (e.g. campground, day use area, boat launch).
  • This includes
    • Collecting fees
    • Completing administration processes
    • Performing all maintenance duties to government standards
    • Fulfilling basic levels of security duties for the public, and
    • Providing services as required to ensure a safe and clean environment for "happy campers."
  • A FOA operator retains 
    • Camping fees net of any government imposed levies and surcharges, and
    • Any other money collected on site.
  • This money retained by the operator is expected to cover all their expenses and generate a profit. Generally, the Province makes no payment to the operator.

Service Agreement

  • Service agreements vary in size and complexity.
  • Where the Province operates the park facilities, service agreements may be used for private contractors to provide specific maintenance tasks.
  • The Province advertises for potential bidders to complete specific tasks to a given standard.  Some examples are grass cutting or building cleaning.
  • The Province pays a specific fee for the contracted service.

Process for Facility Operating Agreements and Service Agreements


  • All agreement and contract opportunities are advertised on the Alberta Purchasing Connection.
  • Advertising in local, large city, or out of province media (like newspapers) is determined by the:
    • Estimated value of the agreement and
    • Likelihood of making contact with an appropriate person or company.

Bid Proposal Packages

  • Potential bidders can purchase a bid proposal package from the location indicated in the advertisement.
  • The bid proposal package and associated information can be downloaded for free on the Alberta Purchasing Connection.
  • These packages are meant to enable the Province to receive viable and competitive bids for the services required.  The package information includes a
    • Map of the facilities in question
    • Summary of previous revenue and costs, and
    • Sample agreement.
  • To make a bid, complete the forms for all aspects of the operation including
    • Contact information
    • References and
    • Other information that constitutes your proposal.

Information Sessions and Site Tour

  • Information sessions provide potential bidders an opportunity to
    • Meet the Province's representative and
    • Learn about the bid package.
  • A tour of the park and facilities is conducted if weather and access conditions permit.

Submission of Bid Proposal Package

  • The bid submission deadline is clearly identified in the advertisement.  The date can be confirmed at the information session.
  • Failure to meet the deadlines makes a bid invalid.

Proponent Review/Interview

  • Bid openings are public events.
  • Once all of the bid proposals are received, they are reviewed by a panel consisting of
    • Government employees from Alberta Tourism, Parks & Recreation and
    • Independent reviewers (if applicable), selected from other government departments or the local community.
  • A bid proponent may be requested to attend an interview to clarify and confirm information in their proposal.


  • After the review panel completes interviews and assessment of the bid packages, an offer is made to the successful proponent.

Monitoring Process

  • Throughout the term of the agreement, the Province's representative
    • Meets with the operator/contractor at regular intervals
    • Completes inspections of the facilities and
    • Collects all applicable administrative paperwork.
  • The Province expects the park to be operated and maintained to service standards set out in the agreement.

Agreement Completion

  • At the end of the agreement period, a final inspection is completed.  If there are no account arrears or outstanding operational or administrative issues, the performance security deposit is returned to the operator/contractor.

Protection of Privacy

To assess an applicant's eligibility and viability to enter into an agreement, information is requested on

  • Finances
  • Past experience with this type of work, and
  • Contact and personal information.

We collect and use this information in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The act is available online through the Queen's Printer.

More Information

Contact Anita Schmidt by

  • Phoning 780-427-3155.  To be connected toll-free in Alberta, dial 310-0000 followed by 780-427-3155.
  • Email