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Table 13: Procurement and Contracting

Procurement and contracting plays an important role in ensuring the Department meets its policy and program delivery objectives. It also is a key enabler in ensuring Service Canada effectively meets its transformation priorities.

Procurement and contracting allows the organization to obtain highly specialized management consulting services to leverage global expertise and leading edge practices and to support research initiatives and program evaluations. In implementing new points of service across the country, procurement and contracting is essential for meeting a range of operational requirements, as well as achieving socio-economic objectives.

Service Canada is responsible for providing procurement and contracting services on behalf of both Service Canada and Human Resources and Social Development Canada through a shared services environment.

A well developed business model for procurement and contracting is founded on detailed spend analysis, and a risk and complexity framework that are now being used to drive the design of a process based approach to managing procurement and contracting. The business model is aligned to serve three key outcomes: value for money, sound stewardship and service excellence.

The procurement and contracting operations are decentralized with procurement and contracting specialists in both regional offices and headquarters. These procurement and contracting specialists will be certified through the Professional Development and certification program to the appropriate level, based on the complexity and risk of the transactions they undertake.

Service Canada reviews all procurement and contracting above $10,000 so that individual purchase decisions will be informed by an enterprise-wide perspective. This process also ensures that the appropriate procurement and contracting approach is utilized.

The introduction of improvements to procurement and contracting practices has contributed to departmental savings. For example, a simple procurement and contracting portal for staff makes purchasing many items simple, complemented by the greater use of acquisition cards and mandatory standing offers for many products and services. These initiatives have led to reductions of $200 to $300 in transaction administrative costs per purchase compared to traditional purchasing approaches.

Training and awareness sessions have been developed to ensure the understanding of roles and responsibilities related to the procurement and contracting function. These sessions are targeted to all levels within the department and are delivered on an ongoing basis.