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Cleaning up the procurement of government contracts

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On April 11, 2006, the Government of Canada introduced the Federal Accountability Act and Action Plan, delivering on its commitment to make government more accountable. The Federal Accountability Act received Royal Assent on December 12, 2006. This is one of a series of fact sheets describing proposed actions to respond to this commitment.

The context

In carrying out its programs and providing services to Canadians, the Government of Canada is one of the largest purchasers of goods and services in the country. It is important that the bidding process for government contracts, including those for polling and advertising, be fair, open, and transparent.

What this means for Canadians

Through these measures, the Government is ensuring that the procurement process is free of political interference, and that a clear process is in place to address complaints from potential suppliers. It is also providing greater opportunities for small vendors and vendors in all regions of Canada to compete for government contracts.

The Action Plan

To reinforce Canadians' confidence in the procurement process, effective December 12, 2006, the Federal Accountability Act:

  • includes an overarching statement of principles on procurement that commits the Government to promoting fairness, openness, and transparency in the bidding process;

The Government is currently developing regulations that will:

  • require that contracts include integrity provisions;
  • require the public disclosure of basic information on contracts over $10,000; and
  • define the scope of the duties and functions of a Procurement Ombudsman, who will:
    • review procurement practices across government;
    • handle complaints from potential suppliers;
    • review complaints regarding contract administration;
    • ensure the provision of an alternative dispute resolution process for contracts; and
    • submit an annual report to be tabled in Parliament.

In addition, the Government:

  • welcomed the recommendations of an independent procurement expert on the draft policy on managing procurement to ensure it reinforces a fair, open, and transparent procurement process;
  • introduced the Code of Conduct for Procurement on September 19, 2007; and
  • announced on April 18, 2006, the establishment of six new Regional Offices of Small and Medium Enterprises, to be located in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton and Vancouver.

Furthermore, the Government has made reforms to government public opinion research and advertising (see related fact sheet called “Cleaning up government polling and advertising” for details).

For more information

For more information on this specific measure, please refer to the relevant section of the Action Plan, or contact us.

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