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Government Acquisition Card Contract

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DATE: November 5th, 2001
TO: Senior Financial Officers (SFO)
Senior Full-Time Financial Officers (SFFO)
SUBJECT: Government Acquisition Card Contract


This Information Notice is to inform you of the results of the competitive process for obtaining acquisition card services.

New contractual agreements have been entered into with the Bank of Montreal (BMO) for MasterCard and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) for Visa. These agreements will be effective January 1, 2002 and will expire on December 31, 2005. There is also a possibility to extend the contracts for two additional periods of two years and one year respectively.

The current agreements with National Bank for MasterCard, and Citibank for Visa acquisition cards will be terminated on December 31, 2001.

The competitive process started last July with the issuance of a Request For Proposal. The responses received from various financial institutions were evaluated by an interdepartmental review committee in accordance with a number of specific criteria. These criteria were designed to ensure for departments an efficient and economical method of acquiring and paying for goods or services and, also to ensure the best possible value for the Crown.

The new contracts contain essentially the same clauses and conditions as those currently in force. However, greater emphasis has been placed on the use of electronic exchange of information and on the implementation of better information, monitoring and control tools for departments.

The two service providers will offer departments the opportunity to select payment options that are best suited to their operations. In addition, the new contracts offer an improved rebate program, payable directly to departments and based on the payment option selected. Thus, this program represents a significant incentive to departments to increase the use of acquisition cards and to implement electronic commerce with the card issuers.

More specific details (e.g. rebate levels, services offered etc.) concerning these two contracts will be distributed to departments in the near future. As well, departmental information sessions, with the BMO and the CIBC, will be scheduled in the following weeks to address any concerns. An E-mail from TBS, will be sent to all departments (to SFO's and SFFO's) to confirm the date and location of the information sessions.

We understand that the introduction of two new card suppliers will have an impact on departments. TBS will therefore work closely with the new card suppliers and departments to ease the transition to the new acquisition cards.

In consultation with departments and the new card suppliers, TBS will work on the development and delivery of action plans (covering the issuance of the new cards, billing/reporting requirements, distribution of information concerning the services offered, etc.) to ensure a successful transition period with minimal disruption. During the months of November and December, meetings between the service providers and departments will take place to ensure that all operational and system requirements are met.

In order to successfully introduce the new cards, we will require that you indicate which of the two following options you prefer concerning the issuance and distribution of the new acquisition cards:

  • Option 1: New cards sent to the attention of the departmental co-ordinator for internal departmental distribution.
  • Option 2: New cards sent directly to the cardholders.

When operationally possible we suggest that departments choose option 1. As we are dealing with a mass issuance (approx. 32,000 cards) this option will allow a faster turn around time for financial institutions to ensure timely issuance of the cards (for January 1st, 2002). This option will also provide a better control for departments in ensuring that all cards are correctly issued to cardholders. Please confirm your selected option by November 15th, 2001 to Roch Huppé (e-mail Huppe.Roch@tbs-sct.gc.ca, or fax 613-946-9907)

If you have any concerns or have any comments, please do not hesitate to contact Robert Berniquez at 957-9672 (e-mail Berniquez.Robert@tbs-sct.gc.ca), or Roch Huppé at 941-7200 (e-mail Huppe.Roch@tbs-sct.gc.ca).

Original signed by
Richard J. Neville, FCA

Deputy Comptroller General
Comptrollership Branch
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