Federal Accountability Action Plan, April 2006
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Cleaning up the procurement of government contracts
- A legislated commitment to fairness, openness, and transparency in the procurement process
- Inclusion of integrity provisions in all government contracts
- A Procurement Auditor to review procurement practices on an ongoing basis
- A Code of Conduct for Procurement
"The Government of Canada is committed to taking appropriate measures to promote fairness, openness and transparency in the bidding process for contracts with Her Majesty for the performance of work, the supply of goods or the rendering of services."
-proposed Federal Accountability Act
Why we are doing this
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.
The Federal Accountability Act will introduce the following changes:
- The Act will include an overarching statement of principles regarding procurement that will commit the Government of Canada to promoting the fairness, openness, and transparency of the bidding process.
- It will require that contracts include integrity provisions that require action be taken to preclude corruption, collusion, and the payment of contingency fees in the procurement process.
- It will establish a Procurement Auditor to:
- review procurement practices across government on an ongoing basis to ensure fairness and transparency, and to make recommendations for improvement;
- review complaints from potential suppliers after contract award with respect to procurements of goods and services that are covered by the Agreement on Internal Trade, but which are below the monetary thresholds of that Agreement ($25,000 for goods and $100,000 for services);
- make recommendations to the relevant department on whose behalf the procurement was carried out should the Procurement Auditor consider the complaint valid (through regulations, the Government will provide that, in these cases, the Procurement Auditor may recommend that the Government compensate unsuccessful bidders for their costs of bid preparation and loss of profit at no more than 10 percent of the value of the contract);
- review complaints concerning the administration of contracts for goods and services;
- manage an alternative dispute resolution program for contracts; and
- submit an annual report to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services on activities and outcomes, which the Minister would then table in Parliament.
In addition, we will:
- engage an independent procurement expert to review the draft policy on managing procurement to determine whether its requirements will reinforce a fair, open, and transparent procurement process;
- introduce a Code of Conduct for Procurement that would consolidate the Government’s existing suite of conflict-of-interest and anti-corruption policies and would apply to both suppliers and public-service employees;
- provide accreditation and training for procurement officers;
- build on recent consultations between the supplier community and Public Works and Government Services regarding barriers to entry; and
- provide more resources and greater regional presence to the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises within Public Works and Government Services, to help these businesses maintain access to government business opportunities and to ensure they are treated fairly.
Through these measures, the Government will ensure that the procurement process is free of political interference, and that a clear process is in place to address complaints from potential suppliers. It will also provide greater opportunities for small vendors and vendors in all regions of Canada to compete for government contracts.
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