Public Works and Government Services Canada

Public Works and Government Services Canada

February 22, 2007 12:54 ET

Canada's New Government Starts Search for Procurement Ombudsman

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 22, 2007) - The Honourable Michael M Fortier, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, and the Honourable Vic Toews, President of the Treasury Board of Canada, today announced the start of a public recruitment process to find candidates for the new position of Procurement Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will help to ensure that the government's procurement practices are fair and transparent.

"The government conducts at least 400,000 procurement transactions every year, worth a total of almost $20 billion," said Minister Fortier. "It is imperative that Canadians have confidence in the fairness, openness and transparency of the government's procurement activities."

"The Procurement Ombudsman will review procurement practices across government on an ongoing basis and recommend improvements", said Minister Toews. "The Ombudsman's office will provide a new avenue for addressing complaints from vendors with regard to contract awards."

The mandate of the Procurement Ombudsman will be to:

- Review procurement practices across government on an ongoing basis to ensure fairness and transparency;

- Make recommendations for improvements to the relevant department;

- 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 (AIT) but which are below the monetary thresholds of that agreement ($25,000 goods and $100,000 for services);

- Review complaints with respect to the administration of contracts; and

- Ensure the provision of an alternative dispute resolution process for contract disputes.

The creation of the position of Procurement Ombudsman is part of the government's Federal Accountability Act (FedAA) and Action Plan. It will help fulfill the government's commitment to ensuring greater fairness, openness, and transparency in procurement.

The Notice of Vacancy for this position is available at the following web site: http://www.pwgsc.gc.ca/text/faa/ombudsman-e.html

This announcement is part of the implementation of the FedAA, which received Royal Assent on December 12, 2006. Through the FedAA and its companion Action Plan, Canada's New Government has brought forward specific measures to strengthen accountability in government. More information on the FedAA and Action Plan is available at www.accountability.gc.ca.

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BACKGROUNDER

Procurement Ombudsman

As part of the Federal Accountability Act and Action Plan, the federal government has established the position of Procurement Ombudsman, which will be staffed following a competitive hiring process.

Establishing this position demonstrates the Government of Canada's commitment to implementing a number of initiatives to increase the confidence of Canadians in the fairness, openness and transparency of procurement conducted by the Government of Canada.

The Procurement Ombudsman will not duplicate the mandate of other forums for reviewing federal procurement, such as the Auditor General, or the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT).

The Procurement Ombudsman will address complaints only with respect to the procurement of goods and services to which Canada's Agreement on Internal Trade would apply, but which are below the monetary thresholds of that agreement ($25,000 for goods and $100,000 for services). Some exceptions may apply, such as procurement for national security purposes.

The Procurement Ombudsman will be appointed by the Governor in Council (GIC), and will report to the Minister of PWGSC. Until the regulations governing the activities of the Procurement Ombudsman are in place, he or she will work in the capacity as the Procurement Ombudsman Designate.

The Ombudsman will submit an annual report to the Minister for tabling in Parliament.

Other measures to strengthen the transparency and integrity of federal government procurement include:

- a legislated commitment to fairness, openness, and transparency in the procurement process;

- promoting fairness, openness and transparency in the bidding process through a new Policy on Managing Procurement;

- contracts to include integrity provisions to preclude corruption, collusion, and the payment of contingency fees in the procurement process;

- providing accreditation and training for procurement officers;

- introducing a Code of Conduct for Procurement; and

- removing barriers to access for smaller vendors and vendors in all regions of Canada.

For more information on the hiring process for the position of the Procurement Ombudsman, please visit the following website: http://www.pwgsc.gc.ca/text/faa/ombudsman-e.html

PWGSC news releases are also available on our Internet site at www.pwgsc.gc.ca/comm/min/text/mediaroom-e.html

Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Jean-Luc Benoit
    Director of Communications
    819-997-5421
    or
    Public Works and Government Services Canada
    Media relations Unit
    819-956-2315