Government of Canada

Government of Canada

December 13, 2007 15:00 ET

Government Takes Steps to Reduce Expenditures, Ensure Better Planning of Public Opinion Research

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 13, 2007) - The Honourable Michael M Fortier, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, and the Honourable Vic Toews, President of the Treasury Board, today released the Government's action plan in response to the report of the Independent Advisor on Public Opinion Research. The report of the Independent Advisor was also made public.

"The Government is taking concrete actions to reduce Public Opinion Research (POR) spending and ensure that Canadians get the best value from POR when such research is deemed necessary" said Minister Fortier. "It will be well managed and less expensive for taxpayers. Our Government is once again delivering on a promise made during the last election campaign."

The Government is acting in three key areas and will consult with industry where appropriate:

- Ensuring better value for taxpayers: The Government will ensure effective planning of POR and that reductions are achieved to avoid overspending. The officials in Public Works and Government Services Canada will also discuss with industry the use of pricing incentives for conducting research in non-peak periods. And it will look at options for centralized control for public opinion research.

- Strengthening procurement: New contracting tools will provide greater rigour in supplier selection and contract management. Where appropriate, contracts will contain ceiling prices to ensure no costs over runs.

- Reinforcing political neutrality: The Government will strengthen the application of the requirements related to political neutrality in the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada to ensure clarity, and develop a contract clause requiring suppliers to certify political neutrality in research provided to the government.

This Independent POR review is part of the ongoing implementation of the Federal Accountability Act and its accompanying Action Plan. Through the Act and Action Plan, the government has brought forward specific measures to strengthen accountability in Government.

"The measures of the Federal Accountability Act and Action Plan have already enhanced openness and transparency in the management of public opinion research (POR)," said Vic Toews, President of the Treasury Board. "The Government's action plan further demonstrates our Government's strong commitment to ensuring value for taxpayers."

The total cost of the review was approximately $610,000. This included $135,000 for the Independent Advisor's honorariums and travel expenses and $475,000 for audit and administrative services, translation and production of the report.

The Government's response is available at the following address: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/pwbg1213a.pdf. The Independent Advisor's Report to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services on Public Opinion Research Practices of the Government of Canada is available on the PWGSC web site, at pwgsc.gc.ca.

More information on the Federal Accountability Act and Action Plan is available at www.accountability.gc.ca.

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Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Public Works
    and Government Services
    Jacques C. Gagnon
    Director of Communications
    819-997-5421
    or
    Public Works and Government Services Canada
    Media Relations
    819-956-2315
    or
    Office of the President of the Treasury Board
    Mike Storeshaw
    Director of Communications
    613-957-2666
    or
    Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
    Robert Makichuk
    Chief, Media Relations
    613-957-2391