Public Works and Government Services Canada

Public Works and Government Services Canada

September 19, 2005 08:00 ET

NEW OFFICE LAUNCHED TO HELP SMALL BUSINESSES

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor GATINEAU (QUEBEC)--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 19, 2005) - The Government of Canada today announced the opening of a new office to help smaller firms do business with the federal government.

"I have heard the concerns of small and medium sized businesses and will work with them to ensure they will continue to have access to government business," said the Honourable Scott Brison, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada. "Now, through the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises our department will work to reduce barriers and simplify requirements for small and medium sized enterprises that want to do business with the Government of Canada."

The Minister also announced a series of cross-country workshops to consult with representatives of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) on the changes being made to the way the government buys goods and services. Minister Brison will chair the first workshop in Halifax on September 23rd. Further workshops will be held in Montreal, Toronto, the Ottawa area, Edmonton and Vancouver.

The departmental strategy, as introduced in Budget 2005, is to buy products and services smarter and faster and in doing so save $2.5 billion over the next five years.

The new Office of Small and Medium Enterprises will strengthen access to government business for SMEs through collaboration with industry associations and individual companies on training, information, development of support tools, and through participation in procurement policy changes. The Office will also work with industry associations to share information on forming joint venture consortia to access major government contracts.

"We recognize that small and medium-sized companies are vitally important to federal government procurement as well as to the Canadian economy as a whole," said Minister Brison.

SMEs are defined as any for-profit enterprises with fewer than 500 employees. They now account for approximately 47% of the value of government purchases and 75% of government contracts. Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) continues to take concrete steps to promote their involvement in a fair, open and transparent procurement system. For example, the department recently eliminated fees to use the government's electronic tendering system (MERXTM), continues to use regional standing offers to give businesses across the country access to procurement opportunities, and has adopted a plain language initiative to ensure contracts use easy to understand language.

The Office of Small and Medium Enterprises has launched a web site (www.pwgsc.gc.ca/sme) providing information and resources for SMEs as well as a toll-free information line (1 800 811-1148).

- 30 -

Ce texte est également disponible en français.

For further information, please contact:

Renée David
Press Secretary
Office of Minister Brison
(819) 997-5421

Media Relations
Public Works and Government Services Canada
(819) 956-2315

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

IN: ECONOMY

Contact Information

  • Mario Baril
    Primary Phone: 819-956-2315