Chapter 9 : Government Procurement

 

Objective

 

APEC Economies will

 

(a)           Develop a common understanding on government procurement policies and systems, as well as on each APEC economy’s government procurement practices; and

 

(b)          Achieve liberalization of government procurement markets throughout the Asia-Pacific region in accordance with the principles and objectives of the Bogor Declaration, contributing in the process to the evolution of work on government procurement in other multilateral fora.

 

 

Guidelines

 

Each APEC economy will :

 

(a)        enhance the transparency of its government procurement regimes and its government procurement information; and

 

(b)          establish, where possible, a government procurement information database and provide the information through a common entry point.

 

 

Collective Actions

 

APEC Economies have agreed to take collective actions to help achieve these goals.  These actions are contained in Collective Action Plans (CAPs) which are updated annually.  The current CAP relating to government procurement can be found in the Government Procurement Collective Action Plan.

 

The APEC Government Procurement Experts Group (GPEG) has completed the development of a set of Non-Binding Principles (NBPs) for Government Procurement, comprising transparency, value for money, open and effective competition, fair dealing, accountability and due process, and non-discrimination. The complete set of NBPs, with detailed elements and illustrative practices, may be referred to at http://www.apecsec.org.sg/comm
ittee/gov_non_binding.html
.   GPEG members have adopted a process for individual members to voluntarily review the consistency of their government procurement systems with the NBPs, and report to the GPEG. A member may choose to review and report on consistency with all the NBPs at once, or individual NBPs, on a progressive basis as and when ready to do so.

 

The IAP format has been designed to encourage members to include specific plans and timetables as the reference for voluntarily bringing their government procurement systems into conformity with the NBPs, i.e. the NBPs constitute the reporting categories for the Government Procurement chapter of the IAP.

 

 

Canada's Approach to Government Procurement in 2003

 

          For a broad and accurate reflection of Canada’s federal government procurement practices, we ask that you please visit the following site:

 

http://www.apecsec.org.sg/govt
proc/gp_cda.html

 

          The above website contains Canada's response to the APEC Members government procurement survey (with links to important federal government procurement web sites).  The response to the survey, while containing comprehensive information, is not divided into the separate IAP categories, but deals with each in the broad context of federal government procurement.

 

 

 

For more information, please contact:

Rashma Agarwal

Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

Rashma.Agarwal@dfait-maeci.gc.ca

 

 

 

 


Canada's Approach to Government Procurement in 2003

Section

Improvements Implemented Since Last IAP

Current Measures Applied

Further Improvements Planned

 

Transparency

 

 

 

     

 

 

GENERAL OPERATING ENVIRONMENT

 

Publication of laws, regulations and judicial decisions http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/i
ndex.html

 

Publication of contracting policies, procedures, Notices and Circulars, Statistics (& links to other sites)

http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/cmp/h
ome-accueil.asp?Language=EN

 

Contracts Canada -

 

http://www.contractscanada.gc.
ca

- information on doing business with the Federal Government

- Standard contract clauses    

 

PROCUREMENT OPPORTUNITIES

 

Two types of procurement opportunity notices are published:

- Notice of Proposed Procurement

- Advance Contract Award Notice

 

Notice of proposed procurement provides suppliers all information necessary to make an informed decision regarding whether the supplier would be interested in obtaining bid documents.

 

An Advance Contract Award Notice (ACAN) allows departments and agencies to post a notice indicating to the supplier community that it intends to award a good, service or construction contract to a pre-identified contractor.

 

Procurement notices indicate coverage by NAFTA, WTO-AGP, AIT, and CKTEA.

 

Most Federal procurement over $25,000 is electronically tendered through MERX – the government electronic tendering service.

http://www.merx.com

 

MERX is used by the Federal Government and many provinces and municipalities.

 

Information also provided through “Government Business Opportunities”

-Available by subsciption

- Daily fax or e-mail receipt of all MERX notices to those GBO            subscribers who are not currently subscribers to MERX

 

PURCHASE REQUIREMENT (Information for Responsive Bids)

 

Any potential supplier can obtain the following documents which contain all information needed to prepare a responsive bid:

- Notice of Proposed Procurement

- Bid Documents

- Questions and Answers posted on MERX during the bid period

- Policies and Procedures

 

BID EVALUATION CRITERIA

 

All criteria for evaluating bids are included in the bid documents.

 

- Any potential supplier can obtain bid documents electronically through the MERX system.

 

Contracts are awarded based on the evaluation criteria indicated in the bid documents.

 

AWARD OF CONTRACT

 

Contract Award Notices are posted on the Government Electronic Tendering Service through MERX and in “Government Business Opportunities” .

 

Contract Award Notice provides information to suppliers on:

- Description of nature and quantity of goods or services

- Name and address of entity awarding contract

- Date of the award

- Name and address of winning supplier

- Total of contract

- Tendering procedure used

 

Canada's Transparency Regime includes:

- Laws

- Regulations

- Procedures and Policies

- Contract Clauses

- Procurement opportunities

- Evaluation Criteria

- Contract Awards and Results of Reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

Value for Money

 

 

 

     

 

 

Inherent in procuring best value in procurement is the consideration of all relevant costs over the useful life of the acquisition, not solely the initial or basic contractual cost.       .

 

 

 

     

 

 

Open and Effective Competition

 

 

 

     

 

 

Government procurement opportunities in Canada may be accessed through the Internet from around the world.  These opportunities are available through the Government Electronic Tendering Service (GETS) and Government Business Opportunities (GBO).  Canada has provided the APEC Secretariat with this information for its APEC Government Homepage.

 

Please visit:

 

http://www.apecsec.org.sg/govt
proc/gp_cda.html

 

 

 

     

 

 

Fair Dealing

 

 

 

     

 

 

While adhering to its obligations under international trade agreements, Canada seeks to ensure equal access to procurement to all suppliers in order to contribute to lower purchasing costs and development of a strong economy in an environment of competition, transparency, and efficiency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accountability and Due Process

 

 

 

     

 

 

RECORD KEEPING

 

Management of Government Information Holdings ensures cost-effective and coordinated management.

http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pubs_
pol/ciopubs/tb_gih/mgih-grdg_e
.html

 

Complete documentation regarding each procurement is maintained by Public Works and Government Services for 7 years after contract completion.

 

 

INDEPENDENT SCRUTINY

 

Office of the Auditor General

-Conducts independent audits and examinations

-http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca

 

Access to Information Act

-Suppliers can seek information on procurement.

-http://www.infocom.gc.ca/faq/d
efault-e.asp

 

Standing Committee on Public Accounts

-Reviews reports on public accounts and Auditor General's reports.

 

REVIEW MECHANISM

 

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) acts as the bid challenge authority for NAFTA, the WTO AGP, the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT), and the Canada-Korea Telecommunications Equipment Agreement.

 

The CITT can award costs in relation to the preparation of proposals and in relation to filing and proceeding with a complaint.  The CITT can make recommendations such as:  the award of monetary compensation (lost profit), that a contract be cancelled, that bids be re-evaluated or that new bids be sought.

 

- All regulations and decisions are available electronically

http://www.citt.gc.ca/procure/
index_e.htm

 

The international agreements also provide for state to state dispute resolution.

 

 

 

     

 

 

Non-discrimination

 

 

 

     

 

 

While adhering to its obligations under international trade agreements, Canada seeks to ensure equal access to procurement to all suppliers in order to contribute to lower purchasing costs and development of a strong economy in a context of competition, transparency and efficiency.

 

The international trade agreements also provide for non-discrimination provisions.

 

 

     

 



Improvements in Canada’s  Approach to Government Procurement since 1996

Section

Position at Base Year (1996)

Cumulative Improvements Implemented to Date

 

General Policy

Position

 

 

 

The objective of federal government policy is to carry out procurement contracting that enhances access, competition and fairness, and results in best value.  Canada is a party to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (AGP).

 

 

 

 

Procurement practices are fully consistent with established policies and with Canada’s obligations as a Party to the WTO-AGP and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (since 1994) and the Canada-Korea Telecommunications Equipment Procurement Agreement (since 2001).

 

 

Transparency

 

 

In line with the OAA objectives to develop a common understanding of each APEC economy’s government procurement policies and practices, Canada has designated contact points for policy and administrative enquiries, and has submitted its completed Survey on Government Procurement Systems to the Experts Group.  It is expected that these efforts will contribute to the overall transparency of government procurement systems in APEC.

 

Please visit:

 

http://www.apecsec.org.sg/govt
proc/gp_cda.html

 

The Government Electronic Tendering Service is a user-friendly system available on the Internet, and is designed to give fast, effective and equal access to larger government contracts.

 

 

 

Canada submitted to the Working Group a non-paper which discusses various elements of transparency in government procurement (1997).

 

Canada participates actively in work on government procurement in the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) forum (since 1998).  Canada submitted a non-paper suggesting organizational and substantive considerations for the design of FTAA procurement disciplines, emphasizing the elements of transparency and predictability.

 

Canada submitted its revised Survey on Government Procurement Systems to the Experts Group (1998).

 

Canada submitted its revised Survey on Government Procurement Systems to the Experts Group.  At the same time it contributed a technical review of contract award information to the Working Group’s discussions on the issues for the development of a transparency agreement.  Canada is developing its position on the contents of the agreement in consultation with stakeholders (1999).

 

 

 

Value for money

 

 

 

Inherent in procuring best value in procurement is the consideration of all relevant costs over the useful life of the acquisition, not solely the initial or basic contractual cost. 

 

 

     

 

 

Open and Effective Competition

 

 

Government procurement opportunities in Canada may be accessed through the Internet from around the world.  These opportunities are available through the Government Electronic Tendering Service (GETS) and Government Business Opportunities (GBO).  Canada has provided the APEC Secretariat with this information for its APEC Government Homepage.

 

Please visit:

 

http://www.apecsec.org.sg/govt
proc/gp_cda.html

 

 

 

In accordance with the objective of liberalization of government procurement markets in the APEC region, Canada is committed to the further expansion of membership in the WTO-AGP.  Canada encourages APEC member economies to accede to the WTO-AGP and fully supports their ongoing accessions and requests for observer status (since 1997).

 

In addition to the opportunities available through the Government Electronic Tendering Service, this year a more cost-effective and user-friendly service known as MERX was implemented (since 1998).

 

In September 2001, the Canada-Korea Telecommunications Equipment Agreement was implemented.

 

 

 

Fair Dealing

 

 

 

While adhering to its obligations under international trade agreements, Canada seeks to ensure equal access to procurement to all Canadian suppliers in order to contribute to lower purchasing costs and development of a strong economy in an environment of competition, transparency, and efficiency.

 

 

     

 

 

Accountability and Due Process

 

 

 

Canada supports the initiative to launch negotiations at the Singapore WTO Ministerial Conference on an agreement to enshrine due process and transparency obligations on government procurement on a multilateral basis.  Such negotiations should help to promote confidence in procurement disciplines and should ultimately lead to expanded membership in the AGP itself.  More generally, under Article XXIV:7 provisions, Canada supports an early re-examination of the AGP with a view to enhancing its effectiveness.

 

 

     

 

 

Non-discrimination

 

 

 

While adhering to its obligations under international trade agreements, Canada seeks to ensure equal access to procurement to all Canadian suppliers in order to contribute to lower purchasing costs and development of a strong economy in a context of competition, transparency and efficiency.

 

 

Canada is now working with other AGP Parties to simplify and improve the WTO-AGP, as well as to expand coverage and eliminate discriminatory measures and practices (since 1997).