Public Procurement 2022 Year in Review
New procurement-related challenges for purchasers and suppliers emerged in 2022 that could have a lasting impact moving forward. While global commerce, supply chains and procurement efforts slowly shifted back to a normal baseline, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, global security threats and high levels of inflation created new obstacles for government entities and public companies operating in the procurement space. With this in mind, staying up to date on the latest developments in procurement law is a business imperative.
To help you navigate this increasingly challenging environment, McCarthy Tétrault’s Procurement Group has released its Public Procurement 2022 Year in Review. Our practical guide provides an overview of the key changes in procurement policies and methods by Canadian public purchasers, as well as an in-depth analysis of new decisions from procurement-related administrative tribunals, the Federal Court and various provincial courts.
Topics covered include the following:
- Key developments at the federal level
- Ontario: A year of change
- Alberta: Auditor General’s report recommends improvements to procurement oversight
- British Columbia and Saskatchewan: Updates on key case law
- Québec: Legislative developments and case law review
Public Procurement 2022 Year in Review
Read an excerpt from the publication below
Key developments at the federal level
CHANGES TO PROCUREMENT POLICIES
In June 2021, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) announced that it would be making changes to the Contract Security Program (CSP). Changes to the personnel screening process were implemented under Phase 1 in October 2021. On May 2, 2022, PSPC implemented Phase 2 of its plan for changes to the CSP, which focused on the organization security screening process. The changes in Phase 2 refocus organization security screening efforts on active participants in a procurement process with a view to shortening processing times, reducing the administrative burden on industry, streamline the subcontracting process, and improve the competitiveness of Canadian industry in foreign defence and security markets. Through these changes to the CSP, PSPC intends to improve service standards and align the security screening process with those of like-minded foreign partners.
Last year also marked the transition to a full implementation of the new Directive on the Management of Procurement (Directive) replacing the Contracting Policy and Policy on Decision Making in Limiting Contractor Liability in Crown Procurement Contracts. While this initially entered into effect on May 13, 2021, federal departments had until May 13, 2022, to fully transition. The new Directive attempts to streamline the prior policies by moving to an approach focussed on the key procurement principles of fairness, openness, and transparency, and away from prescriptive, process-directed requirements. The new Directive prioritizes the simplification of solicitations and solicitation documents, including by limiting the number of mandatory technical criteria to those determined to be essential. It also specifically provides that contracting authorities should, to the extent possible, take past performance into consideration when assessing the bidder’s ability to deliver.
In January 2022, the federal government also announced a comprehensive plan to diversify suppliers. The Supplier Diversity Action Plan lays out steps to increase the participation of businesses from underrepresented groups in federal procurement, including enhanced services to help underrepresented groups navigate the procurement system. One such service is a new coaching program for underrepresented suppliers that have had limited success in federal procurements. The coaching service was launched in May 2022, and will help suppliers address some of the most commonly perceived barriers in procurement, as well as bidding challenges they have previously faced.
Our Procurement Group can help you avoid pitfalls in the purchasing or selling process. We provide end-to-end procurement advice and services from both a buyer and seller perspective. We represent the private sector and federal, provincial and municipal government entities in all aspects of procurement. Whether you are selling to the Canadian private sector or government entity at any level or you are a domestic or international organization buying goods, services or technology, we can help you achieve your objectives through our multidisciplinary approach. Learn how our team can help advance your business interests.
About McCarthy Tétrault
McCarthy Tétrault LLP provides a broad range of legal services, providing strategic and industry-focused advice and solutions for Canadian and international interests. The Firm has substantial presence in Canada’s major commercial centres as well as in New York and London.
Built on an integrated approach to the practice of law and delivery of innovative client services, the Firm brings its legal talent, industry insight and practice experience to help clients achieve the results that are important to them.
– 30 –
For further information on McCarthy Tétrault or any of the above, please contact