October 21, 2015

Industry Supports Government on Procurement Transformation

The Saskatchewan Government today announced further progress delivering on the Priority Saskatchewan action plan with five more supporting policies being implemented across ministries and the Crown sector.

New legislation was introduced that will make best value-based decision-making the basis for procurement by amending The Highways and Transportation Act, 1997 and The Public Works and Services Act.  These two existing Acts currently require contracts to be awarded on the basis of lowest price.  In addition to price, best value-based procurement ensures a fuller range of criteria are considered based on the specific needs of the good or service being purchased.  This more comprehensive decision-making approach ultimately provides greater value for taxpayers.

The government is also delivering on its promise to implement policies for a new procurement code of conduct, conflict of interest, multi-staged procurement, and a consistent approach to debriefing vendors on procurement outcomes.

“We are very pleased to be moving forward with five more commitments from our 13-point Priority Saskatchewan Procurement Transformation Action Plan,” SaskBuilds Minister Gordon Wyant said.  “After more than 160 consultations with industry and the broader public sector, we know there is broad support for these best practice initiatives that are defining Saskatchewan as a national procurement leader.”

“Best value procurement is an important and significant change for how the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure will select partners to deliver transportation projects,” Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association President Shantel Lipp said.  “Our association is supportive of this move and feel it will create a competitive and innovative industry and applaud the government for moving ahead with all the initiatives in the action plan as promised.”

“Our members support the government’s move to best value procurement and appreciate the consultative approach the government has taken to developing a strategic action plan that will modernize and transform procurement in Saskatchewan,” Saskatchewan Industrial and Mining Suppliers Association Executive Director Alun Richards said.  “These are important steps and we look forward to further consultation and collaboration with the government.”

“We support best value procurement and its inclusion of local knowledge into the decision-making process,” Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – Saskatchewan Executive Director Beverly MacLeod said.  “We appreciate that the provincial government is responding to Saskatchewan businesses by taking key steps to ensure procurement policy is fair and balanced and see today’s announcement as delivering on their promise.”

Government has heard from stakeholders that the importance of these policies is significant.  To support a sustainable change, guidance material and training will be made available across government and information sessions will be offered for businesses.  More detail will follow.

Today’s news builds on the government’s previous Priority Saskatchewan announcement that effective September 1, 2015, it directed Crown corporations to take advantage of procurement exemptions available in the Agreement on Internal Trade.

Policies, which can be viewed on www.saskbuilds.ca, will be in effect across ministries and Crown corporations immediately and no later than March 2016.