The Government introduces a new measure to strengthen procurement: The Code of Conduct for Procurement

The government has announced another key milestone in the implementation of the Federal Accountability Act and its associated Action Plan, with the introduction of the Code of Conduct for Procurement . The Code will aid the government in fulfilling its commitment to reform procurement, ensuring greater transparency, accountability, and the highest standards of ethical conduct.

The Code consolidates the government's existing legal, regulatory and policy requirements into a concise and transparent statement of the expectations the government has of its employees and its suppliers.

It ensures that public servants and suppliers are working from the same statement of expectations and commitments that clearly outline what is acceptable conduct when contracting with the government. Suppliers will not be required to have their own codes of conduct to do business with the government.

The Code complements other measures announced in the Federal Accountability Act and Action Plan – such as the appointment of a Procurement Ombudsman and of an Independent Advisor on Public Opinion Research practices – to strengthen openness, transparency and integrity in government procurement.

It provides a summary of existing law and does not change the law or its interpretation. The Code applies to all transactions covered by the Treasury Board Contracting Policy and requires that all those involved in government procurement abide by the legislation and policies outlined in the Code. It is a single point of reference to key responsibilities and obligations of public servants and vendors.

In developing the Code, the Government of Canada consulted broadly to seek input from key stakeholders – including suppliers, industry associations, government procurement officers and members of the general public. As part of the consultation process, a draft version of the Code was made available on the Public Services et Procurement Canada (PWGSC) Web site and on MERX, the government electronic tendering system.

The response to the Code from stakeholders was generally positive. A number of respondents suggested modifications to increase the clarity of the document, and these have been incorporated where appropriate. For example, an Application section was added to clarify that the provisions of the Code do not apply to Grants and Contributions. As well, in response to a number of comments received, the Code underwent further review to verify that it does not introduce any new obligations for vendors or public servants.

This announcement is part of the implementation of the Federal Accountability Act. Through the Federal Accountability Act and its accompanying Action Plan, the government has brought forward specific measures to strengthen accountability in government. More information on the Federal Accountability Act and Action Plan is available on the Federal Accountability Act web site.

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