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Government Temporary Help Services Advisory Committee (THSAC) Meetings
Meeting Minutes Report– May 28, 2013

Place: Place du Portage, Phase III, Tower C, Boardroom 12C1-101A

Date: 28 May 2013

Time: 13:00 to 16:00

Meeting Agenda

  1. Opening Remarks
  2. THS Update – RENEWAL Acceptance of THSAC Meeting Minutes from April 30, 2013
  3. Vendor Performance Review
  4. Lessons Learned – Modification to Request for availability (RFA) / Request for services (RFS)
  5. THS Update
    • National Strategy for THS Assessment Framework
    • THSAC – Governance / Structure (Feedback)
  6. Round-table Questions

Meeting Attendees

  • Vincent Robitaille  (Chair), Senior Director – Professional Services Procurement Directorate (PSPD), Acquisitions Branch (AB), PWGSC – Chairperson
  • Dan Moorcroft, QMR Consulting & Professional Staffing
  • Jeremy Ingle, ACSESS
  • Martin Chenier,ACSESS
  • Brenda Harlow, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)
  • Lucie Lambert, Library and Archives Canada
  • Helen Seto, PWGSC, Office of Small and Medium Enterprises and Strategic Engagement
  • Rose Spirito, PWGSC, Procurement Strategies Division
  • Lan Mao, PWGSC, THS Team Lead
  • Stephanie Riley, PWGSC, THS Team

Meeting Minutes

1. Opening Remarks

  • Round-table introduction of the committee members in attendance
  • Ajay Bucktowar, PWGSC, in attendance as part of job-shadowing Vincent Robitaille
  • PWGSC provided a quick overview of the agenda for this meeting

2. THS Update – Renewal

  • No update to the schedule since the last meeting
  • Evaluations are still in progress, renewal expected to be completed and in place by July 1, 2013

3. Acceptance of THSAC Meeting Minutes from April 30, 2013

  • All in concurrence
  • Members inquired about when the minutes from the last few meetings will be posted on the THS website. PWGSC responded that they are working with internal communications group to ensure that publication protocols are followed. PWGSC will provide an update on this by next meeting.

4. Vendor Performance Review

  • Sub-committee representative presented their recommendation for the committee to review draft wordings to include in RFA and RFS to address Bait and Switch.
  • Committee members reviewed the recommended wording and discussed various scenarios of Bait and Switch. Committee also analyzed the pros and cons of moving to the next ranked supplier when the Bait and Switch event occurs. 
  • Client representatives pointed out that Bait and Switch often occurs a few minutes/hours after the call-up is signed.  Even, when the client has taken the exceptional step to confirm with the bidder that the resource is still available and receives written confirmation.  When that happens, it is challenging for clients to obtain another resource within the 10-day validity period using the same the search results under the SO.
  • PWGSC commented that the objective is to find a pro-active approach to find areas to curtail the behaviour and reduce occurrences of when the Replacement of Personnel will be exercised, and to develop a process to better monitor vendor performance.
  • Recognizing, the approach may affect suppliers that are not in the Bait and Switch situation, the impact would be minimal as the member agreed that direction to eliminate this activity was needed
  • The overall goal is to benefit the supplier community in the long run if the positive outcome of the approach can outweigh the cons. PWGSC will also ensure that as part of the implementation such as a clause to be added to the RFA and RFS documents, reporting by client would be required so that monitoring and assessment processes are put in place to determine how to address Vendor Performance on a going forward basis.
  • Committee members are to provide feedback on the recommended wording and PWGSC will seek legal approval before implementing it.
  • Sub-committee will continue to review other unacceptable practices under THS and present their findings to the committee.
  • Sub-committee asked if the Vendor Performance Corrective Measure Policy (VPCMP) database is being used and if it is a framework sub-committee can build upon on to develop THS vendor performance recommendations. PWGSC responded that the policy is there, but the limitation is that it is only to track for contracts awarded by PWGSC. And VPCMP is only invoked by termination by default. The policy does allow commodity-specific areas to be developed to add other trigger factors, e.g. translation services has supplier rating incorporated. That's why supplier consultation will be crucial in reaching mutual agreement in these areas and going forward to benefit all parties involved.

Action Item:

  • PWGSC will re-circulate the vendor performance provisions (distributed in January to committee members) for members to review.
  • PWGSC is to provide the recommended wording for initial input and will consult legal services for on-going advice in this area.

5. Lessons learned

  • PWGSC updated the committee on the proactive steps PWGSC is taking to address an issue brought up by the supplier community.  For THS classifications where multiple levels of education requirements are listed under the Minimum Mandatory Qualifications, some clients are asking suppliers to provide minimum education proof even though higher education proof is provided.
  • PWGSC provided committee with the drafted wording for the guideline to be added to the RFA and RFS form to clarify this. Committee members are all in agreement. Communications will also be sent to all existing THS users advising them of the new RFA/RFS. PWGSC expects to have this fully implemented by early June.

6. THSAC – Governance / Structure (Feedback)

  • PWGSC will be drafting Terms of Reference for this committee.
  • As a starting point, THS will circulate the Informatics Professional Services current terms of reference to baseline a model.  One Informatics Professional Services (IPS) has been a successful committee and also industry and suppliers are familiar with this structure. 
  • PWGSC will resolicit client participation to improve a cross section of client users attending the THSAC.
  • ACSESS is in the process of finalizing their 4 seat members and will communicate to PWGSC shortly.

Action Item:

PWGSC will circulate the IPS terms of reference to committee members for review and input.

7. THS Update

  • National Strategy for THS
  • Assessment Framework
  • Client Engagement Sector (CES) representative will be invited to the next meeting to present on next steps in the development of the national strategy. Agenda item will be added to the next meeting.
  • Primary objectives of this national strategy are to harmonize THS across the country and to review scenario-based situations to find the best way for clients to procure THS. The focus is on the government needs, not the tool itself.
  • Clients and suppliers will be invited to separate discussions.
  • No change on the Assessment Framework since the last meeting. A preliminary draft report will be tabled for discussion to the THSAC committee.  Periodic status will be provided through to the completion of the activity not expected until 2014.

8. Round-table Questions

  • ACSESS representative applauded the guidance PWGSC provided at the Canadian Institute for Procurement and Material Management (CIPMM) to address a client's question on how to invite suppliers. PWGSC recommended clients to research suppliers and engage suppliers in the conversations to find out which supplier offers what services.
  • For June, due to scheduling by some committee members, it was agreed to bring forward the meeting
  • Meetings for July and August will be merged into one in mid August due to summer holidays, a placeholder meeting will be issued for Tuesday, August 13, 2013.
  • Next Meeting:Next Meeting:  Tuesday, June 18 2013
    Time: 1300 to 1330 Registration with Commissionaire from 1300 to 1330 hours)
    Meeting: 1330 to 1600 Meeting timeslot
    Location: Place du Portage, Phase III, Tower C –PDP 3C2 101 Boardroom

Note the boardroom for this meeting is at PDP 3C2 101.

Meeting adjourned at 15:45