Government of Canada's Integrity Regime
The Government of Canada is committed to open, fair and transparent contracts and real property agreements. A strong government-wide Integrity Regime has been put in place to ensure that the Government conducts business with ethical suppliers in Canada and abroad. It will foster ethical business practices, ensure due process for suppliers and uphold the public trust in the procurement process.
The Integrity Regime consists of:
- the Ineligibility and Suspension Policy;
- any Directives issued further to the Policy; and
- any clauses used in instruments relating to contracts
The Integrity Regime applies to any procurement, standing offer, supply arrangement, contract, real property transaction, real property agreement or other instrument above $10,000 that incorporates the Policy by reference that is issued by a department or agency identified in in Schedule I, I.1 and II of the Financial Administration Act, and any other federal entity that voluntarily adopts the Policy.
The Policy does not apply to certain specified contracts, real property agreements and other instruments (e.g., transfer payments, financial contracts and transactions with other orders of government). A complete list of exclusions can be found in the policy.
PWGSC will determine a supplier Footnote 1 to be ineligible in the following circumstances:
- The supplier has been convicted, at any time, of an offence listed in the policy that results in the loss of capacity to contract with Her Majesty or to receive any benefit under a contract between Her Majesty and any other person under the Criminal Code and Financial Administration Act.
- The supplier was convicted, in the past three years, of an offence listed in the policy under the Criminal Code, Competition Act, Income tax Act, Excise tax Act, Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act, Controlled Drugs and Substance Act and Lobbying Act.
- The supplier entered into a subcontract with an ineligible supplier.
- The supplier provided a false or misleading certification or declaration to PWGSC in relation to the policy.
The precise list of offences can be found in the Ineligibility and Suspension Policy.
PWGSC may, in its discretion, determine a supplier to be ineligible in the following circumstances:
- The supplier was convicted, in the past three years, of an offence in a jurisdiction other than Canada that, in PWGSC’s opinion is similar to an offence listed in the policy.
- The supplier’s affiliate was convicted in the past three years of an offence found in the policy, or in PWGSC’s opinion, of a similar offence in a jurisdiction other than Canada and, in PWGSC’s opinion, the supplier directed, influenced, authorized, assented to, acquiesced in or participated in the commission of the offence.
- In the opinion of PWGSC, the supplier breached any term or condition of an administrative agreement entered into with PWGSC pursuant to the policy.
PWGSC may suspend a supplier from contracting, or entering into a real property agreement, with Canada if the supplier has been charged with, or admits guilt of certain offences listed in the policy, or is charged with, or admits guilt of, in PWGSC’s opinion, a similar offence in a jurisdiction other than Canada.
PWGSC will not make a determination of ineligibility in respect of a listed offence if the supplier demonstrates that it or its affiliate (if applicable) has been granted an absolute discharge, conditional discharge (and has satisfied the conditions), a pardon or a record suspension.
PWGSC will also not make a determination of ineligibility in a case where a supplier demonstrates that it has benefited from a foreign measure which in PWGSC’s opinion is similar to a Canadian pardon.
Period of ineligibility suspension
In most cases, a supplier determined to be ineligible will be ineligible for a period of 10 years.
- A supplier may reduce this period of ineligibility by a period of up to 5 years by entering into an administrative agreement with PWGSC.
If a supplier has lost the capacity to contract with Her Majesty it will be considered to be ineligible until it has regained that capacity.
If a supplier subcontracts with an ineligible supplier, they will be ineligible for a period of 5 years.
A supplier suspended will be ineligible for a period of 18 months subject to extension pending final disposition of the charges.
PWGSC may make determinations of ineligibility and suspension:
- On its own initiative;
- Upon request from a supplier; or
- Upon request from another federal organization to which the policy applies.
Suppliers will be notified of their ineligibility/suspension and provided information of the process(es) available to them.
In cases of similar foreign offences or convictions of an affiliate, a supplier will be able to present evidence and written submissions to PWGSC prior to the final determination.
A supplier may request a limited review of a determination of ineligibility on the sole basis that it did not direct, influence, authorize, assent to, acquiesce in or participate in the commission of the offence of which its affiliate has been convicted.
An administrative agreement may be required:
- to reduce the period of a supplier’s ineligibility;
- to enter into a contract or real property agreement further to a Public Interest Exception where time is not of the essence;
- in lieu of, or to stay, a suspension; or
- in lieu of terminating an existing contract or real property agreement due to a determination of ineligibility or suspension.
Monitoring of the terms of an administrative agreement would be conducted by an independent, qualified third party monitor paid for by the supplier.PWGSC has a public listing of suppliers with administrative agreements.
The Public Interest Exception applies in circumstances in which it is necessary to the public interest to conduct business with an ineligible supplier .
Possible circumstances necessary to the public interest could include:
- an emergency where delay would be injurious to the public interest;
- the supplier is the only person capable of performing the contract or providing the real property agreement;
- the contract is essential to maintain sufficient emergency stocks; and
- not entering into the contract or real property agreement with the supplier would have a significant adverse impact on the health, national security, safety, public security or economic or financial well-being of the people of Canada or the functioning of any portion of the federal public administration.
The exception is applied on a case-by case basis by the contracting authority issuing the contract or real property agreement.
When a Public Interest Exception is involved, an administrative agreement between PWGSC and the supplier is required.
A Public Interest Exception cannot be invoked, and/or an administrative agreement concluded in situations where the supplier is without capacity to contract with Canada.
A supplier cannot subcontract with an ineligible supplier. A supplier is required to verify the status of their prospective first-tier subcontractors prior to bid submission.
Should a supplier require the services of a suspended or ineligible sub-contractor, they will require written consent by the contracting authority.
Any supplier that enters into a contract with an ineligible sub-contractor without written consent in circumstances where information about that subcontractor’s ineligibility or suspension was reasonably available to the supplier will be ineligible for five years.
Treatment of affiliates
If an affiliate of a supplier has been convicted of a listed offence in Canada or a similar offence in a jurisdiction outside of Canada, an assessment will be made to determine if the supplier directed, influenced, authorized, assented to, acquiesced in or participated in the commission of the offence that led to the affiliate's conviction. If this is the case, the supplier will be determined ineligible.
Suppliers will be required to retain the services of an independent third party at their expense to undertake the assessment of their involvement in the actions of the affiliate that led to the conviction. This assessment will be provided to PWGSC and a determination will be made by the Minister.
Treatment of existing contracts after conviction
If a supplier is determined to be ineligible or suspended during the performance of a contract or real property agreement, the contracting authority may terminate the contract or real property agreement for default. Suppliers will be afforded an opportunity to show cause as to why the termination should not be exercised.
An administrative agreement between the supplier and PWGSC may be required if a decision is taken to not terminate the contract or real property agreement.
By submitting a bid, a supplier certifies that:
- It has read and understands the Ineligibility and Suspension Policy;
- It understands that certain domestic and foreign criminal charges and convictions, and other circumstances, as described in the Policy, will or may result in a determination of ineligibility or suspension under the Policy;
- It is aware that Canada may request additional information, certifications, and validations from the supplier or a third party for purposes of making a determination of ineligibility or suspension;
- It has provided with its bid a complete list of all foreign criminal charges and convictions pertaining to itself, its affiliates and its proposed first-tier subcontractors that, to the best of its knowledge and belief, may be similar to one of the listed offences in the Policy;
- None of the domestic criminal offences, and other circumstances, described in the Policy that will or may result in a determination of ineligibility or suspension, apply to it, its affiliates and its proposed first-tier subcontractors; and
- It is not aware of a determination of ineligibility or suspension issued by PWGSC that applies to it.
Third party monitoring and verification
In specific situations, suppliers will be required to obtain and pay for the services of an independent, qualified third party to:
- Monitor and verify the progress and compliance of suppliers as per the terms of their administrative agreement.
- Provide information with respect to foreign charges and convictions.
- Validate information provided by the supplier with respect to the level of participation in the commission of a listed offence by an affiliate.
- Provide information to determine whether a reduction in a supplier’s ineligibility period is warranted through an administrative agreement.
- Confirm measures have been put in place, after a period of ineligibility has expired if an administrative agreement was not in place, to avoid the re-occurrence of the types of wrongdoing that led to the ineligibility.
The Minister of PWGSC will make all determinations of ineligibility.
The Integrity Regime will be administered by PWGSC on behalf of the Government of Canada and will be governed by Memoranda of Understanding between PWGSC and other departments and agencies.
PWGSC produces a public listing of ineligible and/or suspended suppliers. Only the names of suppliers that are companies are posted publically. The names of ineligible individuals are not posted for privacy reasons.
- Footnote 1
Supplier: An individual or company seeking to do business with the Government of Canada.
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