Buying and Selling

A. Key Services

We provide departments and agencies with the expertise needed to acquire complex commercial goods and services. Procurement Tools and Services

  • Assistance throughout the procurement lifecycle, including for emergency procurement PRIORITY SERVICE!
    • Identifying the goods or services to be purchased
    • Selecting the most effective procurement approach to managing the bidding process
    • Acquisitions Program policy development and support
    • Using the Government Electronic Tendering System (GETS), etc.
  • Support for standing offers, supply arrangements, etc.
  • Complex procurement support for major acquisition projects:
    • Seeking appropriate approval of complex procurement strategies
    • Supporting industrial benefits/value proposition
    • Supporting government approval of major acquisition projects
    • Supporting joint procurement-related Treasury Board submissions for project and/or contract approval (expenditure authority)
    • Reporting on major projects to various stakeholders/departments
    • Performing secretariat function for complex procurement projects
  • Additional services and expertise:
    • Market research to identify product availability
    • Product planning
    • Method-of-supply studies
    • Maintenance of a statistical database and reporting capability
    • Procurement tools to support the electronic procurement function
    • Shared Travel Services

Client Relationship Management

  • Effective engagement
  • Reliable communications
  • Monitoring client satisfaction
  • Issues management
  • Strategic planning and service agreements
  • Program oversight

B. Featured Initiatives

We are transforming and creating new services to better meet our clients' needs and ensure effective stewardship on behalf of Canadians. (Increasingly user-friendly!) is a web service that allows government buyers and business suppliers to find procurement information. The Government Electronic Tendering Service (GETS) is hosted at The Tender Management Application for other government departments and agencies (OGDs) allows clients to directly enter their tenders for goods and services opportunities.


  • Single point of access to supply-related policies, procedures, tenders, Goods and Services Identification Numbers (GSINs), contract history and standing offers / supply arrangements.
  • Full search integration allows users to find procurement information and identify related policies, procurements, and commodities.
  • Open data services provide interoperability:
    • Users can analyze government procurements and collect business intelligence based on past patterns and anticipated new procurements.
    • Procurement data is recorded consistently so that there is a common definition of the information structure; this cleaned-up data helps to streamline audit, spend, and contract analyses.

Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) (Expanded to include a military component!)

A research and development procurement program designed to bridge the pre-commercialization gap by supporting Canadian companies in moving their innovations into the marketplace.

The top-ranked prequalified innovations are matched with federal departments, which act as the first buyer and user of these Canadian innovations.


  • Federal departments can test state-of-the-art Canadian innovations, improve operations, and enable more effective service delivery to Canadians.
  • The initiative gives departments the opportunity to meet with potential suppliers to discuss challenges and needs, and explore how these suppliers can assist in meeting their operational requirements.

What's new:

  • The program's fourth call for proposals, the first to include the new military component, closed in January 2014.
  • Results of evaluations are currently available.
  • The latest call for proposals was released in spring 2014.

ADM Advisory Committee on Procurement Modernization NEW!

An ADM committee that identifies and discusses challenges faced by the procurement and supplier's community in order to provide recommendations on how the Government's procurement management function can show best value to Canadians.

The Committee is composed of ADM-level representatives of 15 departments/agencies, including the Treasury Board Secretariat, and is chaired by PWGSC's Associate Deputy Minister. The meetings are held three times a year or at the request of the Chair to assess the procurement environment (e.g. the legal and policy framework, delegation framework, governance, emerging pressures on procurement, capacity issues); consider the future direction of procurement and share views and positions on given topics.


  • Strengthen procurement governance.
  • Provide an innovative forum for departments and agencies to address common challenges.
  • Improve communication and strengthen the business relationship between PWGSC, central agencies, departments and agencies.
  • Serve as a forum to discuss upcoming policy and tactical changes prior to their implementation, in order to benefit from the procurement community's insight.

Acquisitions Program Policy Suite

A new Acquisitions Program Policy Framework and clear, consistent, and comprehensive policy instruments used to enhance the Government of Canada (GC)'s procurement function.


  • Enable the Acquisitions Program to be as efficient and effective as possible, while empowering the procurement community to achieve PWGSC's mandate.
  • Clarify the Acquisitions Program's policy environment.
  • Efficiently and effectively support the Acquisitions Program's knowledge transfer.
  • Document and disseminate procurement best practices.
  • Bring greater consistency and flexibility to the procurement function.

What's new:

  • In June 2014, five new instruments were implemented to support the Acquisitions Program Transformation, namely, Smart Procurement Framework, Information Management Framework, Policy on the Use of Independent Advice in Procurement, Policy on Considering Benefits for Canadians in Government Procurement and Guideline on Ensuring the Participation of Small and Medium Enterprises in Government Procurement. NEW!

Smart Procurement NEW!

An approach consisting of four principles that guide PWGSC in the way we conduct procurement: Early Engagement, Effective Governance, Independent Advice and Benefits for Canadians.

Early Engagement

Early engagement refers to bringing clients and suppliers together at the beginning of the procurement process and throughout the entirety of the process to encourage collaboration and dialogue, leading to the best possible solutions for clients.

Effective Governance

Effective governance refers to project-specific structures that are established to ensure that project decisions, risks and issues are visible and have clear and defined escalation mechanisms. This also helps to mitigate the traditional risks associated with involving suppliers in early engagement.

Independent Advice

Seeking independent advice during the procurement process means soliciting the input of an objective third party, typically an industry expert, to validate any element of a given procurement.

Benefits for Canadians

Considering benefits for Canadians involves reviewing the potential socio-economic benefits throughout the procurement process. It implies that federal procurement is about job creation, innovation, increasing opportunities for suppliers, and reducing barriers for small and medium-sized businesses and Aboriginal businesses, all of which are considered when awarding contracts.


Smart Procurement principles are aligned with the core values of procurement: openness, fairness, transparency and stewardship.

These four smart procurement principles aim to:

  • Deliver improved results for clients.
  • Enable success.
  • Increase the credibility of the government procurement process.
  • Produce greater benefits for Canada and Canadians.

New Shared Travel Services Solution

A single destination to access a comprehensive, end-to-end set of corporate travel services. Shared Travel Services provides innovative features, such as:

  • Online application for corporate travel cards.
  • Fully integrated learning management system with comprehensive training modules and user guides.
  • Integrated Accommodation and Car Rental Directory.
  • Expanded inventory, including lowest discount fare classes not previously accessible in the system.
  • Green house gas emissions information.


  • Leveraging large travel volumes in order to negotiate savings with preferred suppliers.
  • Reducing paper-based manual processes for environmentally-friendly directives.
  • Automating processes wherever possible to reduce repetitive efforts.
  • Centralizing data to help identify travel spending trends.
  • Presenting greater transparency of travel costs to support decision-making.
  • Offering a simplified process for carrying out rapid audits if required.
  • Providing clear itemized and cumulative data to accountable managers.

What's new:

  • Next-generation Shared Travel Services Portal launched on April 7, 2014. NEW!
  • PWGSC acknowledges that some issues exist currently and is working on solutions to address them.

C. What's coming

  • Integration with e-procurement systems at Shared Services Canada (SSC) and Defense Construction Canada (DCC) is underway this fiscal year.
  • Common Business Number Hub Integration activities with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Industry Canada are in progress to align the collection of supplier information with new service to business objectives.

Smart Procurement

PWGSC via the Acquisitions Digital Program will procure and begin implementation of an e-procurement solution by December 2016, a highly efficient and streamlined electronic procurement tool that allows timely and responsive acquisition of goods and services. It will replace outdated legacy systems, supporting the procurement activities with modern electronic tools making it easier for clients to procure the goods and services they need to deliver their programs, and easier for suppliers to do business with the federal government.

The e-procurement solution will provide a flexible platform that builds upon existing solutions and the best practices available in the marketplace to:

  • Support and drive efficiencies in current business activities; and
  • Enable PWGSC to respond to changes in how business is delivered over time.

The e-procurement solution will:

  • Increase effectiveness and efficiency at many levels, including contract creation, online posting, bid receiving, evaluation, and verifying supplier performance;
  • Make procurement faster, cheaper, and more transparent;
  • Reduce process redundancies and automate more processes to allow contracting officers to focus on providing expertise;
  • Increase the amount of open-data available to suppliers;
  • Minimize paper use for faster processing times and improved information tracking; and
  • Be more user-friendly and interconnected with other Government of Canada technologies.

D. Ensuring Value for Money

  • Since the launch of this web service, PWGSC has published 2,948 tenders, 2,222 amendments and 4,808 awards. The site was visited 1,769,340 times and 450,499 tender notice documents were downloaded.
  • Third-party providers are using procurement open data for their services including the following:,,,,,,, and


  • Timely and flexible access to the private sector;
  • Experience in establishing supply arrangements and standing offers;
  • The ability to use purchasing power and to maximize value to the government and Canadians;
  • Valuable market intelligence owing to our regional presence across the country;
  • Compliance with the legislative, regulatory and policy framework for federal procurement, including Canada's national and international trade agreements, Comprehensive Land Claims Agreements, Government Contracting Regulations and Treasury Board Contracting Policy compliance with contracting rules and international trade agreements requirements; and
  • The establishment of Acquisitions Program risk management tools.

Shared Travel Services

Shared Travel Service's extensive travel management experience results in:

  • Overall lower transaction fees;
  • Lowest fare guarantee;
  • Independent third party audit of lowest fare guarantee;
  • Integrated future travel credit system;
  • Dynamic price adjustments in line with travel volumes and service level performance; and
  • Leveraging of large travel volumes to negotiate savings with preferred suppliers.

E. Service Standards, Results and Targets

We have achieved 2 of our 8 targets for Buying and Selling services. Where we have shortcomings, we are striving to address the issues to better serve our clients.

In 2014-2015, we will continue to focus our efforts on contracts of higher complexity.

Table Summary

The Table on Service Standards, Results and Targets for the Buying and Selling service category shows service targets and results for 2013-2014, and service targets for 2014-2015 for the following services: Procurement Tools and Services; and client Relationship Management. The table also indicates if the results are available by client in 2013-2014.

Buying and Selling Target 2013-2014 Result
Available by Client Target 2014-2015
Procurement Tools and Services
Acknowledge receipt of client requisitions sent electronically (e.g. by email) within 1 business day 95% 99.8%Indicates that the target was met or surpassed 95%
Acknowledge receipt of client requisitions sent by fax or mail within 2 business days 95% 92% 95%
Provide clients with their procurement officer's name and contact information within 5 business days of allocation or requisition 80% 73% 80%
Provide 24/7 access to emergency procurement n/a n/a   100%
Award contracts in the National Capital Area and regions within the following timeframes based on contract value:
  • Between $25,000 and $100,000, within 80 workings days
  • Between $100,000 and $400,000, within 100 working days
  • Between $400,000 and $1,000,000, within 100 working days
80% 80%Indicates that the target was met or surpassed Replaced by service standards based on complexity defined below.
80% 77%
80% 64%
Award contracts in the National Capital Area and regions within the following timeframe based on asset level of complexity:
  • Basic Footnote * procurement contracts, within 80 working days NEW!
  • Standard Footnote ** procurement contracts, within 120 working days NEW!
n/a n/a   80%
n/a n/a   80%
Client Relationship Management
Acknowledge clients' inquiries within 1 business day Footnote *** 95% _
(Result not available) Footnote ****
Respond to clients' inquiries within 3 business days Footnote *** 95% _
(Result not available) Footnote ****

Indicates that the target was met or surpassedIndicates that the target was met or surpassed.
Indicates that the target has increased or the result has improved from the previous yearIndicates that the target has increased or the result has improved from the previous year.


Footnote *

Basic Procurement is clear; the requirement is known and identifiable and evaluation methods are simple

Return to footnote referrer *

Footnote **

Standard Procurement requires added judgment, review, and assessment, using existing technology and knowledge.

Return to footnote referrer **

Footnote ***

In 2012-2013, the service standards applied to inquiries addressed to client account executives as well as all other Acquisitions Branch staff at the manager level and above.

Return to footnote referrer ***

Footnote ****

A Client Relationship Management tool will facilitate tracking in the future.

Return to footnote referrer ****

If you would like to have the service standard results for your department (where the information is available), please contact your Account Managers for Government Buyers.

We take our commitments on service standards very seriously. If you have any concerns related to our service standards or have any suggestions on how we can improve our services, feel free to contact us at

F. Addressing Shortcomings and Client Issues to Increase Satisfaction

Example 1: Addressing shortcomings

PWGSC has been experiencing challenges in meeting client service standards for Buying and Selling, but is committed to addressing client concerns. To address the shortcomings, PWGSC's Acquisition Branchis reinforcing the use of the functionality within the Automated Buying Environment by providing detailed monthly reports and information (i.e. training materials) when and where necessary.

Through detailed analysis, PWGSC is seeking to identify inconsistencies in the procurement process in order to develop a management action plan that will seek to enhance service delivery to clients. It is also moving to adopt new standards based on complexity of procurement services which will enhance the scope of the standards as they will include basic and standard transactions regardless of the dollar value. These new service standards are expected to more clearly reflect the reality of new procurement processes.

Example 2: GCpedia Smart Success Stories

Check out Smart Procurement Success Stories at Acquisitions Program Transformation - APT News Flash

Example 3: Government of Canada Invests in New Boots for the Canadian Armed Forces CLIENT-CENTRIC!

In order to achieve the most successful design possible, PWGSC and the Department of National Defence (DND) conferred with Canadian footwear manufacturers about the features soldiers were looking for in a combat boot. These findings that leverage Canadian industry and innovation were used as the starting point for the requirements of the new designs.

A total of thirteen boots were received for evaluation through a Request for Proposal, and went through a process of assessment based on appearance and technical performance. The top three boots were selected for a user evaluation trial.

In October 2013, a total of 600 soldiers were issued a pair of one of the three trial products and were directed to wear the boots for 45 days while conducting normal duties and training, and evaluate the boots on the new requirements.

At the conclusion of the trial period, soldiers evaluated the performance of the boots, and it was determined that two out of the three pairs had achieved the needed performance rating. Accordingly, both pairs were approved for distribution as part of our commitment to providing Canada's men and women in uniform with the tools they need to do their job at home and abroad.

Example 4: More Than $2 Million in Savings Achieved Through the Future Travel Credits (FTCs) Transfer Service SAVINGS!

Every year, GC departments and agencies collectively lose millions of dollars in expired FTCs. This often occurs because infrequent travelers do not travel before FTCs expire, and because departments do not transfer FTCs within their organization owing to a lack of dedicated resources and the complex coordination required to effectively manage FTCs.

In early 2013, Shared Travel Services (STS), in partnership with Travel AcXess Voyage (TAV), launched an enhanced FTC Transfer Service to facilitate and automate the transfer of FTCs between travelers within the same organization. The FTC Transfer Service led to reduction in the number of expired FTCs, resulting in significant savings in travel expenditures.

Within eight months, the FTC Transfer Service surpassed $2 million in savings for GC departments and agencies. In that time, 27 GC organizations opted in to the service and realized substantial savings.

G. How satisfied are you?

As a result of the 2009 Ekos survey, various analysis and recommendations were done to determine appropriate method of increasing overall satisfaction with PWGSC Acquisitions Branch. The Post Contract Assessment Process was a means of benchmarking the successes of the various initiatives of AB's ongoing programs.

  • Quarter 1 to Quarter 3 of Fiscal Year 2013-2014 – 74% satisfaction rating. (Results in Q4 were not available due to technical difficulties in collecting the data)
  • Fiscal Year 2012-2013 – 72% client satisfaction rating.
  • Benchmark: 2009 Ekos Survey – 51% client satisfaction rating.

Another annual client satisfaction survey conducted between September 3 and December 31, 2013 by the Communication Procurement Directorate (CPD) with an overall response rate of 41% had the following result:

  • In 2013, 98% of respondents were either very satisfied or satisfied with the services CPD provides.

Follow-up with specific project authorities was completed as warranted, and opportunities for improving service were implemented. For more details on this survey, please contact your account executives.

H. To learn more about