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Backgrounder: Piloting a streamlined approval process for defence procurements

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) plays a key role in supporting Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, a multi-billion dollar investment in defence equipment and infrastructure over the next 20 years.

As part of its efforts to modernize and streamline procurement, PSPC has launched an 18‑month pilot to assess a risk-based approach to approving contracts for defence procurements. This is intended to help Canadian Armed Forces members receive the equipment they need faster, without compromising on oversight and due diligence.

Normally, PSPC is required to seek Treasury Board (TB) approval for all defence contracts above its contracting limits, regardless of the risk and complexity of a particular contract. Those limits are:

During this pilot, PSPC will work in partnership with the National Defence (DND) and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) to assess contract risk and complexity using existing risk matrix tools and processes. This includes considering a number of factors, such as the number of business rules, the size of the procurement or contract, supplier history and the impact of trade agreements. It also includes security constraints in protecting federal government data and information related to the technology being procured or used as part of a service

Based on this assessment and with the concurrence of TBS, procurements considered low risk and low or medium complexity will be recommended for approval within PSPC.

Procurements considered higher risk and complexity will continue to require TB approval, where the dollar value of the contract exceeds PSPC’s contracting limits.


PSPC, DND and TBS will work together to evaluate the pilot’s success in reducing administrative burden and focusing resources on higher-risk procurements to help deliver procurements faster and ensure that DND obtains the goods and services it needs when it needs them.

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