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Supplier Advisory Committee Meetings

Record of Discussion
Supplier Advisory Committee
Shaping Procurement Together

June 19, 2013
9:30 – 11:30
Place du Portage, Phase III, 11A1-101


  • Pablo Sobrino, Associate Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM), Acquisitions (for Tom Ring)
  • Hicham Adra, President, Ardan Fitzroy Enterprises Inc.
  • Shereen Benzvy Miller, Director General (DG), Office of Small and Medium Enterprises and Strategic Engagement (OSME-SE)
  • Susanna Cluff-Clyburne, Director, Parliamentary Affairs, Canadian Chamber of Commerce
  • Louis-Martin Parent, Policy Analyst, Canadian Federation of Independent Business
  • Betty Wood, Lead Strategist, Women Business Enterprises, WEConnect
  • Leslie Eisener, Procurement Leader End Use Canada, Alcatel-Lucent (for WEConnect)
  • Glen Yonemitsu, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Canadian Association of Management Consultants (CMC)
  • Dorothy Milburn-Smith, CEO of Perfortics Consulting Inc. (for CMC)
  • Patrick Mann, President, Patlon Aircraft & Industries Ltd. (for Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC))
  • Jason Di Tommaso, Director, Business Development, StandardAero (for AIAC)
  • Janet Thorsteinson, Vice President (VP), Government Relations, Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI)
  • David Stapley, former Chair of CADSI
  • Linda MacLellan Oliver, VP, Policy and Competitiveness, Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC)
  • Debbie Robertson, VP, Federal Government, HP Enterprise Services (for ITAC)
Office of Small and Medium Enterprises and Strategic Engagement:
  • Lori Kibbee, Manager, Supplier Engagement and Regional Coordination
  • Susan MacKenzie, Policy Advisor, Supplier Engagement
  • Rachelle Dean (secretariat), Policy Advisor, Supplier Engagement

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Pablo Sobrino opened the meeting by welcoming participants and providing an update on presentations made to the committee at previous meetings. The launch of as the new authoritative source for government tenders and some features of the new site were presented and website statistics shared. Members will be provided with communication material to support them in informing their membership. They were invited to provide feedback or concerns with Shereen Benzvy Miller for consideration in future updates to the site.

A six-month pilot for a new service called "Learning from Bids", which was developed as a result of findings of the Small and Medium Enterprise Study of 2012, was announced and discussed. It was emphasized that this wasn't a review of a specific bid, but more a form of coaching after a few unsuccessful tries. Members agreed this would be a useful service and commented that it could also be a source of information to identify and seek to address systemic issues with procurement processes.

Finally, Shereen Benzvy Miller announced that the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program had now been made a permanent program and members should expect more information shortly, including a potential name change and information on the new military component of the program.

Procurement Transformation

Presentation summary:

Vicki Ghadban, the Director General responsible for the Acquisitions Program Transformation initiatives, sought feedback from members on progress made in implementing the Smart Procurement Initiative.

Discussion summary:

Members explained that they had seen progress on engagement in the past few years, but Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) would need to ensure trust is built through credibility and consistency and ensure engagement occurs early enough in the process to be strategic (when defining requirements, rather than consulting suppliers with a fait accompli). They discussed concerns around bundling of procurement requirements, both the impact it has on SMEs and the need to somehow recognize incumbent suppliers. Members raised the issue of the conflict which is created for associations between the confidentiality required to seek their expert advice and the need for broader engagement. Members voiced opinions with regard to identification of suppliers as "clients", and PWGSC will review and come back to the committee on this language. Members were encouraged to get in touch with Vicki to share any additional feedback.

Military Procurement - Update

Presentation summary:

Cathy Sabiston and Chris Boyle provided progress reports on the major defence projects underway at PWGSC.

Discussion summary:

Members discussed the pilot for two-phased bid evaluation, which was developed as a result of the lack of compliant bidders for the Integrated Soldier System procurement, and pointed out that at a minimum, considering the cost of bidding, more needed to be done about informing suppliers about the reasons they were disqualified. Members were generally supportive of the effort and understood PWGSC's position that careful development of the concept would be required to balance fair vs. smart procurement (a process which allows greater flexibility but avoids bid repair).

With regard to the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS), it was emphasized that the sequencing was important to ensure long-term work for Canadian shipyards and avoid the boom and bust scenario. It was raised that industry is uncertain how SMEs will access the estimated 70 to 80% of business from NSPS which will not be performed by the shipyards. Members identified issues with the military spend data provided, and PWGSC agreed to review and come back to the committee.

Military Procurement - Leveraging

Presentation and discussion summary:

Pablo Sobrino and Chris Baird gave an update on the "Leveraging Military Procurement" initiative, which builds on Budget 2013 commitments which were informed by the recommendations froma report produced by Mr. Tom Jenkins in his capacity as Special Adviser to the Minister of PWGSC concerning development of the Defence Procurement Strategy. This report is entitled "Canada First: Leveraging Defence Procurement Through Key Industrial Capabilities" (PDF 3.3MB) (Help with Alternative Formats). PWGSC, in collaboration with the Departments of National Defence, Industry, the Treasury Board Secretariat and International Trade, is now proceeding to develop a proposal for how best to implement the Strategy.

Use of rated "value propositions" as part of the bid evaluation process is expected to be part of the proposal. Value propositions will relate to the proposed benefit to Canada related to a given planned procurement. Program performance reporting and metrics across different departments were also identified as a challenge to calculating best value to Canada (benefits accrued from a given procurement would necessitate a common, centralized agreement on value). Members agreed that this approach would not cost more, as industry would adjust to the change.

Members also discussed how procurement processes would need to be shaped differently. Early engagement would allow identification of what the procurement intends to address, instead of determining what is needed based on the budget. This approach would allow greater innovation and competitive prices. Leveraging procurement may also be considered for other goods and services.

PWGSC wants to engage industry in the coming months. Members were invited to provide input or feedback to Chris Baird.

Forward Agenda

Members requested a discussion on the approach to procurement risk management within government and a discussion on procurement of professional services which would give it a similar treatment to that of military procurement during this meeting (overview and discussion of underlying thought process).

Next Steps

PWGSC committed to sending the record of discussion in July.

The next meeting will take place in the fall of 2013.