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Supplier Advisory Committee Meetings

Record of Discussion
Supplier Advisory Committee
Shaping Procurement Together

February 25, 2015
1:30 – 3:00


  • Claire Caloren, Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Acquisitions
  • Hicham Adra, President, Ardan Fitzroy Enterprises Inc.
  • Caroline Landry for Desmond Gray, Director General (DG), Office of Small and Medium Enterprises and Strategic Engagement (OSME-SE)
  • Cassandra Dorrington, President, Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC)
  • Susanna Cluff-Clyburne, Director, Parliamentary Affairs, Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC)
  • Louis-Martin Parent, Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)
  • Mary Anderson, Executive Director, WBE Canada
  • Jac Van Beek, CEO, Canadian Association of Management Consultants (CMC)
  • Dorothy Milburn-Smith, CEO of Perfortics Consulting Inc. (for CMC)
  • Cindy Baker, VP, Government Relations and Policy, Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC)
Office of Small and Medium Enterprises and Strategic Engagement:
  • Susan MacKenzie, Policy Advisor, Supplier Engagement
  • Jennifer Situ, Junior Policy Analyst, Supplier Engagement
  • Rachelle Dean (secretariat), Policy Advisor, Supplier Engagement

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Hicham Adra opened the meeting and welcomed participants. Members were advised that PWGSC has a new Deputy Minister, George Da Pont, and that Acquisitions Branch has a new Assistant Deputy Minister, Lisa Campbell. Members approved the draft terms of reference as circulated prior to the meeting and agreed that the next meeting in June would be the in person meeting for the year, earlier in the month to avoid summer vacations. Claire provided a quick update on the Integrity Framework following the discussion at the last meeting, thanking members for the frank discussion at the last meeting and re-stating the government’s commitment to consult, though she was unable to confirm the timing.

SAC Sub-Committees – Update on Progress

Professional Services Sub-Committee:

Presentation and discussion summary:

Normand Masse, Director General of Services and Technology Acquisition Management Sector, provided an update on the progress by the sub-committee, including the establishment of leads to deal with each of the seven priority issues identified from a larger list of top supplier concerns.  He explained that the group was looking for quick wins and that the upcoming refresh of various tools could be an opportunity to apply some solutions. As well, he explained that the dialogue opened between industry and government leads for each of the procurement tools was in itself progress. When asked about timing and specific outcomes, he stated that the next meeting would focus on solutions, and the sub-committee members present at the meeting echoed his explanation that some issues on the list would be easier to address than others, and that some were long-standing issues that would require complex solutions. The members stressed that they were realistic in their expectations. It was pointed out that the issues were mirrored in the findings from the recent supplier consultation. The Co-Chairs suggested a project management approach to track progress against the various issues and that such an approach could be applied to other sub-committee work as well.

Risk Management Sub-Committee:

Presentation and discussion summary:

Sylvie Girard, acting Director General of Policy, Risk, Integrity & Strategic Management Sector, explained that the discussion about the proposed approach would be postponed to allow the sub-committee to discuss the proposal and to accommodate an interested member who could not attend the teleconference. In the meantime, Sylvie confirmed that they had agreement from both Shared Services Canada (SSC) and the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) about participating, with the SSC being a full member of the sub-committee. The sub-committee would hold a meeting in March, where Sylvie felt they could look at risk practices (and potential inconsistencies in application) and identify common irritants. As well, this group would participate in the review of the commodity groupings. By June, Sylvie committed that the list of irritants would be defined and potentially some recommendations, as some would be easier than others. Members present agreed that this work seemed to be headed in the right direction.

Industry Consultations on SMEs and Outreach

Presentation and discussion summary:

Claire began by explaining the difference between the two consultation initiatives, the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises (OSME) SME Study, which is a regular occurrence that checks in with suppliers about OSME services and barriers, and the Supplier Consultation Initiative (SCI) from November 2014, which sought direct feedback from suppliers about ways to improve procurement. She stated that an action plan to address the findings of the SCI was being developed. She expressed PWGSC’s commitment to acting on what was heard and that suppliers would be engaged to ensure actions taken were reflective and realistic. Lynn Ménard went through the presentation deck summarizing the supplier feedback and suggestions stemming from the SCI.  Members expressed a great deal of satisfaction with the summary, stating that it was very representative of feedback they get from their memberships, focusing on such things as buying strategically and innovation.   With regard to the SME Study, Lynn explained that the draft questionnaire had been shared with members in January and a few members committed to sending feedback and to discuss ways of increasing OSME’s reach to ensure both suppliers and non-suppliers participate in the survey. Members made suggestions about exploring unconventional ways to reach these groups and increase reach through word-of-mouth. There was also a suggestion to check in with SSC, who are also undertaking a socio-economic study with SMEs.

Forward Agenda

The agenda for the next meeting will include the discussion about the Risk Management sub-committee, an update from the Acquisitions Program Transformation (including Digital Transformation), and a further update on supplier consultations underway. Members can also communicate with Hicham Adra should they have additional items to propose.

Next Steps

The SAC secretariat will communicate with members about a number of administrative matters, including whether their offices are equipped for video conferencing and potentially developing a forward agenda.

Next meeting will be held in early June 2015.