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Supplier Advisory Committee
Sub-Committee on Risk Management
Record of Discussion - May 22, 2015

Place du Portage, Phase III, 7C1-100


  • Janet Thorsteinson, Vice President, Government Relations, Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries
  • Iain Christie, Executive Vice President, Aerospace Industries Association of Canada
  • Jonathan Danis, Supply Team Leader, Procurement & Material Policy, Planning & Governance, Shared Services Canada
  • Matthew Sreter, Chair of the Supplier Advisory Sub-Committee on Risk Management, Senior Director, Risk, Quality and Integrity Management Directorate, PWGSC
  • Quang Duong, Director, Business Analytics Services Directorate, PWGSC
  • Ricardo Seoane, Manager, Risk, Quality and Integrity Management Directorate, PWGSC
  • Rachelle Dean, Policy Advisor, Supplier Engagement and Regional Coordination Directorate, PWGSC
  • Joanna Olender, Policy Analyst, Risk, Quality and Integrity Management Directorate, PWGSC

Opening Remarks:

The new Chair introduced himself, welcomed the participants and assured them that the Sub-Committee is both a personal priority and a priority of PWGSC. The participants introduced themselves.

Update on the status of the Sub-Committee on Risk Management:

The Chair reviewed the genesis of the Sub-Committee - that it is to report to the Supplier Advisory Committee with recommendations on a more balanced approach to risk management.

Industry members clarified for the Chair that their desired purpose is to look at the broader issues of risk management, and to not necessarily only address PWGSC’s tools or areas of responsibility. Of particular interest to industry are the questions of who is best placed for negotiating risk, who should be the custodian of which risks, and what kind of federal policy changes could be implemented to address risk and bring Canada’s approach closer to international standards or other jurisdictions.

Action Item:

  • The Chair committed to bringing the issue of the Sub-Committee’s scope to the Supplier Advisory Committee’s attention, in order to receive clear direction on whether the purpose is to address PWGSC policy or broader federal policy.

Review of Commodity Groupings:

The Chair provided background information about the Review and briefly described the work plan prepared by Interis, highlighting industry participation. The Chair sought input from industry as to whether their level of involvement would be satisfactory and if any changes should be made to the plan before PWGSC tenders a contract for carrying out the Review.

The industry participants in attendance noted that the Review of Commodity Groupings is not a principle interest in risk management for them; however, it was mentioned that the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) may have comments.

Action Item:

  • Attendees were invited to email written comments on the work plan to Joanna Olender by May 29, 2015, if possible.

Position Paper on Risk Management:

The Chair situated this agenda item:

  • In February 2015, the members of the Sub-Committee received a copy of a proposed outline for the paper from the previous Chair.
  • In past meetings, the members had come up with a list of potential risk ‘irritants’ to industry (such as a lack of harmonisation in the application of risk management policies between federal departments; the inability to quantify risk; and the transfer of costs for required insurance to Canada).
  • As well, some potential solutions were suggested (such as aligning risk management with Smart Procurement policies; involving industry in risk management through consultations; and adopting models for risk management from other jurisdictions).

As the prime focus of the Sub-Committee, the current Chair asked how industry would prefer to move forward with this paper and if there were any comments on the outline provided via email. A key interest identified during the meeting was for the paper to explain how risk is managed within the Government of Canada and, in particular, to clearly delineate responsibilities, with a hope that the government could move away from automatically defaulting to policies and procedures and instead rely more on the use of judgement. As well, there was great interest in a review of best practices from other jurisdictions.

Industry members offered to invite several of their constituents to a broader forum convened by PWGSC to:

  • delve into the issues that face practitioners with respect to risk;
  • allow government to gain a better understanding of how companies deal with risk;
  • identify the sources of missed opportunities and sub-optimal proposals; and
  • explore potential solutions or best practices.

With respect to the involvement of industry in the development of the paper, it was felt that the best role would be for the associations to provide information and support from members, but not be involved in the actual drafting or preparation of the final paper. It was felt that the decision to write the paper internally or to contract out the work is a decision best left to PWGSC.

It was noted that industry associations are welcome to share the proposed outline with their membership in order to solicit feedback. The Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) extended an invitation to the Chair to speak about the project to its members in June.

Action Item:

  • PWGSC will target June or July 2015 to organize a venue through which industry association constituents can present their perspective on risk management.
  • Industry associations are invited to share any information that could be useful for the development of the paper, including in-house research, with PWGSC, via Joanna Olender.

Roundtable and Concluding Remarks:

The Chair confirmed that an update regarding this Sub-Committee would be provided at the upcoming Supplier Advisory Committee meeting on June 9, 2015. The Chair inquired as to when the Sub-Committee should meet again. While it was thought that it may be premature to meet before the forum for the development of the position paper, the soonest that would be convenient for industry would be late June 2015. The position paper and an update on the Review of Commodity Groupings were added to the forward agenda.