Learn about the procurement dispute management and complaint processes

There are a number of dispute resolution bodies available to help you resolve your issues with a procurement. Learn more about the roles of each of the procurement bodies and when you can use them.

Note

In all cases, we recommend that your first step is to attempt to resolve the dispute through the contracting authority for your procurement. You can also contact the Office of the Procurement Ombudsman to review all avenues afforded to you.

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Contracting authority for the procurement

The contracting authority identified in the tender notice is responsible for the procurement and can explain the methods for addressing contract disputes in that department or agency.

The contact information for the contracting authority should appear on the front page of your contract document. Contact them to discuss your concern, or use the Government Electronic Directory Services (GEDS) to find the contracting authority’s supervisor.

When to use

This should always be your first step. Complaints can be raised during or at any point after the bid solicitation stage. If your dispute can not be resolved through the contracting authority, take a look at the other options below.

Business Dispute Management Program

The Business Dispute Management Program provides conflict prevention and alternative dispute resolution services to anyone experiencing difficulties with a contract where Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is the contracting authority. The program can help contractors, other government departments and PSPC employees.

When to use

Contact the Business Dispute Management Program in any of the following cases:

Dispute resolution resources

Consult the dispute resolution resources to help you manage a conflict, prepare for a discussion and better understand alternative dispute resolution.

Office of the Procurement Ombudsman

The Procurement Ombudsman reviews:

The Office of the Procurement Ombudsman encourages suppliers to come forward with any procurement issue as what may seem isolated may actually be widespread and systemic. The office has the authority to review these systemic issues and provide recommendations to federal organizations which promote fairness openness and transparency in federal procurement.

When to use

You may contact the Office of the Procurement Ombudsman if you have:

Contract dispute resolution services

The Procurement Ombudsman provides alternative dispute resolution services when disputes relating to the interpretation and application of the terms and conditions of a contract occur. One of the parties to the contract can request the service, whether the supplier or the federal organization. Both parties to the contract must agree to participate as it is a voluntary process. The office's alternative dispute resolution services offer an opportunity for parties to come together in a neutral setting to participate in confidential, open and constructive dialogue. When both parties agree to participate, the office's trained mediators have a successful track record of resolving disputes.

Canadian International Trade Tribunal

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal reviews complaints concerning federal government procurement covered by trade agreements.

When to use

Contact the Canadian International Trade Tribunal only:

Competition Bureau 

The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.

When to use

Contact the Competition Bureau only:

Get more help with procurement

Call the local number at 613-960-5663 or the toll free number at 1-833-831-3438 for assistance with conflict prevention and alternative dispute resolution services when selling to the Government of Canada.

Visit our contacts for procurement page to connect with the right people to provide you with answers to your questions, information about free seminars, and support for general procurement questions.

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