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Client Consultations - Discussions with Clients

  1. Evaluations
  2. Other items important to Clients
  3. Grandfathering
  4. Client's views on ProServices
  5. Request for Proposals (RFPs)
  6. Categories
  7. Centralized Professional Services System (CPSS)
  8. Data Collection Component
  9. Master Level User Agreements
  10. Rates and Sole source
  11. Code of Conduct
  12. PWGSC Follow-up/Audit
  13. Security
  14. Training
  15. Other Questions by Clients

A. Evaluations

  1. Client departments will be adding specific evaluation specific criteria in individual Request for Proposals (RFPs). Detailed below is what Clients would like evaluated.

    1. Company – security clearance at SA issue date, minimum reliability with ability to get sponsored by PWGSC to get the clearances
    2. Minimum years in business: no objections to current criteria in PS Online
    3. Identification of categories of personnel:
      • Identify sub-categories and have suppliers demonstrate their experience (as an organization) of being able to perform that type of service. Individual RFPs will evaluate individual suppliers' experience.
      • Need to be able to see specializations of suppliers so that the search functions will be able to yield useful results, as some categories are extremely broad. This could perhaps be accomplished through Government Services Identification number (GSIN) and or keyword searches.
    4. Projects, value, number?

      Must submit certifications to qualify for the RFP – resources are not qualified at Request for Supply Arrangement (RFSA) stage – only suppliers. The Services and Technology Acquisition Management Sector's (STAMS) approach will respond to the views received from Clients for a process, which is not burdensome on Suppliers and avoids a lengthy (with respect to time) process.

      PWGSC response:

      New Suppliers and/or new categories can be added quarterly based on a process of "perpetual refresh".

      1. Security - To conduct a search in a system, security at the Supplier level must be addressed during the pre-qualification phase managed by STAMS. For example Suppliers must have DOS/Reliability at SA award. Suppliers can apply to PWGSC for sponsorship to upgrade by 1 level.
      2. Suppliers (not resources) will be pre-qualified based on 1 year in business, as well as experience in a category (completion of a project, which will be verified through a reference substantiation).
      3. Categories:
        • The categories in ProServices will be the same categories listed for Task and Solutions Professional Services (TSPS) [task based] and Task Based Informatics Professional Services (TBIPS). There will be no sub-categories, i.e. specific specializations. Sub-categories, i.e. specific specializations, are to be reflected in the individual RFPs.
        • ProServices will replace the 66 dated/broad categories currently in PS Online, with 149 (447 levels) updated categories. Furthermore, the categories in ProServices will continue to be updated based on a renewal process.
      4. Projects – PWGSC proposes to do reference substantiation for a Supplier's experience based on 1 project for each category which the Supplier wishes to be pre-qualified against, with the project being within the recent 5 years.
  2. Cllients asked why Suppliers must be in business for 1 year to qualify for ProServices and how will Suppliers demonstrate this?

    PWGSC response: This is the required length of time, which ensures that a business has been through a "year cycle". They must demonstrate this by providing a certificate of ownership or business registration or tax returns. A joint venture must have 1 member in business for the one year requirement.

  3. Clients asked if suppliers will have to submit supporting documents to qualify i.e. resume?

    PWGSC response: As PWGSC is not qualifying resources at the Request for Supply Arrangement (RFSA) stage, resumes do not need to be included, Clients would obtain these at the RFP stage.

  4. Clients asked if a minimum dollar value would be required for a project?

    PWGSC response: Projects have a wide range in value, e.g. could be as low as 1 day, however, the key element is that a Supplier must provide evidence of completing a project against a category. This is further supported by a reference substantiation. No dollar value for a project is required..

  5. Subcontractors experience - The following scenario and question was provided by a Client: If supplier ABC subcontracted some work to a subcontractor last year, and this subcontractor no longer works for the supplier, can this work be counted towards the suppliers overall experience with respect to a particular category?

    PWGSC response: Yes this experience can be claimed against a category.

  6. Client asked if a supplier that has a new resource who previously worked for another supplier, could use the new resources experience to pre-qualify against a particular category?

    PWGSC response: No - the experience the supplier uses to pre-qualify against particular streams / categories needs to have been gathered from resources who were employed by the Supplier at the time. The supplier cannot use a resource's experience if that resource gathered the experience while working for someone else.

  7. I have a requirement that is estimated to be about $65K and having done this type of requirement before, I expect the contract to be amended potentially pushing it over the NAFTA threshold. Once all the methods of supply have been harmonized, will I still have the option to use the bigger methods of supply for my requirement?

    PWGSC response: If you think that your requirement will go over the NAFTA threshold, then you must use the "bigger" methods of supply, i.e. TBIPS or TSPS, which are also available through the single ePortal of the Centralized Professional Services System (CPSS).

B. Other items important to Clients

  1. Ease of Use and ability to be able to choose one or more of the companies that we would like to solicit bids from (similar to TBIPS and TSPS) based on streams. Note: With 2000+ suppliers the lowest priced suppliers are very often unable to meet our requirements (see TBIPS/TSPS examples of this).

    PWGSC response: ProServices will reflect the Professional Services National Procurement Strategy and enable Clients to choose a minimum of 2 companies from a list of Suppliers appearing in a search result from the use of the Centralized Professional Services System. Furthermore, ProServices will provide Clients with the flexibility to fulfill requirements in accordance with the Government Contracting Regulations (GCR), i.e. choose 1 Supplier for requirements less than $25K. Lastly, in accordance with the Professional Services National Procurement Strategy, rates are not included in the system and will be part of the RFP process conducted by Clients.

  2. Clients need to be able to have access to the companies that have the right combination of skills to do the work, especially in more technical fields and there is a fear among users that some smaller more specialized companies may get lost. Also true for when clients may not be aware of qualified/capable suppliers.

    PWGSC response: The ProServices Method of Supply will have a process of re-competition (also known as renewal: re-validation/new data from all Suppliers), followed by perpetual (quarterly) refreshes for a period of time, returning to a re-competition cycle and ongoing refreshes.

  3. Narrow down streams to sub streams for some categories. With such a large number of potential suppliers (2000+) there is a big risk that broad streams will not yield suppliers with required knowledge/expertise/experience. If streams are narrowed down (ex. writer) it would allow users to send RFP's out to suppliers actually able and qualified to do the work. An example of this would be writer, as in the past there has only been Writer: Technical/Communication - the range of what field a "Technical" writer works in is extremely broad.

    PWGSC response: ProServices will replace the 66 dated/broad categories currently in PS Online, with 150 updated categories. These 150 categories reflect the current Task and Solutions Professional Services (TSPS) [task based] and Task Based Informatics Professional Services categories (TBIPS). Furthermore, the categories in ProServices will continue to be updated based on a re-competition process. There will be no sub-categories, i.e. specific specializations. Sub-categories, i.e specific specializations, are to be reflected in the individual RFPs.

  4. Keep information on website as current as possible. Time is often wasted sending RFPs to suppliers who have no interest in bidding and may not even be in business any more.

    PWGSC response: Data in the ProServices Method of Supply will be kept up to date through the re-competition process (also known as renewal: re-validation/new data from all Suppliers), followed by perpetual (quarterly) refreshes for a period of time, returning to a re-competition cycle and ongoing refreshes.

  5. Add more categories in the future that are not well represented now ex. Economist, Writer.

    PWGSC response: Initially, ProServices will include categories from Task and Solutions Professional Services (TSPS) [task based] and Task Based Informatics Professional Services (TBIPS), with other Methods of Supply such as Learning Services and Professional Audit Support Services (PASS), included in the future.

  6. Each supplier should have a profile page where they can provide information about their organization and also provide links to suppliers' website. This would be especially helpful when clients want to do a search to find suppliers that provide a specific type of service or have experience in a specific area of expertise.

    PWGSC response: This feature is already available in the single e-Portal, the Centralized Professional Services System (CPSS), under the CPSS Supplier Module. Completing a profile is part of the enrolment process.

C. Grandfathering

  1. What is meant by grandfathering?

    PWGSC response: Grandfathering means that once a Supplier is pre-qualified against one Method of Supply, e.g. Task Based Informatics Professional Services (TBIPS), the Supplier is not re-evaluated, i.e. substantiation is not required. For ProServices, existing Suppliers under Task and Solutions Professional Services (TSPS) [task based] and Task Based Informatics Professional Services (TBIPS) (Standing Offer and Supply Arrangement holders), will not be re-evaluated. These Suppliers would self-identify through the Centralized Professional Services System (CPSS) Supplier Module - Data Collection Component as being "grandfathered" and are required to complete certain area of data in the Data Collection Component, e.g. select Streams and Categories, however, no substantiation is required, e.g. projects or references.

  2. Why can't PS Online be 'grandfathered' as well?

    PWGSC response: It is not possible to "grandfather" the current PS Online suppliers because:

    1. all new categories will be replacing current PS Online categories;
    2. there has never been a validation process for the categories that the suppliers select in PS Online, i.e. actual experience against a category;
    3. PS Online is a dated system, with data dating back to the mid 90s.

D. Client's views on ProServices

  1. Client's asked if Statement of work (SOW) templates - will they be built around existing templates?

    PWGSC response: Templates are based on PWGSC standard templates. PWGSC is working on a more simplified RFP template for lower dollar value requirements. There will be templates available for Statement of Work, but they can be customized by client depts.

  2. Clients stated the need to use ProServices tool in emergency situations for contracts up to $100K (as they would not be subject to Trade Agreements in true emergency situations). This would allow Clients to be competitive and have access to pre-qualified suppliers even when we are facing an emergency.

    PWGSC response: Exemptions from the mandatory use of PWGSC's Standing Offers and Supply Arrangements exist for situations such as defined in the GCRs, as well as the exemption relating to a needed category not being available through any of the mandatory Standing Offers and Supply Arrangements. An exemption is obtained from PWGSC, by contacting the Method of Supply.

  3. Clients stated that given the ceiling rates will no longer exist Clients would like to have some kind of "average cost per hour/per diem" for categories. This could be used to help Clients come up with cost estimates as well as to help with price negotiations for sole source and single bid requirements. A dollar range for each category/level could be appropriate.

    PWGSC response: Average rates are not part of the current functions available in the single ePortal CPSS. As a general guide, a search of the Standing Offer component under Task and Solutions Professional Services (TSPS) [task based] and/or Task Based Informatics Professional Services (TBIPS) will provide a high level indication of the pricing range. Furthermore, it is planned to post on the Centralized Professional Services System (CPSS) web site, the median rate for each Method of Supply.

  4. Clients were concerned about travel from Ottawa to BC.

    PWGSC response: Clients will be able to do conduct a search against 6 regions and 12 metropolitan areas. Furthermore, within the search results, Clients will obtain information confirming that a Supplier has an office in the area. Travel costs, if required, are part of the resulting contract.

  5. Clients asked if there will be an algorithm to rotate vendors and how will vendors be chosen.

    PWGSC response: A minimum of 2 Suppliers must be identified as part of a search result, noting that PWGSC recommends 3. A Client must choose a minimum of 1 and the Centralized Professional Services System (CPSS) will add 1 through a random selection (which is different every time).

  6. Clients asked if there will be clear descriptions of what a supplier is supposed to do under their role listed in ProServices? i.e. What is a project manager?

    PWGSC response: Yes, there will be descriptions and levels provided for each role.

  7. Clients asked how can a Client do a sole source to someone in Edmonton?

    PWGSC response: Yes, you can limit your search by this metropolitan area.

  8. Client asked if there will be a contract creation function where a template contract will be generated with the appropriate terms and conditions?

    PWGSC response: At this time, there will be no template for contracts.

  9. Client asked how will ProServices deal with vendor performance?

    PWGSC response: It is planned to adopt the PS Online Assessment process to the Centralized Professional Services System (CPSS). Details will be communicated on this, as and when they become available.

  10. Clients asked if there be a questionnaire to ascertain which method of supply and category to be used?

    PWGSC response: Under ProServices there will be a minimal questionnaire to determine either IT or Non-IT requirement.

  11. Clients asked how long do suppliers have to wait to be accepted into ProServices? How often is the system refreshed?

    PWGSC response: A perpetual (quarterly) refresh process will be in place following the launch of ProServices in the Centralized Professional Services System. This will be followed by a re-competition process (also known as renewal) for the re-validation/new data from all Suppliers. The re-competition target is every 18 months.

  12. Clients asked why evaluation services was not a category?

    PWGSC response: Evaluation Services is category 9.12 under Stream 9 Business Consulting/Change Management.

  13. Client asked how can a category be filtered down further, i.e. from technical writer down to work description?

    PWGSC response: This would be done through the RFP process, under the heading of "additional criteria", following a search at the category level in the Centralized Professional Services System.

  14. Clients asked if there will there be someone to ask technical questions to and if there will be a generic mailbox?

    PWGSC response: The supply arrangement authority will be responsible for the process and is available to answer questions. There will be a generic mailbox and also day-to-day procurement support: RCNSpenligne.NCRPSOnline@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca.

  15. Clients asked if all suppliers will be pre-qualified?

    PWGSC response: Yes. The process begins with all suppliers enrolling in the Centralized Professional Services System (CPSS) Supplier Module. All suppliers will input information in the CPSS Supplier Module - Data Collection Component. If a supplier is a current (existing) supplier under Task and Solutions Professional Services (TSPS) [task based] and or Task Based Informatics Professional Services (TBIPS), the supplier can be "grandfathered", however input in the CPSS Supplier Module - Data Collection Component is still required.

  16. Clients asked if the new ProServices will be standing offers or supply arrangements and how much easier will it be to use for suppliers?

    PWGSC response: ProServices will only be a supply arrangement. For Standing Offers, the other Methods of Supply in the Centralized Professional Services System remain available for use.
    PWGSC response: The single ePortal CPSS, perpetual refresh (quarterly) and the Centralized Professional Services System (CPSS) Supplier Module - Data Collection Component will simplify the process for Suppliers, as well as enable Suppliers to increase their business opportunities, e.g. update information on a quarterly basis.

  17. Clients asked if the supply arrangements will give you consultant names?

    PWGSC response: Names of consultants will not be available. The names of consultants are part of the RFP process handled by Clients, following a search in the Centralized Professional Services System.

  18. Clients asked how to find a consultant or supplier in an area?

    PWGSC response: In the new process you can search by 6 regions or 12 metropolitan areas. Search results also indicate Suppliers who have a local office in the area.

  19. Clients asked how long is it for Suppliers to enroll and be evaluated

    PWGSC response: The evaluation process once running will be quarterly.

  20. Clients asked if it will be material management or real property to use this?

    PWGSC response: ProServices is for requirements below $78,500, so material management can use it.

  21. Clients asked if a search by number of year's of experience could be completed?

    PWGSC response: No, the search is based on categories and levels, ie.junior,intermediate or senior. The descriptions for the levels will be available on the Website.

  22. Clients asked if the use of the SOW and Evaluation criteria builders was mandatory to use by procurement officers?

    PWGSC response: No, Though the use of builders is encouraged as they aid in creating complete information.

  23. Clients asked if ProServices will offer the same type of quick registration for Suppliers?

    PWGSC response: One of the major changes is that ProServices will not register Suppliers; Suppliers must enroll and be pre-qualified. A perpetual (quarterly) refresh process will be in place following the launch of ProServices in the Centralized Professional Services System. This will be followed by a re-competition process (also known as renewal) for the re-validation/new data from all Suppliers. The re-competition target is every 18 months.

  24. Clients asked why rates were removed from the SA,as rates were very useful when estimating the amount of a requirement.

    PWGSC response: As a result of the consultations for the Professional Services National Procurement Strategy, it was determined that higher rates were produced as a result of establishing firm rates for the Supply Arrangement. Firm rates are to be established through the RFP process handled by Clients, following a search in the Centralized Professional Service System (CPSS). To assist Clients in estimating work, a search of the Standing Offer component under Task and Solutions Professional Services (TSPS) [task based] and/or Task Based Informatics Professional Services (TBIPS) will provide a high level indication of the pricing range. Furthermore, it is planned to post on the Centralized Professional Services System web site, the median rate for each Method of Supply.

  25. Clients asked if PWGSC was going to have enough time to verify whether or not the rates do not surpass the ceiling rates? This seems like another added step for PWGSC to handle.

    PWGSC response: There will be no ceiling rates gathered during the RFSA process. As requirements under ProServices are competitive, you will be receiving competitive prices for your requirement (fair market value) when your RFPs are sent to suppliers.

  26. Clients stated that in PS Online amendments are issued up to 50% of the original dollar value this still applies in ProServices?

    PWGSC response: Under ProServices, you can amend a contract as long as it does not exceed the NAFTA threshold of $78,500, (including taxes, T & L, GST/HST, etc.)

  27. Clients asked if a requirement could be further defined through extra criteria?

    PWGSC response: Yes but you must keep the criteria in line with the description of what that particular category is and avoid re-evaluating the experience of the company, which was part of the pre-qualification process for ProServices.

  28. Clients asked if ProServices will be applicable in Comprehensive Land Claims Agreement (CLCA) areas?.

    PWGSC response: ProServices will enable Clients to conduct a search of aboriginal suppliers. At present, responding to CLCA requirements must occur outside of ProServices.

E. Request for Proposals (RFPs) prepared by Clients

  1. Clients expressed concern about travel from Ottawa to BC.

    PWGSC response: Clients will be able to do conduct a search against 6 regions and 12 metropolitan areas. Furthermore, within the search results, Clients will obtain information confirming that a Supplier has an office in the area. Travel costs, if required, are part of the resulting contract.

  2. Clients expressed concern that resources may not be available when an RFP is competed.

    PWGSC response: ProServices pre-qualifies the experience of the Supplier to deliver under a category. Resources, with the skills and experience requested by a Client, are submitted at the RFP stage and evaluated by the Clients. Replacement of Personnel clause is in effect at the time of contract award.

  3. Clients aked what will the RFP template be based on?

    PWGSC response: It will be based on PWGSC standard templates, however, PWGSC is currently looking at a more simplified version of the RFP.

F. Categories

  1. Regional Clients asked how changes to categories can be identified, eg: the need for an additional role under a category?

    The addition of a category starts at the larger Method of Supply level, e.g. Task Based Informatics Professional Services (TBIPS), and would be included in ProServices as part of a ProServices' re-competition process. You can suggest changes to categories by contacting the Business Owner of the Method of Supply. If accepted the new category would be added through the re-competition process.

  2. Clients asked if the Forensic Audit Stream under PASS-SA accommodate a sole source, once PASS-SA is part of ProServices?

    PWGSC response: It is highly unlikely that any requirement that falls under "Forensic Audit" will be below NAFTA, but hypothetically speaking, yes, it may be able to be covered under sole source as long as it does not exceed NAFTA - however it would depend on the overall particulars of the requirement.

  3. A Client stated that often requirements for a Nuclear Specialists arises and asked how the mandatory tools for that type of requirement can be handled.

    PWGSC response: If your requirement does not fall under a professional service Method of Supply, you will need to continue to contract using your own departmental procedures that you currently have in place.

  4. Clients asked how often will the categories be refreshed?

    PWGSC response: Refreshes are perpetual, i.e. quarterly. Suppliers can submit a proposal at any time, with new data for the Supplier or new Suppliers added to ProServices on a quarterly basis.

G. Centralized Professional Services System (CPSS)

  1. Clients asked if a shortcut to CPSS could be created?

    PWGSC response: Yes, however you still have to enter a user name and password.

  2. Clients asked when will the SOW and evaluation criteria builders be available for use for all Methods of Supply in CPSS?

    PWGSC response: Statement of Work and Evaluation Criteria builders are in the processes of being developed. Please contact Daniel Paquet for further information at Daniel.paquet@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca.

  3. Clients asked if there will be a check list for what is required to do the whole process.

    PWGSC response: Yes, information will be available to Clients through information posted on the CPSS web site, as well as online training. More information will be provided on this topic in the coming months.

    In addition, there will be a questionnaire in CPSS, to determine either IT or non-IT.

  4. Clients asked if it was going to be more difficult for a Supplier to register or navigate and when will a supplier be able to register.

    PWGSC response: One of the major changes is that ProServices will not register Suppliers; Suppliers must enroll and be pre-qualified. A perpetual (quarterly) refresh process will be in place following the launch of ProServices in the CPSS. This will be followed by a re-competition process (also known as renewal) for the re-validation/new data from all Suppliers. The re-competition target is every 18 months.

  5. Clients asked if there will there be links on the e-portal to Supplier Registration Index (SRI)?

    PWGSC response: Yes, there will be a link to SRI (PBN)

  6. Clients asked if Clients will we be able to see the list of suppliers on e-portal?

    PWGSC response: The list of suppliers will only be available through a search in the Centralized Professional Services System (CPSS).

  7. Clients asked how Clients will find supplier for a directed contract?

    PWGSC response: You would do a search under categories, and generate a list of suppliers, then choose the one that you want.

  8. Clients asked who decides who has access to e-portal CPSS?

    PWGSC response: The first step is enrollment. A Federal Department employee would enroll through CPSS Client Module. The employee's supervisor will be required to approve the request. The Federal Department employee will be required to complete online mandatory training, following which, credentials will be released enabling access to CPSS.

H. Data Collection Component

  1. Clients asked if the Data collection component will list levels of category for the suppliers?

    PWGSC response: Yes it will.

  2. Clients asked how do Clients know which levels a firm would have.

    PWGSC response:. Suppliers will be pre-qualified for all levels in a category and through the RFP process the experience needed for the work will be established by the Client and evaluated.

  3. Clients asked if registration in ProServices going to be paper-based?

    PWGSC response: No, the process will not be paper-based. One of the major changes is that ProServices will not register Suppliers; Suppliers must enroll and be pre-qualified. A perpetual (quarterly) refresh process will be in place following the launch of ProServices in the Centralized Professional Services System (CPSS). This will be followed by a re-competition process (also known as renewal) for the re-validation/new data from all Suppliers. The re-competition target is every 18 months.

  4. Clients asked if Suppliers are going to be audited to verify that their information is correct?

    PWGSC response: Yes, as part of the evaluation of proposals, a supplier's experience and qualifications will be validated.

I. Master Level User Agreements

  1. Clients asked if they have a User Agreement, will they still need to sign a new one?

    PWGSC response: Every effort will be made to have departments sign the Master Level User Agreement (MLUA) to have access to the Centralized Professional Services System. Eventually the new Master Level User Agreement will replace the current ones.

  2. Clients asked if there will be a List of users on the Master Agreement?

    PWGSC response: No there will not, all users in the Department will be able to be granted access to ProServices.

  3. Clients asked if the Master Level User Agreement takes into account departments that have up to $4 million delegated authority?

    PWGSC response: There is no amount specified in the Master Level User Agreement.

  4. Clients internal to PWGSC asked, how does the Master Level User Agreement works?

    PWGSC response: They will not be required to have a Master Level User Agreement.

J. Rates and Sole Source

  1. Clients asked if they can use their own internal contracting template for sole sourcing within our department?

    PWGSC response: As ProServices is a mandatory tool, the PWGSC template containing specific clauses relevant to the dollar value for your requirement (i.e. sole source) is to be used. When the Master Level Agreement is signed with your department, you agree to use our templates.

  2. Clients asked if Proservices must be used for any requirements that are sole sourced (under $25K)?

    PWGSC response: Yes, departments must use ProServices.

K. Code of Conduct

  1. Clients asked if Suppliers will need to fill out the criminal record form to apply for ProServices and if the Code of Conduct is addressed in ProServices?

    PWGSC response: Yes, the code of conduct certification is addressed in ProServices, as well as our PWGSC templates. At the present time, suppliers need to submit a list of board of directors of the company.

    This is one of the advantages of using ProServices.

  2. Clients asked if government departments need to go to PWGSC to get the names of the Board of Directors?

    PWGSC response: No, PWGSC will ensure information is in our documentation.

L. PWGSC Follow-up/Audit

  1. Clients advised that in order to prepare for future ProServices client audits/verifications, it would be helpful to have some idea of what will be requested from Clients (in advance) to ensure that we have this information at hand (i.e. What must be included in every file).

    PWGSC response: The assessment framework for ProServices will be modeled based on the assessment framework for PS Online. Revisions to the assessment framework for PS Online are being validated through a pilot project currently underway. In summary, the major change is the elimination of the Corrective Action Report prepared between STAMS and the Client. The checklist for assessments is currently posted on the PS Online web site.

  2. Clients stated that consistant feedback/advice from PWGSC ProServices team is needed.

    PWGSC response: Consistent feedback and advice will begin with standardized training, i.e. a single session for all professional services, excluding temporary help services, included in the single e-Portal of CPSS. This is followed by standard business rules common to all professional services, excluding temporary help services, which translates to continuous consistent feedback and advice to our Clients.

  3. Clients stated the need to be able to make "Procurement business decisions" as required – for issues that come up. Sometimes in the past PS Online advisors have given "Procurement 101" advice as opposed to advice on the tool itself

    PWGSC response: The goal of a single training session and common business rules, described above, is expected to eliminate this situation, noting that this does not preclude seeking advice from PWGSC for requirements that are more complex, may not be suited for ProServices and/or may be covered by exemptions on the mandatory use of PWGSC's Standing Offers and Supply Arrangements.

  4. Clients asked what are the terms for the reporting requirements; will there be assessments done for auditing purposes; and will there be client reporting required?

    PWGSC response: There will be no client reporting requirements under harmonized ProServices. There will be an assessment framework for CPSS and it will be based on random selection. Supplier reporting will remain, however.

  5. A Client asked why questions (i.e. audit) were received after The Client used CPSS?

    PWGSC response: Random procurements are chosen to ensure rules are being followed.

M. Security issues

  1. Clients advised of the need for pre-screening at Reliability or higher to qualify (not declaration). Also PWGSC needs to clarify that there is a difference between individual vs. organizational screening.

    PWGSC response: All suppliers on ProServices will have the minimum of Designated Organization Screening (DOS), as a result of the re-competition or refresh process. Once pre-qualified and if required, an upgrade of 1 level up, can be sponsored by PWGSC, if requested. This has been communicated to all PS Online suppliers, through email and at consultations.

  2. Clients asked if they can do their own security clearance for a supplier for ProServices?

    PWGSC response: No, PWGSC must do the security clearance as client departments are using a PWGSC-tool, however, some departments still require doing their own security, i.e. Royal Canadian Mountain Police (RCMP).

  3. Clients asked what the cost was to client departments to have a supplier security cleared and if it is now done on a cost-recovery basis?

    PWGSC response: There would be no cost to a client department, as each supplier has to have a minimum Designated Organization Screening (DOS) for ProServices.

N. Training

  1. Clients asked if the SOW builder training could be taken without taking the other mandatory client training?

    PWGSC response: Presently, there is no training for the Statement of Work builder, however, the use of the Centralized Professional Services System (CPSS) is subject to mandatory training.

  2. A Client asked how training for ProServices can be accessed if the Client is not in the procurement field?

    PWGSC response: When you enroll in CPSS, you will be required to complete the online training prior to receiving credentials to access CPSS.

  3. Clients stated the preference to go back to a specific area not whole document and to also put training on GCPedia or Buy and Sell.

    PWGSC response: Clients will have to complete the entire training. Clients will be able to go back into it afterwards as a resource guide. The location of the Online training courses is being investigated. Further information will be provided.

  4. Clients asked when will online training be available on the system?

    A link to information on Harmonized Training is on the CPSS website The courses are run by the Production Learning Management System, which is software designed to run eLearning. The following is the link to the Centralized Professional Services ePortal website and for Online Training.

  5. Clients asked if online training was mandatory if you are already enroled in CPSS?

    PWGSC response: Yes. The Online Training is a mandatory training that all users must take again. The online training is currently being deployed as a pilot project with Department of National Defence (DND). Once the pilot project is complete, it will then be available to all other federal departments to use. Users will have a certain amount of time where they will be able to take the online training (for example: 3 months). Users who have not completed the training will then be sent a reminder and if after that they still have not taken the training, their CPSS access will be temporarily removed until the training is complete.

    For ProServices, training of existing Federal Department Users of PS Online will be initiated in October 2013. This will involve:

    • Receiving an email with co-ordinates for enrollment in CPSS and online training Enrolling in CPSS
    • Completing the online training (both components: Standing Offer and Supply Arrangement)
    • Once training is completed, the certificate (pdf version) is to be sent to the CPSS generic inbox.
    • Credentials to access CPSS will be released.

O. Other Questions by Clients

  1. Clients asked what does "end-to-end" learning services mean?

    PWGSC response: "End-to-end" means the strategic analysis, design, development, programming, multimedia, project management, and/or delivery.

  2. Clients aked why SELECT isn't being integrated in ProServices?

    PWGSC response: This is not part of the Professional Services National Procurement Strategy.

  3. Clients asked if there will be a link for buyers to see the solicitation documents, Standing Offers, and Supply Arrangements?

    PWGSC response: Adding links to the Centralized Professional Services System (CPSS) web site will be considered.

  4. Clients asked if suppliers can still market themselves to the Government of Canada?

    PWGSC response: Yes.

  5. Clients asked if temporary help will come under CPSS/ProServices?

    PWGSC response: No, temporary help will not be part of ProServices, however, temporary help services will be part of the Centralized Professional Services System (CPSS) ePortal.

  6. Clients asked if Solutions-Based Informatics Professional Services (SBIPS) will be under ProServices?

    PWGSC response: No, due to the nature that most requirements are over NAFTA threshold; however it will also be harmonized (i.e. common business rules).

  7. Clients asked if standing offers For TSPS and TBIPS could still be used?

    PWGSC response: Yes, the Standing Offers covering the categories in ProServices can still be used.

  8. Clients asked if suppliers could be blacklisted when the Supplier perform poorly?

    PWGSC response: They cannot be blacklisted. The suggestion that Client feedback on vendor performance be part of the assessment process will be considered.

  9. Clients asked if the Trading Partner Agreement (TPA) was being removed?

    PWGSC response: Yes, TPA is being removed when PS Online is sunset and will not be part of ProServices. The TPA is replaced with a Supply Arrangement.

  10. Clients stated that Clients would like an option in CPSS for a search for research purposes only.

    PWGSC response: This is noted as a possible future enhancement to CPSS.

  11. Clients asked if other Methods of Supply could be used when it was anticipated that a $65k requirement would be attended to an amount greater than the NAFTA threshold?

    PWGSC response: If you think that your requirement will go over the NAFTA threshold, then you must use the other Methods of Supply, i.e. TBIPS or TSPS (at this time)