Information Bulletin: Application of the Integrity Regime to Subcontractors
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This information bulletin is effective April 4, 2016.
The Ineligibility and Suspension Policy enables Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) to issue information bulletins associated with the policy to provide greater clarity for informational purposes only.
Application of the Integrity Regime to Subcontractors
Under the Integrity Regime, a supplier cannot subcontract with an ineligible or suspended first-tier subcontractor to perform work under a contract or real property agreement with Canada.
Subject to the exceptions listed below, any supplier that enters into a contract or real property agreement with an ineligible or suspended first-tier subcontractor, when advised of the ineligibility or suspension, or in circumstances where information about the subcontractor's ineligibility or suspension was reasonably available, will be ineligible to enter into a contract or real property agreement with Canada for five years.
A supplier becomes suspended or ineligible by determination of Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC). Until such determination is made, a supplier is eligible to be awarded a contract, first-tier subcontract or real property agreement.
The Ineligibility and Suspension Policy defines “first-tier subcontractor” as a subcontractor with whom a supplier has a direct contractual relationship to perform a portion of the work pursuant to a contract or real property agreement between the supplier and Canada (meaning all the activities, services, goods, equipment, matters and things required to be done, delivered or performed by the supplier under the contract or real property agreement), unless the subcontractor merely supplies commercial-off-the-shelf goods to the supplier.
Only those suppliers listed on PWGSC's Integrity Database are suspended or ineligible. The database includes the names of companies and individuals. Due to privacy considerations, the public list of suspended and ineligible suppliers, called the Ineligibility and Suspension List, does not include the names of individuals. The process for verifying the status of a supplier is described, below.
Verification process for sub-contractors
Contractors are required to verify the status of their prospective first-tier subcontractors prior to bid submission and before entering into a direct contractual relationship. Contractors can verify the status of a prospective subcontractor in one of two ways:
- For companies, the prime contractor must consult the public Ineligibility and Suspension List to confirm that the prospective subcontractor is not ineligible or suspended under the policy.
- For individuals, the prime contractor will be required to send a written request to the Registrar of Ineligibility and Suspension, along with a signed Integrity Verification Request for Subcontractor form from the prospective subcontractor permitting PWGSC to disclose to the supplier information regarding the prospective subcontractor's status under the policy.
Completed forms may be emailed to:
After receipt of the completed verification request form, PWGSC will notify the prime contractor in writing by email or post of the results of the request.
If a subcontractor becomes suspended or ineligible during the performance of a contract or real property agreement, the prime contractor may choose to continue with or terminate the arrangement.
- The Integrity Regime does not apply where the expenditure under a subcontract is below $10,000.
- If a prime contractor requires the services of a suspended or ineligible subcontractor (e.g., the only supplier capable of undertaking the subcontract work is ineligible), approval of the Contracting Authority must be obtained in advance.
To seek the approval of the Contracting Authority to subcontract with a suspended or ineligible subcontractor, the prime contractor must submit written justification as to why it requires the subcontractor. Suppliers must complete and submit the Integrity Regime Subcontractor Exception Form.
The completed Form must be emailed or mailed to the Contracting Authority.
After receipt of a duly completed Exception Form, the Contracting Authority will inform the prime contractor in writing by email or post if it may subcontract with the suspended or ineligible proposed subcontractor.
How to contact us
If you have questions, please contact the Integrity Regime team:
- Toll free:
- Date modified: