COVID-19 Supply Council in support of Canada’s response and recovery: Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates—June 9, 2020

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Key messages

Mandate

The Government of Canada has created a COVID-19 Supply Council which brings together a diverse group of leaders to provide the government with advice on the procurement of critical goods and services required as part of Canada’s COVID-19 response and recovery.

The council will is also providing advice on building innovative and agile supply chains for goods in wide use such as masks, gloves and disinfectants, including production, sourcing, shipping and distribution strategies as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve.

Structure of the council

The council is an advisory body reporting to the minister of Public Services and Procurement, who serves as the chair of the council. The council consists of 16 members from across the public, private and non-profit sectors. Members were selected for their expertise and leadership in their respective fields and their work on the council is on a voluntary basis.

The council first met on May 8, 2020, and will be convened until the end of the year, a term that the minister can extend if circumstances require it.

Current status

The council held its first meeting on May 8, 2020. The focus of the meeting was a roundtable discussion during which each council member provided a brief overview of the work their organization or sector was playing in supporting the supply of goods required to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Topics raised included the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) in various regions and sectors, the need for PPE in various sectors, and innovative practices to manage through this crisis, including establishing partnerships and new approaches.

The council’s second meeting was held on May 28, 2020. The council’s discussion focused on efforts underway to support buyers and sellers of PPE in the Canadian market. Council members discussed existing initiatives in provinces, territories, private sector and non-profit organizations to help link buyers and sellers of PPE, as well as the importance of providing information such as product specifications and guidance on the appropriate use of PPE in workplaces. Council members provided feedback and ideas for additional supports and tools that may be of assistance to Canadian buyers and sellers of PPE.

Meetings

The council will meet regularly at the call of the chair, and will meet by teleconference or videoconference given current travel restrictions.

Council members may recommend that the minister invite experts as guest speakers for specific council meetings where additional input may be warranted.

Remuneration and other expenses

The members of the council will be appointed by the minister and will volunteer their time for the work of the council.

Should members of the council be required to travel, they are eligible to be reimbursed for their travel, living and other expenses related to their work while absent from their ordinary place of work or residence. This reimbursement will be made in accordance with Treasury Board directives.

Secretariat

The secretariat led by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) will provide the council with the administrative services and facilities it needs to perform its duties and functions. The secretariat will support the minister in developing agendas for council meetings and identifying key public policy issues on which the minister would seek the council’s advice. The secretariat will also engage in fact-finding to inform the deliberations of the council, including interviewing experts who are not members of the council.

Communications

The minister will be the sole spokesperson for the work of the council and will be responsible for approving all communications material that would be made available publicly. Following council meetings, the minister may direct the secretariat to issue a public read-out of key recommendations or decisions.

Confidentiality and conflict of interest

Council members are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of all proprietary, confidential or privileged information that they are provided and will be expected to sign a non-disclosure agreement to that effect prior to volunteering their time for the work of the council. Members should also disclose to the secretariat any instances where their involvement in the council could lead to a conflict of interest.

Changes to terms of reference

These terms of reference may be reviewed periodically, and amendments may be made when deemed appropriate by the chairperson. Changes cannot, however, cause the terms of reference to deviate significantly from the council’s intent.

Membership

The following is a list of the COVID-19 Supply Council members:

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