Due diligence in relation to COVID-19 contracts: Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates—June 9, 2020

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In the fast-faced and constant shifting market to secure necessary supplies to respond to COVID-19, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is working to ensure that appropriate due diligence measures are being applied throughout the procurement process.

Integrity Regime for contracting

In addition to a framework of legislation, regulations, programs and Treasury Board policies which guide the procurement process, PSPC administers the government-wide Integrity Regime. The regime is a rules-based debarment system that is designed to help ensure that the federal government does business with ethical suppliers in Canada and abroad.

PSPC has been applying the Integrity Regime to COVID-19 contracts and has been verifying suppliers’ status under the regime throughout. No contracts have been issued to ineligible supplier under the Integrity Regime.

Human trafficking: Ethical procurement

Canada recognizes that millions of people are in situations of forced labour worldwide in a multitude of industries. The Government of Canada is not exempt from the risk of purchasing goods that have been made by forced labour.

As part of the 2019 National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking, PSPC is working to revise the Code of Conduct for Procurement to include expectations for suppliers regarding human rights and trafficking. This is one of the first steps in a multi-pronged approach to ensure that federal procurement supply chains are free from human trafficking and labour exploitation.

PSPC also has a policy on the ethical procurement of apparel whereby suppliers selling apparel to the Government of Canada must self-certify that they and their first-tier subcontractors comply with local laws and international standards on labour and human rights. These rights include freedom from child labour, forced labour, discrimination and abuse, and access to fair wages and safe working conditions.

Due diligence process

In order to ensure that Canada gets the goods and services it needs to combat the pandemic, and that the risks in the procurement process are managed, the following due diligence measures are being applied:

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