Risk-based contract approvals for the Department of National Defence


Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is delivering on Government commitments to modernize procurement for all suppliers and Canadians.

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Canada’s defence policy - Strong, Secure, Engaged - announced that the National Defence budget will increase from $18.9 billion in fiscal year 2016-17 to $32.7 billion in fiscal year 2026-27. This increase will have direct implications for defence procurements that are subject to review by PSPC and Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS).

As the exclusive authority to acquire defence supplies and construction projects, PSPC is always actively working to identify opportunities to streamline the Department of National Defence (DND) procurement approval process that falls under PSPC auspices to better meet the needs of the Canadian Armed Forces. Currently, PSPC’s authority to enter into contracts is established based on a combination of the type of commodity and the procurement strategy, and the dollar value.

Through collaboration between PSPC, TBS and DND, an 18-month pilot project for risk-based contract approvals was approved in November 2018. The pilot allows for low risk and lower complexity procurements from DND to be approved within PSPC at the Assistant Deputy Minister level, with TBS concurrence, even if the procurement exceeds PSPC’s existing contracting limits.

In support of the delivery of the Government’s commitments under the defence policy, it is anticipated that the approval process for these contracts will be simplified for PSPC, DND and TBS, resulting in faster timelines for the approval of a number of low risk, high dollar value DND procurements.

Between November 2018 and September 2019, ten contract authority submissions for defence procurements were determined to be eligible for inclusion in the pilot.

PSPC and DND are currently working with TBS to determine next steps before the end of the pilot in April 2020.

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