Ottawa, June 13, 2006….CATAAlliance, Canada's largest high tech association, has issued a legislative alert to vendors and MP's across Canada regarding serious missteps being taken by a federal department on procurement reform.
After eighteen months of Public Sector/Private sector consultations on workable procurement guidelines and frameworks, PWGSC (Public Works and Government Works Canada) has tabled arbitrary decisions running counter to their consensus commitments. Federal CIO's and Industry Canada were also apparently left out of the loop of consultations.
Key stakeholders such as vendors and association executives were caught off guard last week at a consultation meeting that presented new procurement approaches, including:
"We were totally blind sided by the scope, timing and secrecy of these announcements and dismayed by the inability of PWGSC to provide any rationale for its proposed changes," said CATA President, John Reid.
Reid added, "We engaged in what we thought was genuine collaboration ,involving some of our most senior people who offered guidance through PWGSC created Commodity Councils and other forums. They have lost trust and faith in the transparency of the process."
PWGSC has changed their "Way Forward" into a "Way Backward" policy directly against the grain of measures being taken by Canada's global competitors to enhance their innovative sectors.
Preliminary assessments by vendors and industry experts point to the negative impact of the proposed changes to procurement methodologies, such as:
A Better Way Forward
As part of advancing thoughtful Public Sector/Private Sector dialogue on best practice approaches to procurement, CATAAlliance recently presented a comprehensive discussion paper to PWGSC and Industry Canada on "Prosperity, Global Supply Chains and the Role of Government Procurement." Its objective-- to stimulate the entry of Canadian companies into strategic "Global Supply Chains", demonstrating that Public Sector Procurement can supercharge our economy by plugging our companies into the world economy -- without an increase in government spending.
Reid, concluded, "The fundamental issue remains the lack of an overall industrial/economic strategy and business model for Canada; others countries have and are using government procurement as an economic lever, why not Canada? There does not appear to be a single substantive vision for how the government should conduct procurement with the context of an industrial strategy."
The ICT sector alone contributes annually to the Canadian economy 550,000 jobs (with a three time multiplier for each job loss), $130 billion in revenue, $5.2 billion in R&D investment, $18.7 billion in exports and $10.8 billion in capital expenditure.
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Since 2005, CATAAlliance, the largest high tech association in the country, has been directing a VendorACT Campaign on behalf of the ICT vendor community to present its issues and concerns on the government-wide review of procurement and shared services initiative. The Campaign has included survey and research work, meetings with vendors, briefings of government and political representatives, media relations and development of communications materials.