Reviewing supplier complaints

Given the volume and complexity of contracts awarded and administered by the federal government, it is inevitable that issues will occasionally arise. The Office of the Procurement Ombudsman (OPO) strives to address these issues by resolving disputes between federal departments and suppliers. OPO receives procurement-related complaints on an ongoing basis and in such cases where the nature of the concern does not lend itself to other available remedies, the Office has the mandate to conduct an investigation.

OPO investigates complaints from suppliers about procurement practices associated with specific contracts.

Once a complaint has been filed, it will be assessed to determine if the issues fall within the regulatory parameters that govern the Office's activities. The Office will advise the complainant and implicated department of whether or not the complaint will be reviewed within ten working days of receiving all the required information.  We are required to provide the relevant department with the complaint document(s) whether or not the complaint will be reviewed. If the complaint is reviewed, we will request the implicated department provide us with their perspective and comments.

OPO's investigations involve the review of documents submitted by the complainant and the department and do not include interviews or witness statements. A determination on the complaint is rendered strictly on the basis of the information submitted to the office.

OPO will keep the complainant informed throughout the investigation. Once the investigation is complete, the final report, including recommendations, will be provided to the Minister of the relevant department, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and to the complainant. The results will be summarized on OPO's website and reported in the Annual Report.

For more information, please visit Make a complaint and OPO's Investigation summaries.

If you have a contracting issue but you are not sure whether you want to file a complaint, please contact us by calling our toll-free number: 1-866-734-5169 or via email at opo-boa@opo-boa.gc.ca