Formative Evaluation of the Office of the Procurement Ombudsman

Shortly after being appointed Procurement Ombudsman, I commissioned a formative evaluation to assess the Office of the Procurement Ombudsman's overall effectiveness during the first three years of operations, namely between 2008-09 and 2010-11. My intent was to utilize the evaluation results to guide any necessary adjustments to improve our service delivery to suppliers.

To assure myself that this work was neutral and independent, two steps were undertaken:

  1. A private sector contractor was engaged to carry out an evidence-based analysis, which included obtaining the views of the supplier community and departmental officials; and
  2. An external advisory committee, consisting of senior private sector and federal government officials, was established to provide feedback and advice on matters related to the formative evaluation.

I am pleased to make available the results of this work. The formative evaluation report concludes that the OPO has been implemented as intended and that there is an ongoing "strong" need for the services provided by the Office. The report identifies areas to be further examined in order to address three issues raised by suppliers involved in the evaluation, specifically:

  • Whether departments should be able to decline participation in an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process once it has been requested by a supplier as this reduces the effectiveness of this method of resolving procurement disputes.
  • The OPO should continue its existing outreach plan to increase awareness and access to OPO services so as to maximize awareness of the OPO among suppliers to the federal government.
  • A significant number of suppliers and some government officials indicated that the mandate of the OPO should be expanded to better address the complaints of small and medium sized businesses regarding federal procurement. Additional analysis is being undertaken to assess the advantages and disadvantages of doing this.

The report also identifies areas where we can improve our operations, namely through reporting on our service standards and developing additional performance indicators.

I have accepted the recommendations made in the report, and a corresponding action plan is being implemented. I am confident that pursuing the areas identified in the independent evaluation report will go a long way in better serving the many suppliers who supply goods and services to federal departments and agencies.

Frank Brunetta
Procurement Ombudsman

Final Report

Report Prepared For:

Office of the Procurement Ombudsman

July 30, 2012

Submitted By:

Don Ference, President
Ference Weicker & Company Ltd.
550-475 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 4M9
Tel: 604-688-2424(extension #304)

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