Reviewing government contracting practices

The Office of the Procurement Ombudsman (OPO or the Office) is in the process of adopting a new methodology that will assist in selecting topics for reviews of federal procurement practices, and is finalizing a three year strategic plan for Procurement Practice Reviews (PPRs).

OPO's methodology includes a process that involves the scan of all issues raised to our Office by suppliers, federal officials and media. A detailed assessment is carried out to identify the issues posing the greatest risk to the fairness, openness and transparency of the federal procurement system, and those that would be of most common interest to suppliers, federal officials and Canadians.

While most PPRs will be initiated through the three year strategic plan, OPO occasionally becomes aware of additional issues that can have significant impacts on the federal procurement system. As a means to explore these practices or issues, the Office may choose to conduct additional reviews.

A PPR is an independent, in-depth and objective review of federal government contracting practices. PPRs examine the application of contracting policies and assess the processes, tools and activities related to buying goods and services. The reviews provide OPO the opportunity to identify areas for improvement, make recommendations for change and highlight effective practices.

To determine the impact the Office's reviews have on federal contracting practices, follow-up reviews take place two to three years after the release of a report to assess the extent to which OPO's recommendations have been acted upon by federal organizations.

The Office also conducts studies on procurement-related topics. The objectives of these studies are to ensure the procurement community has a balanced understanding of the interests and concerns of government, suppliers and parliamentarians; to share effective contracting practices and to encourage dialogue and critical thinking.

Both reviews and studies examine past and current contracting practices, take into consideration the observations and findings of other government audits and assessments, and seek to promote effective contracting practices. Where reviews and studies differ is that reviews identify areas for improvement and provide recommendations to address them, whereas the intent of studies is to stimulate discussion and critical thinking.

Please visit the Practice Reviews—frequently asked questions page for more information.

Please visit our reports and publications page for all OPO reviews and studies published to date.

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