Procurement Ombudsman finds improper use of ACAN procurement instrument

For Immediate Release

July 25, 2011 OTTAWA – In his first official report as Procurement Ombudsman, Mr. Frank Brunetta concluded that the Public Service Commission (PSC) misused the Advance Contract Award Notice (ACAN) process in issuing four directed contracts.

In the report, submitted to the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, the Ombudsman states that the PSC had no basis for choosing the ACAN instrument to direct the four contracts. Furthermore, the report noted the PSC favoured existing contractors by tailoring requirements, all of which limited fair and open competition for other potential suppliers.

"It is evident mistakes were made in the use of these Advance Contract Award Notices," said Mr. Brunetta. "We hope the results of this review reinforce to the federal procurement community the importance of adhering to the rules that govern the use of ACANs."

The Office of the Procurement Ombudsman (OPO) performed an independent review of the four PSC ACAN files. This review revealed that the procurement of these contracts:

  • did not comply with the letter or intent of government procurement policies; and
  • did not support the principles of fairness, openness and transparency.

During the course of the review, the PSC informed OPO that it did not renew the four contracts for an additional year when the contracts expired in November 2010.

Established in 2008, as part of the Federal Accountability Act legislation, the Office of the Procurement Ombudsman is an independent organization with a government-wide mandate to strengthen the fairness, openness and transparency in federal procurement.

This report can be found on OPO's Website at

Media enquiries:

Office of the Procurement Ombudsman
Telephone: 613-947-9755

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