Office of the Procurement Ombudsman perspectives e-newsletter summer 2014 edition


As many of you have heard at the 21 town hall meetings held across the country in the past year, OPO is here to help companies supplying goods and services to the federal government. With a 36% increase in the number of contacts to our office, it appears our town hall messages have hit the mark.

Are you still wondering if OPO can help? Here are some concrete examples of how we helped Canadian businesses that contacted us:

  • A supplier realized he could fulfill the requirement of a solicitation, despite not being included on the list of suppliers invited to submit a bid. Upon asking the department for a copy of the solicitation, the supplier was informed he could not be included as he had not initially been invited to submit a proposal. Unsure about the department's explanation, the supplier called OPO. Upon contacting the department, it became clear that a list of invited suppliers should not be considered exclusive, and the supplier was then included in the competitive process.

  • Upon having a contract terminated “for convenience”, a supplier requested OPO's alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services. The supplier sought clarification for the termination and wanted assurance that business could be done with the same department in the future. While the department initially felt they had “little to offer” through the ADR process, they agreed to participate. The process was ultimately successful as both parties were able to express their point of view and a mutual agreement was reached.

  • A supplier filed a complaint about a department which accidentally misplaced his proposal. The Procurement Ombudsman found that the misplacement did not result in the supplier losing a reasonable prospect of being awarded the contract. However, the department did not respect the implied contractual duty of treating all bidders fairly when the supplier's proposal was not evaluated prior to contract award along with the other proposals. Accordingly, the department informed OPO it had taken corrective measures to ensure such a situation does not happen again.

These are just a few examples of the help we are able to provide. Looking ahead, we will continue to strive to do more of what we do best: answer questions, explain procurement processes, de-escalate contract disputes and help resolve procurement issues.

So if you are experiencing difficulty with a federal government contract, give us a call…we are here to help. 1‑866‑734‑5169 or

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