The 5 pillars of the Office of the Procurement Ombudsman

The 5 overarching Pillars below form the core of the Office of the Procurement Ombudsman (OPO) and the work that we do for Canadians:

  • Diversity
  • Simplification
  • Transparency
  • Knowledge Deepening and Sharing (KDS)
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)


Diversity is at the heart of OPO. It reflects our people, our views, and our commitment to our stakeholders. OPO seeks to promote Diversity and Inclusion both in the workplace and the community by applying the D&I lens to its mandated activities, including staffing actions, learning opportunities, research studies, and services that help diversify the federal supply chain. OPO strives to be a leader in the Government of Canada in promoting diversity and inclusion in both official languages.


OPO believes that simplifying procurement is essential to improve how federal procurement works for all Canadians. OPO drives progress in this area by providing simplification focussed recommendations in it’s PPRs, and by highlighting examples of best practices and opportunities for streamlining the federal procurement process. Simplified procedures, templates and solicitation practices help promote competition and encourage a higher number of bids. OPO maintains that this results in better value for money for Canada and supports fair treatment of suppliers. OPO further supports simplification by examining our own processes and practices in order to identify operational efficiencies and opportunities to serve our stakeholders in a clear and streamlined manner.


OPO advocates for transparency as a means of increasing trust in the federal procurement system. OPO believes that Departments must provide accurate information to Canadians in a timely manner to facilitate public scrutiny of decisions made and actions taken. Canadian suppliers equally require timely, accurate and unbiased solicitation documents to prepare responsive proposals. OPO promotes transparency through its reviews of federal procurement practices to ensure departments meet their duty to provide notice of intended procurements, publish accurate award information, and maintain appropriate records of key decisions made throughout the procurement process.

Knowledge Deepening and Sharing

OPO undertakes independent examinations into the root causes of existing procurement issues along with emerging issues impacting the federal procurement landscape. These Knowledge Deepening and Sharing studies are not limited by the parameters of a specific review program or complaint, and their value resides in their flexibility. Through environmental scanning, OPO aims to identify key issues and trends in federal procurement, and provide meaningful guidance to suppliers and federal departments. In addition, this analysis serves to determine reasonable grounds, which form the basis of our procurement practice review activities. Delving into these topics through KDS studies and systemic reviews promotes discussions and provides guidance within the procurement community, where sharing is key.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

OPO provides Alternative Dispute Resolution services (e.g., mediation and arbitration) as a quick and cost-effective way to resolve contract disputes. OPO’s ADR services enable parties to a federal contract to resolve their differences and achieve a mutually agreed-to solution, all while maintaining control over the process. OPO provides qualified mediators to design and deliver such services, including the drafting of a settlement agreement. As neutrality is central to an ombuds’ role, OPO pursues its work in ADR to foster cooperation and help parties resolve their disputes.

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