Profile of contacts: Office of the Procurement Ombudsman Annual Report 2016-2017

Document Navigation for Office of the Procurement Ombudsman Annual Report 2016 to 2017

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"We had a great discussion at the town hall. I really appreciate how open suppliers are with sharing their experiences, as this allows us to share their views and concerns with senior decision-makers." - OPO official

Diagram 1 - Description below

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This diagram identifies the number of total contacts received by the Office of the Procurement Ombudsman in the 2016-17 fiscal year as 463. This total number is then broken down below into procurement-related contacts (283) and non-procurement-related contacts (180). Of the 283 procurement-related contacts, there are three categories under which they are sorted. The left column is called Educate, of which 122 contacts are categorized under. The middle column is called Facilitate, of which 131 contacts are categorized under, with 121 regular contacts, and 10 ADR requests. The right column is called Investigate, of which 30 written complaints were submitted. Of these 30, 7 complaints met the criteria for a review.

In any given year, hundreds of thousands of contracts are entered into by federal organizations and Canadian businesses. When one considers this large volume of procurement activity, the billions of dollars collectively spent by the more than 100 federal organizations involved in procurement, and the rules that make doing business with federal organizations different from doing business with the private sector, it is not surprising that issues occasionally arise. That is where the Office of the Procurement Ombudsman (OPO/the Office) comes in.

To help suppliers and federal organizations sort through the issues that arise in federal procurement, the Office uses its position as a neutral, arm’s-length organization specializing in federal procurement to encourage open communication, foster the sharing of good practices, and promote fairness, openness and transparency.

OPO strives to make it as convenient as possible for suppliers and federal officials to contact the Office to raise questions, concerns or share information regarding Canadian federal procurement.

In 2016–2017, the Office registered a total of 463 contacts, an increase of nearly 16% from the previous year. Of the 463 contacts, 180 (39%) were not procurement-related and consisted of inquiries from members of the general public attempting to reach a government organization or experiencing difficulty with a non-procurement government program and not knowing where to turn. Regardless of the nature of the non-procurement issues raised, OPO worked diligently to provide useful information and redirect individuals to an appropriate source that could address their inquiry, question or issue.

Of the 463 contacts, 283 (61%) were procurement-related and ranged from general inquiries to specific complaints. These included:

  • questions on how to do business with the federal government;
  • inquiries regarding the federal procurement process; and
  • specific procurement-related issues.

Promoting fairness, openness and transparency

The Office’s approach to promoting fairness, openness and transparency in federal procurement focusses on three pillars: Educate, Facilitate and Investigate. These pillars provide the structure for understanding OPO’s activities and how the Office handled the 283 procurement related contacts.

Educate, Facilitate and Investigate - Description below

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The three pillars: Educate (Raise awareness of procurement issues and exchange information, Facilitate (De-escalate disputes and help resolve issues) and Investigate (Examine and review procurement issues).

Document Navigation for Office of the Procurement Ombudsman Annual Report 2016 to 2017

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