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Canada Free Trade Agreement

Posted 4/22/2017

What to do NOW!

*Canada Free Trade Agreement is in effect July 1. The time to prepare is now. This newsletter offers suggestions based on my many years of experience drafting supply requests and evaluating the responses.

All public sector organizations will save considerable time, money and grief by doing procurements right, right from the start. Why? Because the CFTA mandates a formal dispute resolution process for all public sector entities.

My suggestions and recommendations; these are not exhaustive:

  • Review and amend your procurement policy to conform to the CFTA;
  • Similarly review and edit your processes, practices and any document templates employed in your procurements, there are significant changes necessary;
  • Ensure your procurement specialists upgrade their knowledge;
  • Inform and train your operations staff on your revised processes;
  • Allow for more time and effort to plan your procurements;
  • Avoid specification bias; ensure specifications conform to operational requirements;
  • Ensure your contract managers collect and maintain relevant data pertaining to existing contracts, particularly long term supply of goods and services;
    • o   Require goods and services data reporting in your requests;
    • o   You could need to disclose this information for the next supply request;
  • Build and reconcile your evaluation tool to the request before issue;
  • Provide training to your evaluators and include an independent evaluator from another department or another organization on the team;
  • Create and maintain detailed records of the evaluation;
  • Prepare to provide reasoned de-briefings to non-contracted respondents;
  • Consider utilizing a process or fairness advisor.

There are clauses that are open to interpretation, for example setting reasonable time limits for responses. Case law will be made. Win or lose dealing with an administrative and/or judicial review of your procurement will be expensive, time consuming with opportunities foregone. Be proactive, start now. You may obtain the CFTA from: