Doing business with ESDC

Information for suppliers

The Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) portfolio, including Service Canada and the Labour Program, purchases goods and services to support its delivery of services to Canadians.

In the spirit of openness, fairness and transparency, this page provides information that may help suppliers who would like to do business with ESDC.

How much ESDC buys

The Department put in place 2,835 contracts during the 2014-15 fiscal year. The total contracted value of these contracts was $284,789,664.

What ESDC buys

This section summarizes the main types of goods and services ESDC buys. The below chart contains the top ten commodities by contracted value for the 2014-15 fiscal year.

ESDC Contracting
Good or service category Contracted value (rounded figures)
Loans – Service Provider Administration Fees $111,780,542
Information Technology Consultants $60,328,390
All other $36,055,257
Rental – Office Furniture and Equipment $24,712,368
License/Maintenance fees $17,379,059
Protection Services $8,977,518
Management Consultants $7,060,655
Computer Installation Services $7,037,585
Advertising $5,787,218
Application Software $5,671,070

A large portion of ESDC contracts are for diverse professional services. These include research and consulting services. The Department's need for such services links closely to its mandate.

ESDC must communicate its programs, benefits and services, including the network of Service Canada Centres. As required by federal purchasing rules, all advertising purchases are made by Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC). Advertising is part of the "media services" category.

ESDC also buys software and information technology services to support its operations. The ongoing transition to centralize IT at Shared Services Canada (SSC) has reduced ESDC's spend in this area, and is expected to continue to reduce ESDC IT expenditures. You may wish to visit the Doing Business with Shared Services Canada website.

Temporary Help Services are another major expenditure at ESDC. Amongst other needs, ESDC requires temporary help to support the varying workloads in the Service Canada call centers.

ESDC buys postage to deliver benefits to Canadians, such as Old Age Security and Canada Pension Plan cheques.

The major purchase areas remain fairly consistent from year to year. To review further detailed financial data, visit the Public Accounts of Canada.

Government of Canada purchasing context

Contracts let by ESDC must abide by the detailed suite of government rules and regulations such as the Contracting Policy.

Competition is the norm for most federal contracts of significant value (generally all purchases of $25,000 or more, all taxes included), as a way to ensure openness and best value. Suppliers should review the Buy and Sell website regularly, to find business opportunities such as Requests for Proposals from ESDC and many other federal, provincial and municipal government organizations.

ESDC must use PWSGC's Standing Offers and Supply Arrangements for the list of mandatory commodities established by the Treasury Board Contracting Policy, Appendix C, Schedule 4. This list includes office supplies (such as paper) and temporary help services, amongst other goods and services.

PWGSC puts these Standing Offers and Supply Arrangements in place to meet the needs of the Government of Canada. ESDC and many other federal bodies must buy from these pre-qualified suppliers.

Government of Canada purchasing links

The following are major websites about doing business with the Canadian federal government:

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