Procurement Plan (Assets and Acquired Services) 2012-2013

Purpose of the Procurement Plan

Health Canada's Procurement Plan complements the Department's activities in support of proactive disclosure. The Plan is designed to provide a high level summary of the Departments planned procurement activities for the fiscal year 2012-2013. The Plan does not represent a solicitation or constitute a request for proposal, nor is it a commitment by the Government to purchase any of the described property or services.

The Objective of Government Procurement

Government contracting shall be conducted in a manner that will:

  • stand the test of public scrutiny in matters of prudence and probity, facilitate access, encourage competition, and reflect fairness in the spending of public funds;
  • ensure the pre-eminence of operational requirements;
  • support long-term industrial and regional development and other appropriate national objectives, including aboriginal economic development;
  • comply with the government's obligations under the North American Free Trade Agreement, the World Trade Organization - Agreement on Government Procurement, the Agreement on Internal Trade, the Canada - Chile Free Trade Agreements, and the Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement.

Key Procurement Drivers

Health Canada has a Program Alignment Architecture (PAA) and a supporting performance measurement framework. The PAA aligns departmental programs along the Department's three business lines: health system innovation, consumer protection and environmental health and First Nations and Inuit health. The strategic outcomes reflected in the PAA are the primary procurement drivers:

  • A Health System Responsive to the Needs of Canadians
    • Focuses on Health Canada's leadership and funding roles and its contributions to health policy. The second encompasses occupational health services that are provided to employees of the Government of Canada. The third highlights federal contributions to the health aspects of official language minority communities.
  • Canadians are informed of and protected from health risks associated with food, products, substances and environments, and are informed of the benefits of healthy eating.
    • This strategic outcome incorporates the Department's role to inform Canadians of health risks and regulate products such as pharmaceuticals, consumer products and pesticides, as well as departmental responsibilities in areas such as tobacco control. It also incorporates the role that Health Canada increasingly plays in relation to the links between health and the environment.
  • First Nations and Inuit communities and individuals receive health services and benefits that are responsive to their needs so as to improve their health status.
    • Program activities under this outcome include efforts to strengthen First Nations and Inuit health programming by increasing First Nations and Inuit control of health program delivery, as well as integration of First Nations and Inuit programming with existing provincial health systems and programming to leverage efficiencies and avoid duplication. This health systems approach includes Supplementary Health Benefits as well as two newly structured program activities: Primary Health Care and Health Infrastructure Support.

A key consideration for the Department is the need for flexibility and agility in its procurement planning and execution within the confines of Government of Canada legislation and policies related to procurement as well as national and international trade agreements.

Procurement Standards and Tools


Health Canada has a robust governance structure in place for monitoring and controlling its procurement activities. The structure includes, Contract and Requisition Control Committees in each Branch (chaired by PG-4 Procurement Specialists) and in the Regions (Chaired by the Regional Senior Financial Officer).

All contracts posted on The Government Electronic Tendering Service (GETS) must be submitted through the Department's most senior management committee, the Executive Committee, prior to being posted on MERX.

Procurement management activities (planning, tendering, acquisition and closure) are subject to reviews and audits by various organizations including the Office of the Auditor General, Health Canada's Audit and Accountability Bureau, and the Office of the Procurement Ombudsman. Findings that strengthen the Department's procurement processes are addressed through an audit Management Report Action Plan and its implementation is subject to oversight through the Department's Executive sub-Committee on Finance, Evaluation and Audit and Health Canada's Departmental Audit Committee.

Procurement Standards

Health Canada is committed to ensuring that competitive procurement is standard practice whenever possible. To support this, the Department adheres to the following practices:

  • Seeks tender proposals from potential suppliers using GETS for all procurements subject to national and international trade agreements, including:
    • The Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT);
    • The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA);
    • The World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement (WTO-AGP);
    • The Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA);
    • The Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA).
  • Utilizes competitively issued standing offer agreements, supply arrangements, and other tools put in place both by the Department (i.e., translation Services, French language training, nursing services, printing, employee assistance program, etc.) and by the Government of Canada's primary procurement body, Public Works and Government Services Canada (i.e., furniture, office machines, text processing systems and visible record equipment, office supplies and devises, task based informatics professional services, task and solutions professional services, professional services online, temporary help services, etc.); and
  • Ensures that requirements valued at $25,000 or greater, or whenever benefits from competition are attainable, seek tender proposals from three or more potential suppliers for requirements not subject to the trade agreements or where impractical to publish a requirement on GETS.

Tendering Process

The Government Electronic Tendering Service

The GETS is an on-line system that advertises government contracting opportunities to potential bidders. GETS is currently operated by Mediagrif Interactive Technologies Inc. through the MERX internet site, a service provided under contract to the Government of Canada. New opportunities are listed daily from all levels of government including the federal and provincial governments as well as the municipal, academic, school board and hospital sector from across Canada.

Health Canada publishes Advanced Contract Award Notices (ACAN) through GETS to notify suppliers of the intent to award a contract directly to a supplier and to consider statements of qualifications from any suppliers capable of fulfilling the requirement.

Planned Procurement Volumes

The Department's procurement planning process is included in Health Canada's Departmental Integrated Operational Planning (DIOP) process and performance reporting regime, which allows the Department to identify economies of scale through consolidation of acquisitions, resulting in increased flexibility and avoiding delays through greater use of Standing Offer Agreements and identifying opportunities for requests of volume discounts and "just in time" delivery options.

As part of the annual DIOP process, all branches within the Department are requested to identify their planned procurement activity with an expected value of $10,000 or more.  For the 2012-2013 fiscal year this exercise resulted in the identification of procurements, with an estimated value of $266 million, as follows:

Figure 1.0 - Planned Procurement Summary 2012-2013

Source: Integrated Planning and Performance Reporting System (IPPRS) September 25, 2012 - Report 175

  • Professional and Special Services - $157,037,628
  • Other Services - $33,911,483
  • Materials and Supplies - $25,073,223
  • Transportation and Telecommunications - $10,984,842
  • Rentals - $10,236,906
  • Repairs and Maintenance - $6,106,800
  • Acq >$10K Laboratories - $4,193,000
  • Acq.<$10K Machinery, Equipment and Tools - $3,943,360
  • Information Services - $3,468,705
  • Acq >$10K Meas/Controlling/Lab/Med Optical Instruments - $3,151,000
  • Acq >$10K of Computer Equip and Software - $3,018,806
    Acq >$10K of Machinery, Equipment and Parts - $2,575,000
  • Acq >$10K of Vehicles - $1,486,000
  • Unspecified - $577,663
  • Total - $266,000,000

While these figures are an indicator of planned procurement activity within the Department, they represent a significant portion of the volume of procurements likely to be undertaken, based on the following historical figures:

Table 1.0 - Historical Volumes of Contracting Commitments Undertaken by the Department (2008-2012)
Contracting Commitments 2008-2009Table 1 footnote * 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-12
Number of Contracts ($10k and >) 3571 3687 3884 3774
Total Dollar Value of Agreements $347.5M $179.3 $217.2M $187.2M

Table 1 footnotes

Table 1 footnote 1

Note: Increase in committed funds for procurement activities during 2008-2009 attributed to the HICPS renewal contract ($105M)

Return to table 1 footnote * referrer

Professional and Special Services account for approximately 59% of planned procurement activities broken down as follows:

Figure 2.0 - Summary of Planned Professional and Special Services 2012-2013

Source: Integrated Planning and Performance Reporting System (IPPRS) September 25, 2012 - Report 175

  • Other Professional Services -$51,561,500
  • Health and Welfare Services - $46,525,645
  • Health and Welfare Services (Non Insured) - $17,162,541
  • Accounting and Legal Services - $12,950,193
  • Informatics Services - $10,669,360
  • Engineering, Architectural & Scientific Services - $9,910,292
  • Training and Educational Services - $5,687,243
  • Protection Services - $2,570,854
  • Total - $157,000,000

Procurements outside of those forecasted herein include the following:

  • Majority of the procurements valued at less than $10,000
  • Agreements with other federal departments or other levels of government, including medical and academic institutions; and
  • Procurements arising from unanticipated operational requirements.

Items that are frequently procured for the Department include:

  • Professional Services such as scientific research, medical, mental, dental, vision care, management consulting services, training and translation;
  • Other Services including temporary help services acquired for general help and cleaning services for buildings;
  • Materials and Supplies such as medical instruments, pharmaceutical and other medicinal products, stationary and office supplies;
  • Rentals of office equipment, machinery, warehousing and office space; and
  • Agreements with Hospitals and Universities to perform research studies, provide data, and other consultation services.

Rationale for Procurement Decisions

Procurement decisions are based upon a number of factors. A main consideration is a life cycle approach to materiel management, and includes:

  • Evergreening of laboratory equipment, Information Technology (IT) equipment and real property based on asset condition and expected life of the assets;
  • Renewal of expiring contracts for service to support our asset holdings and major projects, where appropriate; and
  • Maintenance and renewal of IT Infrastructure to ensure adequate, secure, reliable access and interoperability for electronic information and transactions.

Procurement decisions also reflect the need for program integrity, such as:

  • Continuing requirements for specialized health science consultants and other professionals to meet operational requirements; and
  • Consideration of business intelligence and other tools to support health and organizational information needs.

Health Canada (HC) supports the objectives of the Policy on Green Procurement, including incorporating environmental performance considerations and value for money into the procurement decision-making process.

Cost savings, synergies, and value added considerations, such as "greening", are also factored and contribute to the procurement decisions made by program managers.

Additional Information for Suppliers

For more information on becoming a supplier to the Government of Canada please refer to the  Public Works and Government Services Canada.

Suppliers are also encouraged to consult  MERX on a regular basis to seek opportunities to become suppliers to the Health Canada and the Government of Canada.

For any additional enquiries related to procurement at Health Canada, please contact:

Senior Manager, Procurement and Contracting
Materiel and Assets Management Division
Health Canada
200 Eglantine Driveway,
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K9
Telephone: 613-941-3724
Fax: 613-941-2645

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: