Government of Canada announces plan to diversify government suppliers

News release

Comprehensive collection of initiatives aim to increase inclusiveness in federal procurement

January 26, 2022 - Gatineau, Quebec - Public Services and Procurement Canada

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is helping more businesses get involved in federal procurement to build a more inclusive economy.

Today, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, launched the Supplier Diversity Action Plan at the 4th Annual Diversifying the Federal Supply Chain Summit, organized by the Office of the Procurement Ombudsman. The Plan outlines concrete steps to increase the participation of businesses from underrepresented groups in federal procurement.

As a cornerstone of the Plan, PSPC has developed a Policy on Social Procurement, which articulates how the department will use procurement as a vehicle to reduce barriers, increase supplier diversity and enhance economic and social opportunities for underrepresented groups.

The Supplier Diversity Action Plan also includes enhanced services, delivered through Procurement Assistance Canada (formerly the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises), to help underrepresented groups successfully participate in federal procurement. This includes establishing a new coaching service for underrepresented suppliers that have had limited success in federal procurements.

The Action Plan stems from extensive engagement with suppliers from underrepresented groups to identify expectations, challenges and measures of success for social procurement. This input will continue to guide PSPC’s efforts, notably the development of a Program on Social Procurement.

These, and the other elements of the Supplier Diversity Action Plan, will help build a more inclusive economy and boost the competitiveness and prosperity of Canadian businesses.

Quotes

“With these initiatives, we are delivering on the government’s commitment to supplier diversity in federal procurement, so that Canada can provide equal business opportunities for all. Our diversity is our strength, and is key to our country’s economic and social growth. We will continue the work with entrepreneurs and organizations from across Canada to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in federal procurement.”

The Honourable Filomena Tassi
Minister of Public Services and Procurement

Quick facts

  • Budget 2021 reconfirmed the government’s commitment to supplier diversity with funding to support procurement opportunities for specific communities, such as a program focused on procuring from Black-owned businesses. 

  • The Government of Canada purchases on average $23 billion in goods and services each year to help deliver programs and services to Canadians. PSPC awards approximately $17 billion of the value of these purchases, which range from vaccines to military equipment to IT solutions, and so much more.

  • The Government of Canada leverages procurement as a tool to achieve broader benefits, such as protecting the environment, supporting innovation, advancing socio-economic goals, increasing competition and creating opportunities for underrepresented groups.

  • As part of its efforts to diversify the federal supply chain, PSPC has issued Requests for Information (RFIs) to gather input from Canadian Black businesses, businesses owned or operated by persons with disabilities as well as businesses owned or led by members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, and two-spirited (LGBTQ2+) community. The feedback gathered through the RFIs will be used to expand the use of targeted approaches to increase diversity in federal procurements.

  • Social procurement is the practice of leveraging purchasing power to realize socio-economic objectives by including socio-economic measures within procurement processes. These objectives can include enhancing market competition, job creation, and economic and social advantages stemming from purchases from small and medium enterprises. They can also include encouraging the conduct of socially responsible business and advancing diversity and inclusion.

  • PSPC continues to engage with industry, the procurement community, other government departments, the Parliamentary Black Caucus, the Federal Black Employee Caucus, LGBTQ2+ representatives, racialized Canadians, Indigenous communities, and employees with disabilities networks. The goal is to identify expectations, barriers, and ways to measure success in increasing the participation of underrepresented groups in federal procurement using evidence-based approaches and feedback.

Associated links

Contacts

James Fitzmorris
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Filomena Tassi
james.fitz-morris@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca

Media Relations
Public Services and Procurement Canada
819-420-5501
media@pwgsc-tpsgc.gc.ca

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