Contracting Policy Notice 2020-1: Response to COVID-19


To: Functional Heads, Finance and Administration of all Departments and Agencies

Subject: Amendments to Contracting Policy to Support the Government of Canada Response to COVID-19


The Government of Canada has launched a whole-of-government effort to combat the spread and impact of COVID-19. Effective , the Treasury Board approved time-limited increases to emergency contracting limits.

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is coordinating centralized purchases of specific commodities (for example, personal protective equipment) on behalf of the Government of Canada and the Provincial and Territorial Governments. It is imperative that departmental Deputy Heads do not undertake one-off procurements outside of this coordinated response. Departments should verify with PSPC whether a coordinated procurement is underway for the commodity the organization seeks to purchase before proceeding with the procurement.

Amendments to the Treasury Board Contracting Policy

In order to execute a rapid and effective government response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the emergency contracting limits in Appendix C, Part III of the Contracting Policy have been amended as follows:

  1. Until , the Minister of Public Services and Procurement’s emergency contracting limit is increased to $500 million.
  2. Until the emergency contracting limit for all other Ministers is increased to $3 million.
  3. Until , the Minister of Public Services and Procurement will have an unlimited emergency contracting limit for the research, development, acquisition and deployment of vaccines related to COVID-19.

Continuing Obligations and Reporting

Departments are reminded to continue to follow applicable provisions of the Government Contracts Regulations, the Contracting Policy, and the Proactive Disclosure of Contract reporting requirements, with respect to awarding contracts using emergency contracting limits.

In particular, Appendix C, Part III of the Contracting Policy requires that an emergency contracting report be provided to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat within 60 calendar days of the authorization or beginning of the work. Reports should be sent to:

Jessica Sultan
Executive Director, Procurement Policy and ASAS Communities Management Office
Acquired Services and Assets Sector, Office of the Comptroller General
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Departments are to refer to the Access to Information and Privacy Implementation Notice 2020-01 (accessible only on the Government of Canada network) with respect to potential delays in meeting legislative requirements under the Access to Information Act for proactive publication of contract-related information.

Departments are also reminded to track any expenditures associated with contracts issued in relation to COVID-19 response efforts as part of their organization’s COVID-19 Response Expenditure Report. For more information, refer to the Guidance for the Expenditure Report - COVID-19 Response (accessible only on the Government of Canada network).


Questions about this policy notice should be directed to TBS Public Enquiries.

Kathleen Owens
Assistant Comptroller General, Acquired Services and Assets Sector
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

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