Contracting Policy Notice 2020-4: Updated Response to COVID-19 Temporary Amendments to Contracting Limits

Date: December 23, 2020
To: Functional Heads, Finance and Administration of all Departments and Agencies
Subject: Extension and Revision of Amendments to Contracting Policy to Support the Government of Canada’s Deployment of Covid-19 Vaccines.


The Government of Canada continues to respond to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. Time-limited increases to certain contracting limits have been extended amended or added to assist departments and agencies in responding to this ongoing situation.  These amendments expire on June 30, 2021. In addition, there is a new reporting requirement.

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) continues to coordinate centralized purchases of specific commodities (for example, personal protective equipment) on behalf of the Government of Canada and the Provincial and Territorial Governments. Departments should continue to 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

The following amendments to Appendix C, of the Contracting Policy are in effect until June 30, 2021 for contracts related to the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  1. The $3 million emergency contracting limit for all Ministers is extended (this limit does not lower any other emergency limit that is greater than $3 million).
  2. The $500 million emergency contracting limit for the Minister of Public Services and Procurement is extended.
  3. The unlimited emergency contracting limit for the Minister of Public Services and Procurement for the development, acquisition and deployment of vaccines is extended.
  4. A temporary exceptional contracting limit has been established for the Minister of Public Services and Procurement to exercise the options in emergency contracts and to enter into and amend contracts up to $250M for the competitive procurement of goods and services to support the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic until June 30, 2021.

Reporting Requirements

Departments using the limits described above are required to provide TBS with reports on their COVID-19 contracts every three months with the first report due on April 15th, 2021 and the second report due on July 15, 2021.

The reports must include the information required for emergency contracts set out in Appendix C, Part III of the Contracting Policy. Note that emergency contracts unrelated to COVID-19 Response must continue to be reported to TBS within 60 days. 

Departments are reminded to continue to follow applicable provisions of the Government Contracts Regulations, the Contracting Policy, and regarding the proactive disclosure of contracts, the Access to Information Act.

Reports are to be submitted to the Procurement Policy Division and to:

Serena Francis
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 reminded to track expenditures associated with contracts issued in relation to COVID-19 to feed into their 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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