January 7, 2016 E-mail

 

From: Routhier, François -TPZ
Sent: January 7, 2016 1:50 PM
To: 'jay.yoon@biddingo.com'
Cc: Caroline Landry (
Caroline.Landry@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca); Consultations (BSL)
Subject: RE: CETA requirements for Canadian broader public sector organizations

 

Mr. Yoon,

 

Thank you for your e-mail. The provisions of the CETA related to e-tendering are found in Chapter 21 (Government Procurement) of the CETA, in particular under article VI (Notices). You can find the full text of the chapter here: http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/ceta-aecg/text-texte/21.aspx?lang=eng

 

The CETA marks the first time Canada has agreed to subject procurement by all levels of government (i.e. federal, provincial/territorial and municipal) to international commitments. An important pillar of international procurement obligations is transparency, especially for suppliers interested in bidding for government contracts. Accordingly, the CETA government procurement chapter contains rules relating to the transparency of notices of intended procurement. For all procurements subject to the CETA, notices of intended procurement will have to be directly accessible by electronic means free of charge through a single point of access. Article VI, paragraph 3 lists the information that must be included in these notices.

 

For procurement by sub-central entities (e.g. provincial, municipal) and Crown Corporations, Canada has up to five years following the entry into force of the CETA to apply the obligation to post these entities’ procurement notices on the single point of access. As you may know, the CETA has not yet entered into force; entry into force is expected in 2017.

 

In the interim period before the single point of access applies to sub-central entities and Crown Corporations, these entities must provide their notices of intended procurement, if accessible by electronic means, through links in a gateway electronic site that is accessible free of charge (see article VI, paragraph 2). In our opinion, Biddingo.com would be a gateway electronic site. Therefore, any notices of intended procurement for procurement opportunities subject to CETA on Biddingo.com would have to provide the required information free of charge. Importantly, however, nothing in the CETA requires entities to provide free access to their tender documents.

 

As far as I know there is no federal government “certification” to attest that bid portals are CETA-compliant.

 

The federal government is in the early stages of setting up a single point of access. Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC - formerly known as Public Works and Government Services Canada) is in charge of this project. I have copied Caroline Landry from PSPC to this e-mail, who may be able to provide you with more information on the single point of access upon request. 

 

I trust this will be helpful.

 

Best regards,

 

François Routhier
Agent principal de la politique commerciale | Senior Trade Policy Officer

Direction des marchés publics, commerce et environnement | Government Procurement, Trade and Environment Division (TPZ)

Francois.Routhier@international.gc.ca | (343) 203.4378

Affaires mondiales Canada | Global Affairs Canada
Gouvernement du Canada | Government of Canada


 


 

March 8, 2016 E-mail

 

From: Francois.Routhier@international.gc.ca [mailto:Francois.Routhier@international.gc.ca]
Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2016 9:52 AM
To: 'jay.yoon@biddingo.com'
Subject: RE: CETA requirements for Canadian broader public sector organizations

 

Dear Mr. Yoon,

 

I’m writing to follow up on our response to your question from earlier this year. Upon a closer review of our response, we realized that some clarification would be necessary.

 

Specifically, upon entry into force of CETA, procuring entities at the sub-central levels of government (i.e. provincial/municipal) will have to ensure that their notices of intended procurement are, at a minimum, available via web-links from a gateway electronic site that is accessible free of charge. In other words, the ‘gateway’ site will need to be accessible free of charge, and not necessarily the notices of intended procurement. That said, as transparency is a central tenet of the CETA’s procurement chapter, the more information that is available free of charge, the better. Having visited Biddingo.com, our belief is that it would meet CETA obligations as non-registered users can access the site free of charge (and in a majority of cases can access the notices of intended procurement free of charge).

 

As we noted in our message, within five years of the entry into force of the CETA, all notices of intended procurement subject to the Agreement will have be available on a single point of access. Work towards the development of this single point of access is underway.

 

Best regards,

 

François Routhier
Agent principal de la politique commerciale | Senior Trade Policy Officer

Direction des marchés publics, commerce et environnement | Government Procurement, Trade and Environment Division (TPZ)

Francois.Routhier@international.gc.ca | (343) 203.4378

Affaires mondiales Canada | Global Affairs Canada
Gouvernement du Canada | Government of Canada