On March 18, 2019, the Ontario Treasury Board announced a plan to centralize the province’s public sector procurement and create a more efficient delivery process for goods and services. The province expects the initiative will generate savings of $1 billion annually. The new system will apply to Ontario ministries, provincial agencies, as well as broader public sector (BPS) organizations, including hospitals, universities and school boards.
The announcement included the implementation of interim measures, which apply to both Ontario public service (OPS) entities, ministries and agencies, and BPS organizations. The interim measures are designed to help the Province gather information during the transition. The interim measures, which include regular reporting and limiting of long-term contracts, will be put in place immediately to pave the way for collaborative purchasing, while protecting continuity of business and services during the building of a centralized system. The interim measures apply to new procurements of goods and services valued at $25,000 or higher. They do not apply to current procurement processes, existing contracts, or procurements for construction.
In the coming weeks the Province will be meeting with OPS and BPS organizations to gather data to help develop a new centralized procurement regime. The Province has also indicated that it will be consulting with government suppliers as well.
By Phuong T.V. Ngo, Graham S. Ragan, Stephanie Pearce and Quin Gilbert-Walters, Gowling WLG