The Government of Canada is developing a multi-departmental approach to managing the purchasing strategy of Aboriginal businesses, including increased roles and responsibilities for Canada`s utilities and procurement in policy development and implementation, and at the Ministry of Finance secretariat to monitor, report and enforce policies. Mr. Salter suggested that the federal government set measurable targets for the expected effects of PSAB, similar to those set by the Australian government in its indigenous procurement policy. Mr. Skudra fully supported this proposal. Ms. Renart said Canada was a founding party in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Public Procurement Agreement, which came into force in 1981. Today, 47 WTO members are members of the GPA, including major economies such as the United States, the European Union, Japan and Korea. According to Renart, the GPA rules form the basis of Canada`s public procurement obligations in regional and bilateral free trade agreements.
She informed the committee that Canadian companies, under the WTO GPA, have preferential access to purchasing opportunities worth approximately $2.2 trillion per year. SMEs can therefore use purchasing opportunities in other legal systems that are parties to the WTO GPA. Wright said the PSPC Parliamentary District Department has lent more than $15 million in work to Aboriginal businesses as part of voluntary set-asides since the 2014-15 fiscal year. He added that in 2016-17, just over 2% of total spending on major projects went to Aboriginal businesses. He also noted that in its 2016-2017 annual report, PSPC committed to working with its acquisition partners to engage bidders for large Set-asides projects to implement a strategy for outsourcing Aboriginal subcontractors, an indigestible participation strategy and a strategy for internment or apprentice of Indigenous in 100% of their major projects. In addition, the institution has set a target of at least 5% of the work being used for Aboriginal businesses for major construction projects. He said the parliamentary district department has reached 2.1%, and he is working with acquisition partners to develop incentives for big masters to use indigenous businesses. The department is developing a guide for procurement experts, which they can refer to to develop more manageable contracts, encourage innovation among suppliers, and improve clarity and understanding of contract prices. The pricing practitioner`s guide is intended to inform contract agents of price choices, both for competing contracts and for contracts negotiated in Canada. The first phase of the price guide is available on the BuyandSell.gc.ca consultation site for the use and feedback of the buying community, and work is underway on training and guidelines for payment base and profit determination. On average, the department`s contracts with Aboriginal businesses amount to $20 million to $50 million per year (approximately 4.86% of the division`s operating expenses).
These include land freezes as part of the purchasing strategy for Aboriginal trade policy and those implemented outside the directive. In its first letter, TWCC called on all federal departments and agencies to “report to Parliament on their respective volumes of [mandatory] land freeze operations in order to take evidence-based policy action.” This communication on treaty policy has three elements: the replacement of NAFTA, the updated thresholds for contracting for free trade agreements, and the collection of country-of-origin statistics.