The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador introduced two new procurement strategies: the Newfoundland and Labrador First Procurement Strategy and the Sustainable Procurement Strategy. The strategies are aimed at maximizing the success of provincial suppliers in obtaining government contracts, supporting provincial supplier development, and increasing sustainable practices in purchasing.

The Newfoundland and Labrador First Procurement Strategy will help create an environment that provides the best opportunity for provincial suppliers to be successful in obtaining contracts through maintaining the provincial preference discount; increasing open call thresholds; promoting the use of exemptions under trade agreements; and reducing the use of bid bonds. It also focuses on new suppliers by helping them strengthen their ability to participate in government procurement processes by providing them with the knowledge and training they need through supplier-focused information sessions; reverse trade shows; and consultation on more significant procurements.

“It is important that, as a government, we continue to modernize our purchasing processes, follow the best procurement practices, and achieve best value for dollars spent, and do all of this in a sustainable fashion. We must also work to ensure that Newfoundland and Labrador companies are given the greatest opportunity to secure contracts here at home. Both the Newfoundland and Labrador First and the Sustainable Procurement strategies are integral in helping us achieve these objectives,” said John G. Abbott, Minister Responsible for the Public Procurement Agency.

The Sustainable Procurement Strategy is focused on embedding sustainability considerations into processes for procuring goods, services and construction alongside traditional considerations such as price, quality, service and technical considerations. Applying a sustainable approach to procurement will ensure that the existing purchasing power of government departments and agencies will be utilized to help achieve broader social, environmental and economic goals.

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Both strategies complement a procurement policy change that was made in 2020 to better support local suppliers. A local preference provision was added to the Public Procurement Regulations at that time to mandate an allowance of ten per cent for provincial suppliers for all procurements, to the maximum permitted under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement.

“As a business and information technology supplier based in Newfoundland and Labrador, local procurement resonates profoundly within our company. It is our belief that the synergy between the private and public sectors is vital to fostering business growth within our province. The strategies announced today represent a modern and strategic progression toward strengthening the relationships between both established and emerging local suppliers and the Provincial Government,” said Chris Dillon, VP, Consulting & Business Development, Triware Technologies Inc.

Featured image: Construction was completed in November, 2023 on the new Western Memorial Regional Hospital in Corner Brook. (PCL Constructors Canada Inc.)

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