15 March 2007 | Paul Snell
The Canadian government is to appoint a procurement ombudsman to monitor and improve public purchasing.
The move, announced last month, is part of the Federal Accountability Act (FAA), introduced last April to make government processes fairer and more transparent.
Michael Fortier, the minister for public works and government services (PWGS), said: "It is imperative that Canadians have confidence in the fairness, openness and transparency of the government's procurement activities." He added that federal procurement spend is worth CA$20 billion (£8.7 billion) each year.
The ombudsman will be responsible for reviewing and improving the process of procurement in government departments. They will report to the minister of PWGS and submit an annual report, which will be tabled in parliament.
They will also handle and review complaints made by suppliers for goods worth less than CA$25,000 (£10,958) and services less than CA$100,000 (£43,823).
The government said it was looking for candidates with knowledge of Canadian public procurement legislation and policy. But experience in government procurement is not necessary and private sector practice would be an asset.
This month the Canadian treasury released the results of its review of procurement policy, also required by the FAA.
It highlighted the need for the government to address the lack of specialists in public sector buying and follow best practice from the private sector.