16 December 2010 | Angeline Albert
The Canadian government has appointed a new procurement ombudsman to strengthen public sector purchasing.
Frank Brunetta will take up the role from 4 January 2011, as announced this week by Rona Ambrose, minister of Public Works and Government Services (PWGS).
The Office of the Procurement Ombudsman (OPO) is an independent organisation with a government-wide mandate and operates at arm's length from federal government departments.
Brunetta will be responsible for reviewing departmental procurement practices and recommending new ones. He will also handle complaints from Canadian suppliers in relation to contract awards for goods below the value of £15,930, (C$25,000) and services below the value of £63,720 (C$100,000). The office said it was working with an increased number of smaller suppliers.
The ombudsman also reviews complaints concerning the administration of contracts of any value. The role was previously held by deputy procurement ombudsman Oriana Trombetti, who stepped up after the retirement of former incumbent Shahid Minto last July.
The Canadian government introduced the OPO in 2007. Since then, it has dealt with more than 1,000 complaints, conducted practice reviews and facilitated contract disputes between suppliers and government departments.
Brunetta has worked in the public service since 1978 and is currently the assistant deputy minister of the Departmental Oversight Branch in PWGS. Prior to this, he was the former chief risk officer for PWGS.
Minister Ambrose said: “With extensive experience in Public Works and across the government of Canada, Frank Brunetta is an excellent choice as the new ombudsman to help ensure procurement can be as accountable and transparent as possible for Canadians.”