Ontario centralises government procurement 'to secure critical supplies'

19 November 2020

The Ontario government has launched a new agency to enable a “whole-of-government approach to purchasing goods and services” and save taxpayers money.

Supply Ontario, the new centralised procurement agency, will ensure “schools, hospitals, and the entire public sector always have the critical supplies and equipment they need”.

The Ontario government added the agency would focus on delivering best value, stabilising access to critical goods, stimulating job creation by purchasing more Ontario-made goods, and driving innovation. 

By centralising the government supply chain and streamlining procurement processes, SMEs would also face less administrative burden, it said. 

Doug Ford, Ontario premier, said: “When people go shopping, they often buy in bulk to save money. We need to do the same thing in government, so we can deliver more value for taxpayer dollars and secure critical supplies for our frontline healthcare heroes and others in the public sector.

“This new approach will also be good for Ontario businesses as it will make it easier for them to sell their quality products and services to the government.”

The government added its experience of sourcing personal protective equipment and critical supplies in response to the Covid pandemic shed light on the fragmented nature of Ontario's supply chain system.

Lisa Thompson, minister of government and consumer services, said: “Our experience responding to the Covid-19 pandemic only validated the need for a modern, more efficient supply chain system. 

“This made-in-Ontario solution will support greater domestic production, drive job creation and economic growth, and create opportunities for Ontario manufacturers and innovators to enter the playing field and bid for projects to supply our province.”

Vic Fedeli, minister of economic development, job creation and trade, added: “Since the beginning of this pandemic, Ontario's businesses and innovators quickly responded through our Ontario Together program with solutions to improve our supply chains, support greater domestic production of PPE, and provide our front lines with the essential equipment necessary in the fight against Covid-19.

“We worked to further galvanise Ontario's manufacturing engine with the launch of the Ontario Made program in partnership with the Canadian manufacturers and exporters. This important new procurement initiative will build on those efforts, create new opportunities for Ontario manufacturers and innovators, and ensure we are well-prepared now and for any future challenges.”

Last year, the Ontario government pledged to build a “modern, centralised procurement system” in a bid to save $1bn annually.

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