The provincial government has proclaimed a new Procurement Actdesigned to take the purchasing of goods and services by the public sector into the 21st century and to give more opportunity to New Brunswick suppliers and entrepreneurs.
The new act comes into effect on Oct. 15 and replaces the 40-year-old Public Purchasing Act.
“The new Procurement Act streamlines and modernizes how we buy goods and services while providing more opportunity for our own businesses,” said Government Services Minister Sue Stultz. “The new act gives our companies a great chance to compete for business from the government and from universities and colleges, cities, towns and villages - all while respecting our obligations under different trade agreements.”
Stultz said the new act and its regulation establish the circumstances and methods by which preferential treatment may be given to a prospective New Brunswick supplier.
“The new act puts in place an innovative and strategic approach to procurement that is simple and streamlined while maintaining proper controls,” said Stultz. “These changes will give our provincial businesses and entrepreneurs a fair chance to bid and win government purchasing contracts and help keep our tax dollars here at home - creating jobs and helping provide the programs and services New Brunswickers want and need.”
Key elements of the Procurement Act include:
• modern strategic procurement methods such as joint purchasing and procuring through buying groups;
• the ability to procure against contracts established by other government entities or jurisdictions;
• the ability to grant a temporary exemption, for up to 24 months; and
• the ability to remove or restrict a supplier from selling to government for non-performance and for conviction for specific Canadian Criminal Code offences related to the sale of goods and services.
The new act will also:
• add clarity on negotiations during the competitive bidding process;
• decrease processing time for procurement files and reduce the risk of rejecting valid bids;
• add rules regarding disqualification and reinstatement of a supplier’s qualification as a prospective supplier; and
• add clarity by defining what is a New Brunswick supplier, manufacturer or place of business.
More information on the act is available online.