Government of Canada Integrity Regime

Context:

The Government of Canada is committed to open, fair and transparent contracts and real property agreements. As part of its commitment in the 2015 Economic Action Plan, a strong government-wide Integrity Regime has been put in place to ensure that the Government conducts business with ethical suppliers. The Integrity Regime consists of:

  1. a) The Ineligibility and Suspension Policy (the “Policy), and Directives issued under the Policy; and
  2. b) Clauses for procurement processes and contracts/real property agreements.

The new Regime is efficient, robust and holds companies accountable for their actions. It will also encourage companies to cooperate with legal authorities when problems arise and to quickly take corrective actions. The new Integrity Regime better aligns with international best practices and includes new provisions to ensure fairness and due process. It will also allow companies to undertake remedial action to address misconduct in order to conduct business with the Government of Canada. The Integrity Regime also provides for new tools such as independent expert third-party assessments, and administrative agreements that will specify required corrective actions and ensure their effectiveness.

On March 31, 2016, Global Affairs Canada signed an MOU with Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC). The Integrity Regime applies to any procurement, standing offer, supply arrangement, contract, real property transaction, real property agreement or other instrument above $10,000 but does not apply to transfer payments, financial contracts and transactions with other orders of government, among others. The complete list of exceptions is detailed in the Ineligibility and Suspension Policy.

Applicability

PSPC is responsible for administering the Integrity Regime on behalf of the Government of Canada.

Under the Regime:

  • a Bidder remains ineligible for ten years when they have been convicted of a listed offence in the last three years, which can be reduced by five years if the Bidder has cooperated with legal authorities or addressed the causes of the misconduct that led to their ineligibility.
  • Bidders will no longer be automatically ineligible for the actions of affiliates, unless it can be demonstrated that the Bidder had a degree of control over the convicted affiliate.
  • The Government of Canada will have the ability to suspend a supplier for up to 18 months if the supplier has been charged with or has admitted guilt to a listed offence.

The Integrity Regime requires that Bidders certify to the following upon submission of a bid:

  • they have read and understand the Ineligibility and Suspension Policy;
  • they understand that certain domestic and foreign criminal charges and convictions, and other circumstances, will or may result in a determination of ineligibility or suspension;
  • they are aware that Canada may request additional information, certifications and validations for the purposes of making a determination of ineligibility or suspension;
  • they have provided a list of all foreign criminal charges and convictions;
  • none of the domestic criminal offences and other circumstances described in the Policy applies to them, their affiliates and their first tier subcontractors; and
  • they are not aware of a determination of ineligibility or suspension that applies to them.

Changes in the Procurement Process

The Global Affairs Canada Development Request for Proposals and resulting Contract templates now incorporate the Integrity provision clauses which require that Bidders provide:

  1. A list of names of all current directors or owners, as applicable according to the Bidder’s status.
  2. Updates on any changes affecting the list of names mentioned in a., during the evaluation of bids and during the performance of a contract.
  3. During the performance of a contract, updates on any changes regarding charges, convictions or other circumstance relevant to the Policy with respect to itself, its affiliates and its first-tier subcontractors.
  4. A confirmation that it has verified the status of all proposed first-tier subcontractors before its bid can be accepted for award of a contract.

Useful References:

http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=995629

https://buyandsell.gc.ca/policy-and-guidelines/policy-notifications/PN-107R2

Application of the Integrity Regime to Subcontractors: http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/ci-if/bulletins/ari-air-eng.html

FAQs: http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/ci-if/faq-eng.html

Contracts: http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/ci-if/contacts-eng.html