Changes to Integrity Framework Announced

Proposed changes to the federal government Integrity Framework announced July 3, 2015 are an important step to restoring the competitive trade landscape in Canadian ICT sector. ITAC has worked co-operatively with the federal government to clarify and streamline the guidelines since they were announced last spring.

The government listened to industry concerns and met with ITAC and along with other interested parties. The changes made will strengthen the framework and ensure accountability without putting companies at a competitive disadvantage globally. It is an excellent example of how government and industry can co-operate to find optimal solutions.

Details of the changes to the framework have been posted to the Public Works Government Services (PWGSC) web site.

Highlights include:
• Suppliers will no longer being debarred based on affiliate action unless the supplier has control over the affiliate;
• If a bidder is convicted of a listed or similar offense in a foreign jurisdiction in the last three years, they will be rendered ineligible for 10 years;
• In a situation where it is a foreign conviction that applies to the bidder directly, Government of Canada (GoC) recognized independent third parties will provide information on foreign convictions and the GoC will make final determinations of similarity;
• The debarment period remains at 10 (ten) years however the opportunity to reduce to 5 (five) years has now been provided; and
• To obtain a time reduction, independent third parties (recognized by the GoC and paid for by the supplier) can be contracted to investigate the conviction, verify that corrective actions undertaken, monitor the compliance measures, and report back information gathered to the GoC.

ITAC acknowledges that further dialogue will be required to clarify how the mitigation process is implemented, but give the collaborative success to this point, ITAC is confident the implementation and interpretation will reflect the spirit of the changes made to date.

PWGSC has reciprocated this interest by committing to further engagement over the next several months with industry associations to seek feedback on key implementation issues.

As ITAC we are happy to play a lead-role in developing a multi-party consensus in the submissions that were done to the Government and ITAC appreciates the cooperation it received from all of the stakeholders.