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PROCUREMENT PROCESS DIRECTION DELIVERED AT INFORMATION MEETING

Posted by: Regina Chamber Admin - November 8, 2022
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SaskPower and the Ministry of SaskBuilds and Procurement (SBP) recently held an informational meeting regarding the procurement process for businesses.

Hosted by the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce, the event was conducted by John Lax, Director of Industry and Stakeholder Relations for SBP, and Rhea Brown, Director of Procurement and Contract Management for SaskPower.

The goal of the meeting, which also included a Q&A session, was to provide businesses with information regarding the guidelines and expectations of the procurement process with SaskBuilds and SaskPower. The intent is that this information will enable more Saskatchewan companies to participate and be successful in the procurement process.

“We’re trying to make sure that our Saskatchewan businesses can flourish, can be successful,” explained Lax. “The best way we can do that is to ensure that they are acknowledged and understood in our procurement processes and as we development our competitions. That way, we don’t end up creating competition that disallows the Saskatchewan company for competing in the first place.”

Having said that, SaskPower and SBP can’t guarantee local investment. The reason for that is they have processes that they have to follow. There are procurement laws and trade obligations that they have to live up to. The trade obligations are: The New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA); the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA); and, the Canada-European Union Economic and Trading Agreement (CETA).

NWPTA is an accord between the governments of B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba that creates Canada’s largest, barrier-free, interprovincial market.

When it comes to procurement, SaskPower and SBP are different entities. SaskPower has a defined set of operations: it builds and maintains the networks that deliver electricity across this province. The main functions of SBP are delivering capital infrastructure investment and carrying out business needs procurement for Government of Saskatchewan ministries to enable them to deliver services to residents of Saskatchewan. For almost everything built by the Government of Saskatchewan, the procurement portion is done by SBP.

Many companies are uncertain about the fairness of the procurement process, which can be an intimidating and difficult operation to navigate. SaskPower and SBP are committed to ensuring equality for all participating businesses.

“We have to be fair and transparent with everything we’re doing and we have to look fair and transparent with everything we’re doing,” Said Lax.

The presentation included a list of facts about the procurement process:

  • Best value doesn’t mean lowest price
  • We don’t have a “vendor list”
  • Every competition is a fresh start
  • Prioritize fair and transparent
  • Under trade thresholds, we aren’t subject to trade obligations
  • Majority of work stays in Saskatchewan

SaskPower and SBP also provided a list of what they are currently working on.

SaskPower

  • Supply chain disruptions
  • Grid evolution
  • Supplier outreach and development
  • Sustainability

Ministry of SaskBuilds and Procurement

  • Supply chain disruptions
  • Labour and skills alignment
  • Infrastructure delivery
  • Supplier outreach and development
  • Risk – inflation, instability, climate, etc.

The meeting was the first in what is planned to be a series on the topic.

“You can think of it as the start of a conversation, not the end of one,” said Lax. “This isn’t going to be the last chance to connect with us, in fact, what we’re trying to do is open up opportunities to connect, to work with our local vendors.”

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