Procurement modernization

The federal government’s procurement strategy is outdated, leaving little room for creative solutions and fair risk sharing. With productivity and sustainability issues on the rise, including net zero carbon targets and shortages in material and labour affecting profit margins, now is the time to modernize procurement practices.

Fair allocation of risk

Contactors have long shouldered the majority of project risk. This model is becoming untenable for many smaller companies who are navigating an even longer list of challenges like supply chain issues, tighter timelines, and labour shortages. The reluctance to bid on federal projects because of this heightened risk is becoming a real issue and impacting progress on important public projects. Rebalancing risk can create successful partnerships built on trust.

Procurement for climate action

To build the infrastructure needed across the country and recruit the workforce of the future, federal procurement strategies need to adapt to encourage productivity and innovation, account for long-term value and sustainability, promote the use of alternative delivery models, and support shared risk. Innovative procurement and delivery methods can improve productivity, enable cost savings, and shorten the timeline for the construction project itself.

Read our 2021 white paper with recommendations on best methods for building resiliently.

Strength, resilience, sustainability: Canada’s construction sector recommendations on adapting to climate change

CCA has also more recently engaged our broader membership in a survey that indicated engaging with contractors earlier and moving away from the lowest bid model will encourage the use of new processes, better practices, alternative energy, and more sustainable materials. Our industry is eager to build sustainably and to be a partner in climate action. 

We also need reliable climate data, updated standards, and codes which the industry and suppliers can work toward. Canada’s Green Buildings Strategy announced by Natural Resources Canada and the ongoing modernization of the National Building Codes have displayed promise for the advancement of these initiatives in respective sectors, but we would like to see it further reflected across the whole of government. 

Innovative procurement and delivery methods can improve productivity, enable cost savings, and shorten the timeline for construction projects. The government can accelerate this by updating its current procurement process to one that supports fair competition, innovation, and shared risk.