News Release Archive

  For the first time in its history Nova Scotia has a
  comprehensive policy that clearly outlines the rules and
  procedures of government procurement. Supply and Services
  Minister Gerald O'Malley released the new government policy
  in the Legislature today.
  The policy takes effect Jan. 1, 1996 and includes all
  government departments, boards and agencies and Crown
  corporations. A draft form of the policy was widely
  distributed for comment this spring. More than 40
  individuals, businesses, civil servants, municipal leaders
  and industry associations responded to the call for feedback
  to improve the draft policy.
  The new policy together with the revised Atlantic
  Procurement Agreement "are the definitive documents for
  public sector procurement in Nova Scotia," the minister
  "Our objectives at the beginning of this process were to
  ensure that the procurement system helped taxpayers receive
  the best value for their dollars, that the system was fair
  and open and to ensure that every business have an equal
  opportunity to do business with government and public
  institutions," Mr. O'Malley said. "I believe we have met
  those objectives."
  Some highlights of the procurement policy are:
  - The principle of accepting the lowest valid tender is
  enshrined. "If staff feel for any reason that the lowest
  tender should not be accepted, approval from the Priorities
  and Planning Committee will be required," Mr. O'Malley said.
  "Staff's written rationale for awarding to the non-lowest
  tender will be available for public review."
  - The process and dollar thresholds for acquiring goods,
  services, construction, office space and professional
  services are outlined. "There are different procurement
  processes for each stage when staff are acquiring these
  goods and services," the minister said.
  - The process for advertising for requirements over $1,000
  are also clearly outlined.
  - Alternative procurement practices are outlined.
  "Alternative practices would include buying from the only
  known supplier, emergency situations, and opportunities to
  support minority businesses and sheltered workshops," the
  minister said.
  - The policy includes provisions for unsolicited proposals.
  Under recent revisions to the Atlantic Procurement
  Agreement, universities, school boards and hospitals
  receiving provincial funding will be included in the
  agreement effective Jan. 1, 1996. In Nova Scotia, these
  sectors will also be covered by the new provincial
  procurement policy on June 1, 1996.
  "These reforms will help ensure that public institutions
  receiving public funding receive the best possible value and
  that competition for this business is as open as possible,"
  Mr. O'Malley said. "We will use the time between now and
  June 1 to work with officials in these sectors to help make
  a smooth transition to the new process."
  Discussions are continuing, through the Conference of
  Atlantic Premiers to include municipalities in the Atlantic
  "These procurement reforms are an excellent example of what
  can be accomplished when working cooperatively with our
  partners and when there is commitment to effect leading edge
  reforms of our own practices," Mr. O'Malley said.
  Copies of the Procurement Policy will be available as of
  Friday, Dec. 1, 1995, at the Nova Scotia Government
  Bookstore, 1700 Granville St., Halifax, P.O. Box 637,
  B3J 2T3; telephone 902-424-7580 or (toll-free)
  Contact: David MacNeil  902-424-2933
  trp                    Nov. 30, 1995