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Federal Public Contracts Now Governed by New, More Flexible Integrity Provisions

On July 3, 2015, the federal government implemented a new integrity regime (New Regime) governing suppliers' capacity to enter into procurement contracts and real property transactions with Public Works and Government Services Canada. The New Regime will be rolled out to all federal departments and agencies over the coming months.

Compared with its predecessor, which provided for an automatic 10-year debarment of suppliers convicted of certain offences, the New Regime allows for more flexibility and discretion in the determination of the ineligibility periods. Most notably,

  • the 10-year ineligibility period can be reduced by up to 5 years, under administrative agreements, "if the supplier has cooperated with legal authorities or addressed the causes of the misconduct that led to [its] ineligibility";
  • the conviction of a supplier's affiliate for a Listed Offence does not trigger ineligibility unless the supplier has influenced or participated in the commission of the offence;
  • the laying of charges against a supplier may trigger its ineligibility for a period of up to 18 months or for as long as necessary "pending completion" of criminal proceedings; and
  • suppliers can request an advanced determination of eligibility through voluntary disclosure to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services in order to start the ineligibility period and the application of corrective measures as soon as possible, if appropriate.

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