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Saskatoon procurement changes to seek ‘best value’

JOC News Service
Saskatoon procurement changes to seek ‘best value’
SHEILA STEELE/FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

SASKATOON, SASK. — The City of Saskatoon has altered its procurement policy to prioritize the “best value” option rather than just the lowest price.

City council approved the adoption of a new purchasing policy last month after a recommendation from the Standing Policy Committee on Finance.

According to the city, the policy will reflect best practices for public procurement and brings the city’s policy into compliance with trade treaty obligations. It draws on criteria from federal and provincial procurement rules. The new policy will take effect Dec. 1.

One of the main features of the new policy is that purchases made in accordance with an approved budget and within the authority of the policy provisions, will now be delegated to the administration for the awarding of contracts and purchase orders rather than city council.

The policy was crafted after a procurement review was conducted over the past year, presenting the city with opportunities to identify gaps in the process, document all current purchasing processes and provide greater transparency for vendors.

The review also gave direction for city employees on common standards to be used consistently for most purchases made by the city and helped provide consistency across the organization by developing new templates and contracts.

The review included engagement opportunities for external and internal stakeholders through the city’s website and in-person meetings. An engagement workshop was also conducted to gather feedback on the expansion of the new policy for the future inclusion of social and Indigenous procurement best practices.

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