Procurement advice and best practices

Get support to help you achieve your procurement objectives. Learn to work efficiently and within your organizational budget, and where to discuss the latest procurement news and issues. 

Best practices for working efficiently

The following best practices will help you do your work efficiently while avoiding miscommunications with your clients and decreasing chances of delays. Best practices include:

  • maintaining records by keeping files up-to-date and confidential
  • obtaining written or faxed confirmation of significant information
  • consulting with colleagues for advice
  • using specialist help to deal with complex requirements
  • knowing your suppliers' performance history
  • considering all long-term implications in buying 
  • communicate clearly
  • ensure the honesty of every aspect of the buying process
  • get involved early in the process with your client

For more information, see the Supply Manual: Chapter 1, section 10.10 - Procurement best practices.

Practices to avoid

Here are practices that you should avoid to adhere to Treasury Board policies.

Retroactive contracting

The practice of contract development and approval after the work has been assigned, usually without competition. For more information, see the Supply Manual: Chapter 2 - Defining the requirement and requisition receipt.

Contract splitting

Splitting a requirement into a number of contracts to avoid having to award the contract through competition. For more information, see the Supply Manual: Chapter 6 - Approvals and authorities.

Sole sourcing

Directing a purchase to a supplier without competition. For more information, see the Supply Manual: Chapter 3, section  3.15 - Non-competitive contracting process.

Employer-employee relationship

Treating a contract individual as if they were an employee. For more information, see the Supply Manual: Chapter 2, section 2.55 - Employer-employee relationships.

Get advice from your organization’s account manager

Dedicated account managers are assigned to each department and agency to give advice and solutions to problems you may have during the procurement process. On top of giving advice their role also includes:  

  • developing a plan to identify opportunities for improved procurement and to achieve your goals
  • working with Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) sectors on their behalf to make the procurement process as transparent as possible

Contact the Client Engagement Directorate (CED) to get in touch with your account manager:

Establish a goods and services management strategy

Goods and services management strategies are designed to improve the procurement process while respecting regulatory and policy requirements. Having a goods and services management strategy ensures:

  • standardizing and simplifying the procurement process through standing offers and supply arrangements
  • reducing the cost of goods and services while maintaining the level of quality, service and technology
  • stable sources of supply while offering the best value for Canadians in an open, fair and transparent way
  • adherence to socio-economic and environmental objectives

Manage your organization's spend

The Spend Management and Acquisition Reporting Division within the Business Analytics Services Directorate support goods and services management through improved knowledge of what the government buys, how much, when and from whom. They also help individual departments and agencies find better ways to coordinate and manage their spending. 

PSPC developed the Spend Cube as a tool for managing your spending by helping to identify:

  • how much and when money is spent
  • what goods and services are purchased
  • how to lower costs
  • how to plan spending
  • what decisions to make in the future

For more information or to learn how your organization can make the most of PSPC’s spend management solution, contact CED.

Greening your procurement

All contracting authorities and buyers are responsible for ensuring the specific standards issued under the Policy on Green Procurement are followed. 

PSPC contracting authorities have the additional responsibility of providing client departments with environmentally preferable options in the procurement services offered.

Learn more about Green Procurement tools

Benefits of the Client Advisory Board

The Acquisitions Branch's Client Advisory Board (CAB), is a pivotal forum for the discussion of procurement related news and issues. It is attended by designated procurement representatives from participating departments and agencies (accessible only on the Government of Canada network) and PSPC.

For several years CAB members have been working together in an open forum that offers: 

  • advice and suggestions to improve procurement 
  • discussions on proposed procurement initiatives
  • discussions on new PSPC tools and services
  • a place to raise issues, provide advice and share best practices. 

These focused activities are leading to better management of procurement for all government stakeholders.

Learn more about the role of CAB by checking out:

Join CAB by contacting:


Date modified: