According to its Buy and Sell website, the Government of Canada is one of the largest public buyers of
goods and services in Canada, purchasing approximately $22 billion worth every year on behalf of
federal departments and agencies. Wouldn’t it be nice to get a piece of that pie for your business? Here
are some tips to help you get started.
Think of “the Government of Canada” as more than one client and more than one door.
The department Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) is the main buyer of goods
and services for the government and plays a key role in helping federal departments and agencies define
their requirements or scope of work and obtain what they need at the best value. But not all of the
government’s goods and services are purchased centrally, so don’t treat it as simply one potential client.
Similarly, there is not just one way of accessing the government to provide your company’s goods or
services, as it uses a variety of means, including contracts, standing offers and supply arrangements.
Good to know:
● When contract values are high, PWGSC has the authority to buy on behalf of the government.
● Contract opportunities for goods over $25,000, services over $84,000 and construction over
$100,000 must be advertised via the government’s tendering service.
● Opportunities under the above amounts may be contracted through a sole source contract at
the discretion of departments and agencies.
Monitor and respond to Requests for Proposals (RFPs)
All government tenders are posted on the Buy and Sell website. On the site, you can create filters and
email notifications that track your industry or other bid characteristics so that you are able to respond
quickly to RFPs that interest you.
Good to know:
● You can filter opportunities on the website by GSIN (the Goods and Services Identification
Number), by status, by posting date, by province/territory and more.
● You can set up email notifications for when new bids that fall under specific criteria are posted.
Find low-dollar (under $25,000) opportunities and promote yourself
Lower dollar opportunities do not need to be posted and can be assigned internally by each government
To take advantage of these opportunities, it is best to promote yourself and network within applicable
● Search for government contacts by name, department or other characteristics through the
Government Electronic Directory Service and use your new connections to create networking
● Search government contracts over $10,000 in value to find information about previous
opportunities within your industry, and use this information to identify potential opportunities
and target specific government departments.
Leverage the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises (OSME) resources
The Office of Small and Medium Enterprises (OSME) offers a variety of seminars, one-on-one sessions,
and forums to helps businesses sell goods and services to the Government of Canada. Their team is very
approachable and can help you navigate the many different layers of working with the government.
Seriously, that’s why the OSME department exists. They are real people who answer their phones –
Register as a supplier
The Supplier Registration Information (SRI) system is a database of registered companies interested in
selling to the federal government. When you register in SRI, “you make your company’s name and
supply capabilities widely known to federal departments and agencies, who may use the system to
identify sources of supply for the goods and services they buy.”
Make sure to:
●Obtain your Procurement Business Number (PBN) (a mandatory requirement to do business
with the federal government).
● Register in other applicable PWGSC registration databases, such as SELECT, ProServices or
the Translation Bureau. (Additional information may be required.)
Looking for more opportunities to extend your business’s reach to government and beyond? Contact CP
Business Solutions Inc. We can help!
CP Business Solutions