Bill 122 Public Accountability Act

Friday, July 1, 2011

Bill 122 Public Accountability Act

The government has passed new legislation to ensure fair, open and transparent procurement procedures in broader public sector (BPS) organizations. 

The act provides authority for the Management Board of Cabinet, to issue procurement directives for BPS organizations and require that they be followed.

What does this mean for the BPS?

For the BPS, the legislation strengthens procurement rules and increase accountability and transparency in the use of public funds. 

The legislation ensures these organizations follow tough procurement rules, such as mandating competitive procurements and the requirement to adopt a supply chain code of ethics and a procurement policies and procedures standard.

Effective July 1, 2011, hospitals, school boards, colleges and universities are expected to follow the Supply Chain Guideline when procuring goods and services. 
Key Changes to how we do business at the University of Waterloo:

  • Competitive bidding is required for all consulting engagements, regardless of dollar level.
  • It will be a matter of law, rather than policy, to seek competitive bids for acquisitions that exceed $5000.00 before HST.

Consulting is defined by the Province of Ontario as the provision of expertise or strategic advice that is presented for consideration and decision making.

As we apply this definition to the Universities business activities, a good strategy is to determine if the engagement is of a strategic manner, or more of a tactical service?  If we engage a firm to develop a communications strategy, we would consider that consulting.  Conversely, if we hire a graphic designer to create and/or produce a newsletter, that would be more of a tactical nature and not considered consulting.

Many of the “consulting” activities that the university engages 3rd parties to perform are NOT consulting, but rather mislabeled as such.  A great deal of the business is more appropriately labeled “fee for service”.

Please see the list that we have begun to form to help make a determination. Bill 122- Consulting vs Non-Consulting Services Draft (version 6).pdf

Please contact Stephen Cook, Procurement & Contracts, ext.32515 or should you have any questions.