Seminar Notes: Finding Opportunities on

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Office of Small and Medium Enterprises

  • Supports small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through the federal procurement process
  • Engages, assists and informs SMEs on how to sell goods and services to the Government of Canada
  • Works to reduce barriers to ensure fairness in the process


  • Review of
  • Demonstrate the Government Electronic Tender Service (GETS) – including how to:
    • Search for tenders, contract history and Standing Offers and Supply Arrangements
    • Follow opportunities
    • Locate useful sources of information

Opportunities for small and medium enterprises

  • One of the largest buyers of goods and services in Canada
  • Buys a wide range of goods and services each year, with contract values ranging from hundreds to billions of dollars
  • Smaller businesses were awarded 88% of contracts issued annually to suppliers in Canada by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) from 2016 to 2019

Contracting with the Government of Canada

  • PSPC is the main procurement arm of the federal government
  • It is important that all procurement activities be conducted in an open, fair and transparent manner, and that all suppliers have an equal chance at doing business with us
  • Federal laws and regulations as well as Treasury Board of Canada policies guide the Government of Canada’s procurement process

  • The authoritative source for government procurement information, including:
    • How to register as a supplier
    • Procurement policies and guidelines
    • Past and current procurement data
    • Key procurement contacts in departments and agencies
    • Government of Canada procurement initiatives and programs
    • Information related to upcoming events and seminars
  • gathers data on what government buys, and who has been successful in selling to government in the past.

Competitive Procurement

  • Procurement over $25,000 for goods and $40,000 for services is done through the solicitation of bids and quotes from potential suppliers using a variety of methods
  • The four most commonly used are:
    • An Invitation to Tender (ITT);
    • A Request for Proposal (RFP);
    • A Request for Standing Offer (RFSO); and,
    • A Request for Supply Arrangement (RFSA)
  • The tender notice will indicate the method of procurement being used and will outline the solicitation documents

  • Is the official and free source suppliers should rely on to find Government of Canada tenders
  • Is easy to navigate and suppliers can search for new contract opportunities as well as see past contract awards
    • Federal departments and agencies use to advertise their requirements subject to any trade agreements and often will use it for other requirements as well.

Benefits of using

  • Access for free, no registration required
  • Search using plain language, and filters
  • Find data for any tenders, previous contracts, or current standing offers and supply arrangements
  • Subscribe to a web feed and email notification to automatically receive notifications when new opportunities or amendments are published

Searching made easy

  • If you want to refine your search, use the search box at the top of the page.
  • Simply enter a search term, a date, word, location, etc. and the results will be refined based on the search criteria.
  • Note that the word searched on may not appear in the title, but it will appear somewhere in the tender notice. You can also enter “AND”, “OR” to further refine the search. Note: Boolean operators must be ALL CAPS
  • Refine the results of a search by using the filters on the left-hand side of the page, and filter based on the:
    • Type of procurement data,
    • Publication date;
    • Amendment date;
    • Tender notices by Closing date;
    • Tender notice status;
    • Type of goods or service; and
    • Location.
  • Filters can be used either in conjunction with the Search function or alone.
  • The more filters clicked within a category, the broader search results will be since they will include all items selected within that category (e.g. Active, Ontario AND Quebec AND Manitoba). You can expand or collapse each of the filter categories.
  • However, the more categories chosen, the more limited the search will become, since it will limit the scope of the search to the selected items within the selected categories (e.g. selecting Goods, Active, Ontario, will return results of only active notices in Ontario related to goods).
  • Notice at the top, the Selected filters section will show what filters you have chosen.
  • To change the filter selections, simply “unclick” them by clicking on the “X” beside the name of each filter on the left.
  • Alternatively, search using Goods and Services Identification Numbers (GSINs).
  • To find a GSIN code, click on “Goods and Services” in the main menu, click on Browse GSIN codes.
  • Once you find your GSIN codes, it’s a good idea to write the number down for future reference.
  • In the search box at the top of the page, enter your relevant GSIN codes to find opportunities.
    • You can search multiple GSIN codes at the same time by separating them using the word “OR”. (E.g. TPP4KA OR N7030). This is the best way to search for opportunities, as it produces the best results.
    • Avoid using a combination of GSIN codes and key words in the same search, as it restricts your results.
  • Tip: Searching multiple GSIN codes is typically the most effective way to get results.

Open Data on

  • Under the Procurement Data section:
    • Contract history
    • Current Standing Offers and Supply Arrangements
  • Knowing what buyers have bought in the past and which companies have been successful selling to them can be very useful as you develop your business strategy. It can sometimes be an indicator of future purchasing plans.
  • With the free Supplier Contract History Letter service, you can request a signed letter confirming contracts awarded to you by PSPC.
  • A much broader audience is reached by encouraging the re-use and re-publishing of tender data by third parties to add value and services for their subscribers. Examples where this may be useful could be:
    • A private sector tender publisher
    • Industry associations



  • Doing Business with the Government of Canada
  • Finding Opportunities on
  • Bidding on Opportunities
  • Defence and Security Procurement
  • Supplying Professional Services to the Government of Canada
  • Obtaining Security Clearance

View the full schedule of events

Request assistance

If you need help understanding the federal procurement process or registering for a procurement business number:

Electronic procurement solution

The Government is moving federal procurement online. During this transition, you may be able to bid on some tender opportunities through the electronic procurement solution. Find out more.