Dispute Resolution

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Disagreements happen and when people sort out problems together, they tend to find solutions that better meet their needs and interests. Working directly with the Contracting Authority to resolve differences is always recommended to suppliers as the first course of action.

If the dispute cannot be resolved with the Contracting Authority directly, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) through a neutral third party is an option.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes may include:

  • Consultation;
  • Coaching;
  • Facilitated discussion;
  • Mediation;
  • Arbitration.

ADR is a means of settling a dispute outside of the courtroom. It often involves mediation where the mediator guides the parties to mutually and voluntarily arrive at a result that works for everyone involved. ADR may also involve arbitration where the arbitrator renders a decision to resolve the dispute.

ADR services are provided in a neutral setting for participants to engage in constructive dialogue. It is a confidential process where discussions remain between you and the other party or parties involved.

Office of the Procurement Ombudsman

The Office of the Procurement Ombudsman (OPO) is a neutral and independent third-party that provides ADR services to suppliers and federal organizations involved in a contract dispute, regardless of the dollar value of the contract.

OPO can help resolve contractual disputes involving most federal government departments and agencies. OPO’s ADR services are provided by certified mediators. OPO does not charge the parties any fees for its mediation services.

OPO ADR services include: Consultation; Facilitated discussion; Mediation.

For more information on the OPO’s dispute resolution services, visit the OPO web site.

Business Dispute Management Program

Public Services and Procurement Canada’s Business Dispute Management (BDM) Program provides neutral and confidential resources to help you manage a dispute where Public Services and Procurement Canada is the contracting authority.

BDM provides alternative dispute resolution services to both suppliers and government employees when difficulties are experienced during any point of a procurement or contract.

BDM’s ADR services include: Consultation; Coaching; Facilitated discussion; Mediation; and Arbitration.

To learn more and explore the various services the program offers, including advice and guidance and awareness presentations, visit Get help managing business disputes where PSPC is the contracting authority.