What the Government Buys

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The Government of Canada buys just about every kind of good and service, from aircraft to paper clips, from training services to scientific research. Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) is a common service agency responsible for a significant portion of these government procurement opportunities which it categorizes under the following:

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You may also want to examine the following Web pages which will give you a better idea of what PWGSC and other federal departments and agencies buy:

  • Contacts for GSIN Codes - Use Contacts for GSIN Codes to find contact information for the division responsible for the procurement of goods or services.
  • Contacts for UNSPSC Codes - Use Contacts for UNSPSC Codes for or more information about United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC) The UNSPSC team will provide interpretive advice and guidance on UNSPSC codes.
  • Contract History - provides information on contracts awarded by PWGSC on behalf of all federal departments and agencies for the last three years.

Architectural and engineering consulting services

PWGSC solicits, on behalf of federal departments and agencies, various architectural and engineering consulting services related to real property. These include:

  • Professional and technical services: studies, planning, design, and related services during construction for buildings, marine, air and land facilities;
  • Specialized services: environmental services, electronic imaging, communication engineering, building automation, heritage restoration, and hydrographic surveys;
  • other related consulting services.

Architectural and engineering consulting services requirements valued at $100,000 or more are advertised on the Government Electronic Tendering Service (GETS). Same requirements valued at $100,000 or less are advertised in SELECT (database of approved suppliers who are qualified to perform specialty construction, or architectural and engineering consulting services).

Other departments and agencies are required to use SELECT for architectural and engineering consulting services valued at $25,000 or more.

For more information about these services and how you can supply them, please contact the nearest PWGSC Regional Office.

Real property services

PWGSC buys services related to buildings such as:

  • cleaning services (e.g. carpets, windows);
  • janitorial services;
  • control systems maintenance and repair (e.g. alarms, sprinklers, security);
  • grounds maintenance;
  • other services related to real property.

Requirements for services related to real property valued at $100,000 or more are advertised on GETS. Requirements valued at $100,000 or less are advertised in SELECT.

Construction Services

Although departments and agencies can buy most of their construction services requirements directly, PWGSC buys a wide range of these services in support of departments and agencies. Annually, PWGSC award contracts for construction services requirements for a value of $2.7 billion.

Construction services requirements valued at $100,000 or more are advertised on GETS. Similar requirements valued at $100,000 or less are handled by PWGSC regional offices through SELECT.

Leasing requirements are normally advertised in local newspapers. However, leases with annual net rents in excess of $100,000 are also published on GETS.

SELECT is used to register construction contractors to give them an equal opportunity to do business with the government by selection on a rotational basis for requirements valued at $100,000 or less.

For more information on registering in SELECT, please contact the nearest PWGSC Regional Office.
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About Goods and Services

Some departments and agencies have the authority to buy their own goods and services (in most cases, $25,000 or less for goods and $2,000,000 or less for services). PWGSC buys over 15,000 types of goods and services from private sector companies. These include, but are not limited to:

  • aerospace and electronic systems (for aircraft, ships and military vehicles);
  • computer hardware and software;
  • custom-manufactured and commercially-available products;
  • informatics services;
  • marine equipment and armament;
  • marine inspection and technical services;
  • communications, audio-visual and printing services;
  • research and development services; and,
  • science and professional services.

Requirements for most goods and services valued at $25,000 or more are published on GETS. For most goods and services valued below this threshold, PWGSC will solicit bids from selected suppliers registered in its source lists. Many of the requirements PWGSC buys below $25,000 are handled by its regional offices.

For more information on bidding opportunities and how to submit a bid, please contact the nearest PWGSC Regional Office.

What is green procurement?

Federal departments and agencies are establishing more environmentally responsible procurement practices. As part of this objective, they are using online resources to identify green goods and services and the companies that supply them. These include:

For more information about greening government, please visit the following Web pages: