Best Practices in Buying

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Table of Contents

Procurement best practices

A proper combination of good management and common sense will go a long way to help you buy effectively for your clients. The following are practices that will help you do your work efficiently:

  • Maintain good records by keeping files up-to-date;
  • Always obtain written or faxed confirmation of significant information;
  • Consult your colleagues who often have sound advice to give;
  • Use specialist help in dealing with complex requirements;
  • Always treat information, especially bid information, in a confidential manner;
  • Know your suppliers' performance history;
  • Consider all options in buying, and the long-term implications;
  • Always be clear in your communications;
  • Ensure the honesty of every aspect of the buying process;
  • Try to get involved early in the process with your client.

For more information, please see the PWGSC Supply Manual, Chapter 1.10.10: Procurement Best Practices.

Practices to avoid

There are buying practices you must avoid:

Retroactive contracting:
the practice of contract development and approval after the work has been assigned, usually without competition. This practice contravenes Treasury Board policy. For more information, please see the PWGSC Supply Manual, Chapter 2: Defining the Requirement and Requisition Receipt.
Contract splitting:
splitting a requirement into a number of contracts to avoid having to award the contract through competition. This practice contravenes Treasury Board policy. For more information, please see the PWGSC Supply Manual, Chapter 6: Approvals and Authorities.
Sole sourcing:
directing a purchase to a supplier without competition. For more information, please see the PWGSC Supply Manual, Chapter 3: Section 3.15 Non-competitive Contracting Process.
Employer-employee relationship:
treating a contract individual as if he were an employee. This practice contravenes Treasury Board policy. For more information, please see the PWGSC Supply Manual, Chapter 2: Section 2.55 Employer-employee Relationships.