Changes to Acquisitions Program (AP) Contracting Limits and Amendments to the Government Contracts Regulations

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Policy Notification (PN) 137 is to inform Acquisitions Program on recent changes to contracting limits in Appendix C of the Treasury Board (TB) Contracting Policy and recent amendments to the Government Contracts Regulations.

Effective date

This policy notification is effective immediately.


To modernize procurement policies and processes, the Treasury Board Appendix C: Contracts Directive has been updated and streamlined.

The contracting limits within the Contracting Directive (Appendix C of TB Contracting Policy) Contracting limits as per Appendix C: Contracts DirectiveThe information is only accessible to federal government department and agency employees. (Guidance ToolThe information is only accessible to federal government department and agency employees.) has been updated to reflect:

  • Increased financial limits by 25%.
  • Amendment limit collapsed and included under entry limit to simplify and add flexibility.

    Need to factor all life-cycle costing including integration costs with other business functions when calculating contract entry amounts. This will impact the procurement of high dollar value equipment with long life cycles (e.g. defence equipment).

  • Merging electronic bidding with traditional limits.

    Traditional bidding is still a valid method but should only be used when warranted/justified.

A. Contracting Limits

In the TB Appendix C: Contracts Directive, basic contract entry limits for construction, goods and services have been:

  • Increased (except for specialized goods and services) to account for inflation;
  • Updated to reflect previous TB approvals.

In addition, the distinct limits for contract amendments, electronic and traditional bidding have been replaced by a single contracting limit that applies to:

  • Contract entry and all amendments;
  • Electronic and non-electronic bidding processes.

The presentation of basic and exceptional limits has also been reorganized for improved clarity. Part I - Basic Contracting Limits and Part II – Departmental Index to Exceptional Contracting Limits reflect these changes.

The Minister is now assuming all delegated authority approval rights for any procurement contract that falls under Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC)’s purview, and are above the spending limits of an Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM).

In order to obtain Ministerial approval, the following new process is now in force:

  1. A Contract Request Summary (CRS) and a Memorandum for the Minister must be prepared;
  2. The appropriate ADM must review and approve both documents;
  3. The CRS will stay with the ADM; and
  4. The Memorandum must be sent to the Minister for approval.

B. Amendments to Government Contracts Regulations and its impact for PWGSC

1. Sole-source limits:

As part of this set of amendments, the $25,000 threshold for soliciting bids for services and construction contracts was increased to $40,000. The increase is to account for inflation since 1996, when the threshold was last amended.

From a supplier’s perspective, this new threshold will likely reduce costs to some businesses by not requiring them to submit bids that may have otherwise been required. The threshold for goods contracts was not increased as it is consistent with Canada’s obligation to solicit bids under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement.

There are circumstances where competition for requirements below $40,000 may be appropriate. PWGSC delegated procurement authorities are expected to assess each situation to determine whether contracts should be competed below $40,000.

2. Definitions of goods and services contracts

The definitions of a goods contract and a services contract were amended in the Government Contracts Regulations to identify printing as a service instead of a good.

service contract
means a contract for the provision of services, including printing services, but does not include an agreement under which a person is employed as an officer, clerk or employee of Her Majesty (marché de services)
goods contract
means a contract for the purchase of articles, commodities, equipment, goods, materials or supplies and includes a contract for the construction or repair of a vessel. (marché de fournitures)

Contact information

For assistance with the application, please contact the Strategic Policy Sector at