The purpose of Policy Notification (PN)-151 is to inform Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) Acquisitions Program contracting officers of updates to the Code of Conduct for Procurement (the Code).
PN-151 is effective immediately.
The Code of Conduct for Procurement (the Code) is a statement of expectations for vendors. It is included by reference into contracts, standing offers, supply arrangements and the contracts resulting from standing offers or supply arrangements where PWGSC is the procurement authority. It also forms part of the contract’s terms and conditions.
Vendors and their sub-contractors are expected to adhere to the principles set out in the Code in good faith. When submitting a bid, vendors agree to comply with the Code and to be bound by its terms for the period of a given contract. The Code applies to vendors who provide goods and services to the Government of Canada where PWGSC is the procurement authority. The Code could also apply to a contract by other Government of Canada departments and agencies where PWGSC’s standard terms and conditions, and the Code, have been incorporated by reference in the contract.
The Code was originally announced as part of the 2006 Federal Accountability Act to reform federal procurement. The Code was published in September 2007 and has since undergone revisions in September 2012 and November 2014.
In September 2019, the Government of Canada launched the National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking (2019-2024). The National Strategy includes a commitment for PWGSC to address human trafficking and forced labour in federal government procurement by outlining human and labour rights expectations for government vendors. Updating the Code was one of the mechanisms identified to help fulfil this commitment under the National Strategy. To accomplish this, PWGSC ran a consultation with vendors, non-government organizations, academics and other government departments, which informed updates to the Code.
The revised Code is streamlined to focus primarily on PWGSC vendors, and includes new content on human trafficking and human and labour rights that was informed by the eight fundamental conventions of the International Labour Organization and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (PDF, 1110 KB) - (Help on File Formats).
Additionally, the Code includes new content on environmental protection, discriminatory practices, and protection of the rights of Indigenous Peoples. It also includes a new expectation for vendors and their sub-contractors to adhere to Canada’s prohibition on the importation of goods produced in whole, or in part, through exposure to forced labour.
The expectations set forth in the revised Code apply to vendors and sub-contractors within their supply chains. It is expected that vendors will adhere, in good faith, to the principles set out in the Code. Should a contracting officer receive information about a possible scenario of non-compliance, they should contact:
PWGSC reserves the right to deem a bid non-responsive or to terminate an existing contract with any vendor that fails to comply with the Code. PWGSC would first seek to work with the vendor to help address any apparent lack of compliance with the Code before terminating a contract. Guidance will be provided on a case-by-case basis by the Ethical Procurement Team in consultation with Legal Services.
Summary of Additions
Contracting officers should note the following:
Expectations for sub-contractors
The updated Code includes new language outlining expectations that apply to the entire supply chain of vendors and their sub-contractors. This expectation is included in the Code as a means of ensuring that PWGSC does not purchase goods that have been exposed in any way to human rights violations (see section 8 and section 10 of the Code).
New Human Rights and Labour Standards expectations
Subsection 10.2 of the Code, titled Forced Labour, creates a new expectation for vendors and their sub-contractors to comply with Canada’s update to the Customs Tariff and its Schedule, prohibiting the importation into Canada of goods mined, manufactured or produced wholly or in part by forced or compulsory labour.
Revisions to the Supply Manual
The Supply Manual has been revised in support of this PN. For more details, refer to the Affected Supply Manual sections listed below.
Revisions to the Standard Acquisition Clauses and Conditions Manual (SACC)
The SACC Manual has been revised in support of this PN. For more details, refer to the Affected SACC Manual sections listed below.
Revisions to the Standard Procurement Templates
There are no changes to the Standard Procurement Templates.
For assistance with the application of the Code of Conduct, Acquisitions Program contracting officers may contact the Ethical Procurement Unit of the Strategic Policy Sector at TPSGC.PAAchatseEthiques-APEthicalProcurement.PWGSC@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca.
Questions related to the Supply Manual may be sent by email to the following address:
Questions related to the SACC Manual may be sent by email to the following address: