This Policy Notification (PN)-43U1 supersedes PN-43R, Use of Construction and Architectural and Engineering Services Contracting Authorities, released April 23, 2009. As client departments increase their project management capacities and capabilities relating to construction and architectural and engineering (A&E) services, it is incumbent upon the Department of Public Works and Government Services to remove barriers to using its contracting services and recognize the willingness of client departments in accepting responsibility for their requirements. As such, PN-43R must be updated to provide a clearer and more formal definition of the roles and responsibilities of the client departments, Real Property Branch (RPB) and Real Property Contracting (RPC) Acquisitions Program (AP). Consequently, the Client Responsibilities Certification introduced in 2001 is replaced by a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
This PN was first issued in 1999. It was updated in March 2001, and updated again in April 2009. It was designed to reduce the risk to government in contracting for construction, and architectural and engineering (A&E) services (refer to the Definition of coverage document) as these requirements can deal with complex technical, health and safety, and project management issues.
As construction and A&E contracting authorities had previously only been given to the former Department of Public Works (prior to its merging with the Department of Supply and Services), for their use with their own technical resources, it was perceived that any other department accessing these higher contracting authorities may pose a risk, not only to the individual department but also to the Department of Public Works.
The initial PN-43 was therefore created to ensure that for such contracts for which PWGSC was the contracting authority, adequate risk management approaches were used by the Acquisitions Program (AP) contracting community to ensure, in advance, that projects managed by client department technical authorities were undertaken with an appropriate level of: (i) contracting; and (ii) technical expertise.
In situations where Real Property Branch (RPB) was the technical authority, AP accepted that the appropriate level of understanding and technical expertise existed to ensure an acceptable level of risk to Canada. However, where a client department was to be the technical authority, AP was to assess the risks inherent in the planned procurement. This analysis was to include a confirmation that the client had the required capacity (including the appropriate construction management capabilities and procedures), and that the client department was willing to accept the related responsibilities. RPB was to assist AP in the overall assessment of the client department's required capacity.
Upon obtaining a favourable assessment, the Director of the client department responsible for the project was to sign a short certification document outlining the responsibilities of the client department, allowing AP to proceed with the requirement. If the assessment was unfavourable, the client department was informed in writing of the reason(s) for which contracting services from AP would not be provided. The client department would then have to make internal modifications or avail themselves of the RPB technical services to carry-out the project.
In order to deal with the potential increase in requests from client departments to use AP contracting services, the assessment function of RPB is being replaced by a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a clear definition of roles and responsibilities. Responsibilities must be clearly defined, understood and assigned before AP contracting services are used.
When RPB is the technical authority/project manager for a construction or A&E services project, it is accepted that the appropriate level of technical expertise will be applied to the development and management of the project. RPC of AP will therefore provide its full range of real property contracting services to RPB.
When a client department intends to serve as the technical authority/project manager for a construction or A&E services contract put in place under the authority of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, it is the sole responsibility of the client department to assess and to determine that they have the required capacity (including the appropriate construction management capabilities and procedures). The division of responsibilities between the technical authority and the contracting authority are clearly defined in the document Real Property Contracting with Public Works and Government Services Canada. With this document, the client department and RPC will work together to formalize a project/program specific MOU. This MOU will confirm that the client has the required capacity and accepts the related responsibilities. The MOU must be signed before PWGSC agrees to undertake the work specified in the requisition.
Any inquiries are to be addressed to the Policy Analyst, Acquisition Program Policy Directorate at DPPApublications.APPDpublications@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca or to the Senior Director, Real Property Contracting Directorate, at Alain.Dorion@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca.