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Public Services and Procurement Canada

2.6. Annex: Accessible procurement: Factors and considerations

Client departments, with the assistance of Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC), are responsible for all four stages of the procurement process, from planning and acquisition through use and disposal. The following lists are an example of aspects to be considered:

  1. Accessibility factors and related cost elements
    Examples of accessibility factors that should be taken into consideration in assessing best value are provided below. These are expressed in terms of cost elements that client departments may take into consideration in the evaluation of bids. These include but are not limited to:
    1. Investing up front to save costs later, such as procuring goods and services that have flexibility built in and are easily adaptable to be the most accessible for the widest range of end-users;
    2. Establishing performance standards for commodities where there is a sufficient supplier base to support competition;
    3. Where supplier base is limited, include incentives for meeting extra accessibility performance criteria;
    4. Use of contractual terms, to define accessibility obligations, such as including mandatory accessibility criteria or standards.
  2. Accessibility evaluation indicators
    Examples of indicators that should be examined to develop evaluation criteria are as follows:
    1. Market capacity
      Does market capacity exist to support the inclusion of mandatory accessibility criteria in the procurement?
    2. Standing Offers/Supply Arrangements
      Have procurement instruments been updated to incorporate technical specifications related to accessibility?
    3. Performance testing
      1. Would it be useful to have a prototype or product demonstration to validate accessibility features?
      2. Does a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template exist for the product to demonstrate accessibility?
      3. Is it possible to test the good/service, prior to purchase?
      4. How will suppliers demonstrate the accessibility of their good or service compliance?
    4. Adaptability
      1. Is flexibility built into the design so the good can easily be modified or adapted to meet accessibility needs?
      2. Are there accessibility add-ons that can be purchased to enhance the accessibility of the good or service being procured?
    5. Accessibility standards
      1. Do the good(s) or service(s) comply with an industry standard for accessibility? Have the standards been implemented?
      2. Will accessibility features be the default setting for the good(s) or service(s)?
    6. Packaging
      1. Does packaging take into account accessibility (e.g. easy to open)?
      2. Are instructions for using the product/technology clear and easy to follow, and available in accessible formats?
    7. Maintenance
      1. Is the good designed for easy maintenance and repair of accessibility features?
      2. Is the good easy and cost effective for accessibility add-ons or upgrades?
      3. Does the supplier provide accessible customer service?