Symbol of the Government of Canada

Buyandsell.gc.ca

Public Works and Government Services Canada

8.140. Disputes

Attention: The Government Procurement provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) continue to apply until the recently announced United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is ratified and enters into force. More information about the USMCA will be provided in the coming weeks.

  1. When managing a contract, disputes may arise between parties to the contract. Disputes must be handled expeditiously. All parties must meet their contractual obligations. Proper record keeping is vital for clarification, audit or termination purposes.
  2. If a contracting officer is unable to resolve a contract dispute, the matter should be brought to the attention of the contracting officer's immediate supervisor.
  3. Consultation with Legal Services is recommended to ensure the protection of the interests of Canada. Consultation with the Business Dispute Management (BDM) Program, Departmental Oversight Branch (DOB), is recommended to prevent or limit unnecessary escalation and to create conditions for early resolution.
  4. When any business dispute associated with a contract (i.e. construction, acquisition, letting, leasing and disposal of real property) cannot be resolved through discussion, the contracting officer should immediately advise the contractor, in writing, of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services available in the BDM Program.
  5. Any questions concerning the BDM Program or any of its services should immediately be referred to the Manager, Business Dispute Management Program by email at the following address: GestionConflit.ConflictManagement@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca.

8.140.1 Contract dispute resolution

()

  1. All enquiries, from contractors or contracting officers concerning the options for dispute resolution should be addressed to the Manager of the Business Dispute Management (BDM) Program, Departmental Oversight Branch, by email at the following address: GestionConflit.ConflictManagement@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca.
  2. The BDM Program provides coordination, prevention and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services upon request to support the management of business disputes with third parties, other government departments and PWGSC employees to facilitate timely and appropriate action. ADR services provided through the BDM Program include consultation, facilitated discussions, mediation and arbitration.
  3. Prevention and Mitigation
    1. When a conflict does arise, the contracting officer must make every effort to resolve the dispute with the contractor as soon as possible.
    2. If the contracting officer and contractor do not resolve some or all of the issues in dispute, they should then attempt to resolve the dispute as soon as possible through the involvement of a senior level contracting authority or a senior project authority.
  4. Conflict Intervention
    1. If involving a senior level contracting authority or a senior project authority (as stated in c. ii.) does not resolve some or all of the issues in dispute, the contracting authority should immediately advise the contractor, in writing, of the ADR services available through the BDM Program, Departmental Oversight Branch. The contracting authority can also enlist the assistance of the BDM Program.
    2. Any party to a PWGSC contract can approach the BDM Program and request assistance in managing a business dispute.
    3. If an ADR service is requested, the BDM Program will inform the other parties of the request and determine their interest in such process. If the parties are interested, the ADR process will be initiated.
    4. If an ADR process does not resolve the dispute, the parties’ rights are not compromised.