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Public Works and Government Services Canada

9.40.1. Decision to Set Aside a Procurement under the Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business

  1. The decision to set aside a procurement under PSAB is the responsibility of the client department.
  2. There are two types of PSAB set-asides:
    1. Mandatory Set-Asides:
      1. It is mandatory to set aside a procurement under PSAB if an Aboriginal population is the primary recipient or end user of the goods or services being procured and the value exceeds $5,000, provided that operational requirements, prudence, probity, best value and sound contracting management can be assured.
      2. In order for an Aboriginal population to be the primary recipient or end user of the goods or services being procured, delivery does not have to be directly to the Aboriginal community. For example, goods may be delivered to a government department site and later distributed to Aboriginal communities, groups or individuals.
      3. For more information and examples of what constitute a mandatory set-aside under PSAB, please refer to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada's (AANDC) interpretation bulletin.
      4. Under ARCHIVED - TBS Contracting Policy Notice 1996-2,
        "Aboriginal Population" means
        1. an area, or community in which Aboriginal people make up at least 80 percent of the population;
        2. a group of people for whom the procurement is aimed in which Aboriginal people make up at least 80 percent of the group.
    2. Voluntary Set-Asides: Client departments may designate any procurement as being restricted exclusively to qualified Aboriginal suppliers. Contracting officers should assist client departments in meeting their performance objectives under the program, by drawing their attention to opportunities for voluntary PSAB set-asides, when qualified Aboriginal suppliers are known to exist in the marketplace.
  3. When a procurement is set aside under PSAB and no aboriginal business submitted a responsive bid/offer/arrangement, then the solicitation must be reissued, either as a set-aside once again (after the necessary adjustments to the solicitation have been made), or open to all bidders in accordance with the procedures for the applicable trade agreement(s), taking into account the relevant thresholds, and all the related applicable components, which apply to the requirement in the absence of a set-aside. This re-solicitation process will also apply when Aboriginal bids/offers/arrangements are received but a contract will not be awarded in order to avoid conflicting with sound contracting principles such as best value, prudence and probity. (See 9.40.25 Sound Contracting Principles.)
  4. PWGSC will not unilaterally declare a procurement set-aside under PSAB. However, following receipt of a requisition above $5,000, for which an Aboriginal population is the primary recipient or end user, but is not designated as a PSAB set-aside, the contracting officer should contact the client department and identify the potential omission. If the client indicates that the procurement is not to be set aside under PSAB, the file should be annotated accordingly, and the procurement may then proceed.