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How to become a government supplier

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Governments at all levels are probably the biggest purchasers of goods and services. As a small business, it makes sense that you would want to take advantage of the opportunities they present. Depending on which level of government you wish to do business with, there are different ways to access the tenders.

Federal government

Thanks in part to CFIB’s fight for small businesses; the federal government now manages its own tenders via the website buyandsell.ca/tenders. You can search for active tenders, sign up for e-mail notifications, and register as a supplier to the federal government—all for free!

Provincial and municipal governments

MERX is an online tool that provides access to opportunities within:

  • Provincial and municipal governments
  • The MASH sector (school boards, health boards, etc.)
  • The private sector
  • U.S. federal, state and local opportunities
  • Private construction service (houses, hotels, shopping malls, etc.)

It is free to view the opportunities, but there are fees for accessing additional services.

Want to learn more about procurement?

MERX offers free tutorials on several tender-related topics such as how to search for tenders and electronic bid submission. The federal government offers webinars and seminars on procurement-related topics on its buy and sell website. The Canada Business Network has information and tools to help you complete the tasks required to sell to the federal government. 

Having problems with a federal contract?

The Office of the Procurement Ombudsman (OPO) helps suppliers who are experiencing issues in supplying goods and services to the federal government. 
Contact the OPO if:

  • You are experiencing difficulty with the administration of your contract regardless of the dollar value, or
  • You have concerns regarding the award of contracts below $25,000 (for goods) and $100,000 (for services).

The OPO facilitates contract disputes both informally and through an Alternative Dispute Resolution service that is available at no cost. The OPO does not have the authority to impose a settlement or resolution, but will help you and the government department reach a satisfactory, confidential, legally-binding solution. 

Fighting fraud

To crack down on fraud, collusion, and corruption within federal procurement, the government and Royal Canadian Mounted Police created a centralized point of contact for providing information on suspected wrong-doing in federal contracting.

If you have information on suspected bid-rigging, price-fixing, false invoicing, bribery, etc., in a federal government contract or real property agreement, you’re encouraged to report it anonymously by calling the protected toll-free line at 1-844-365-1616 or by completing the online reporting tool.