Audit of Non-Competitive Contracts over $25K (AU1209)

Reports 2011


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

INTRODUCTION

The federal government objective in contracting is to acquire goods and services in a manner that enhances access, competition, fairness and results in the best value to the Crown.

The Treasury Board’s Contracting Policy states that Government contracting shall be conducted in a manner that will:

  1. stand the test of public scrutiny in matters of prudence and probity, facilitate access, encourage competition, and reflect fairness in the spending of public funds;
  2. ensure the pre-eminence of operational requirements;
  3. support long-term industrial and regional development and other appropriate national objectives, including aboriginal economic development; and
  4. comply with the government's obligations under the North American Free Trade Agreement, the World Trade Organization - Agreement on Government Procurement and the Agreement on Internal Trade.

In certain circumstances however, it may be impractical, undesirable or not cost-effective to hold an open competition. Therefore under reasonable constraints, a sole-source contract is allowable. The Government Contracts Regulations (GCR) recognizes and provides for this when there is a pressing emergency, the contract amount is below a specific dollar limit, it is not in the national interest to have an open competition, or the good or service is unique and can only be obtained from one source.

Natural Resource Canada (NRCan) has established procurement procedures that are aligned with Government contracting policies to acquire goods or services. 

This audit was conducted at the request of the Treasury Board Secretariat:  “Before November 1, 2011, NRCan conduct an internal audit of its procedures for awarding contracts greater than $25K on a non-competitive basis and that the results of the audit be shared with TBS in time to be included in its next MAF assessment.”   

DEPARTMENTAL RISKS

This internal audit is being conducted to fulfill an NRCan requirement under TB request. It is included in the Deputy Minister approved Risk Based Audit Plan for 2011-2012.

AUDIT PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES

The purpose of this audit was to provide reasonable assurance that the Department complies with Treasury Board Contracting Policy, Government Contracts Regulations (GCR), Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) and departmental contracting policies, directives, regulations and procedures.

INTERNAL AUDIT CONCLUSION

The Audit Branch cannot provide reasonable assurance that all non-competitive contracts over $25K are processed and awarded in accordance with all applicable NRCan and TB procedures and policies, and are adequately documented, controlled and monitored.

In 19 of the 43 contractsFootnote 1 reviewed (44%), the audit found inconsistencies in contracting practices and supporting documentation on file, placing the Department at risk of failing the test of public scrutiny, transparency, fairness, and best value for the Crown, and not meeting all the requirements set forth by Treasury Board (TB), Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) and NRCan. The audit team found that while procedures are in place, they are not being consistently followed.

While CMSS/SSO has recently taken steps to implement the Procurement Review Board (PRB), intended to improve the management and oversight of contracting processes, the audit was unable to assess the effectiveness of the new governance structure, given that the PRB is in the early stages of implementation. As a result, consideration will be given to a formal follow-up audit during fiscal year 2013-2014.
 
Although non-competitive contracts over $25K awarded by NRCan are not material in terms of dollar amount (less than 1%) when compared to overall Department contracting, they are an area of significant sensitivity and pose a risk regarding the Department’s ability to fully defend its administrative practices.

Table of Contents


INTRODUCTION

The Government objective in contracting is to acquire goods and services in a manner that enhances access, competition, fairness and results in the best value to the Crown.
The Treasury Board’s Contracting Policy states that Government contracting shall be conducted in a manner that will:

  1. stand the test of public scrutiny in matters of prudence and probity, facilitate access, encourage competition, and reflect fairness in the spending of public funds;
  2. ensure the pre-eminence of operational requirements;
  3. support long-term industrial and regional development and other appropriate national objectives, including aboriginal economic development; and
  4. comply with the government's obligations under the North American Free Trade Agreement, the World Trade Organization - Agreement on Government Procurement and the Agreement on Internal Trade.

In certain limited circumstances however, it may be impractical, undesirable or not cost-effective to hold an open competition. Therefore under reasonable constraints, a sole-source contract is allowable. The Government Contracts Regulations (GCR) recognizes and provides for this when there is a pressing emergency, the contract amount is below $25KFootnote 2 , it is not in the national interest to have an open competition, or the good or service is unique and can only be obtained from one source. Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has established procurement procedures which are aligned with Government contracting policies to acquire goods (tangible and intangible material that is purchased, constructed, or developed) or services.

This audit was included in the Department’s 2011-12 Risk-Based Audit Plan.

Setting the Context

Contracting Policy Notice 2007-04 - Non-Competitive Contracting (NCC) states that One of the fundamental principles of federal contracting is openness and the practice of providing potential suppliers with opportunities to submit bids for government contracts. For this reason, when departments choose a non-competitive procurement strategy it must be fully justified and recorded.” 

Procurement activities for these requirements within NRCan are carried out through SSO Procurement in the NCR and in the Regions. These service providers are part of the Shared Services Office (SSO) within the Corporate Management and Services Sector (CMSS). NRCan’s Delegation of Financial Signing Authority Instrument gives authority to contracting officers to enter into non-competitive contracts for services up to a value of $100K, ($150K including amendments)Footnote 3. It also gives the Regional Surveyor, Deputy Surveyor General and Head of Client Services, Head of Cadastral and Head of GIS/Mapping position within the Earth Sciences Sector (all outside of the SSO) authority for entering into NCC not exceeding $25K ($30K including amendments).Footnote 4

NRCan has a detailed contracting process based on a framework which includes mandatory training for contracting officers. SSO NCR also has bi-weekly meetings with the contracting officers, and the manager of the NCR SSO Procurement unit regularly engages in teleconferences with SSO Regions. New information such as updated policy notices or new desktop procedures are shared with the regions as they become available. There are also several tools available to help contracting officers, which include checklists and templates.

Audit Purpose and Objectives

The purpose of this audit was to provide reasonable assurance that the Department complies with Treasury Board Contracting Policy, Government Contracts Regulations (GCR), Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) and departmental contracting policies, directives, regulations and procedures.

The work completed under this audit included various tests, as considered necessary, to provide reasonable assurance on the awarding process of non-competitive contracts over $25K.

Scope and Methodology

Scope

The scope of the audit included non-competitive contracts (NCC) over $25K awarded between April 1st 2009 and March 31st 2011.  This included 334 NCCs over $25K. Once contracts awarded by the PWGSC and call ups against standing offers were excluded, a total of 81 contracts remained.

The audit also considered the total population of procurement contracts issued in 2009-10 & 2010-11 that were competitive and non-competitive for comparative purposes, trend analysis and context.

Non-competitive contracts over $25K represent a small percentage of overall NRCan contract expenditures as portrayed in Diagram 1.

The audit excluded all contracts processed through call-ups against standing offers as service contracts are generally led by PWGSC; and, In fiscal year 2010 – 11, non-competitive contracts over $25K represented less than 1% of the total value of all NRCan contracts.

Diagram 1 – Population of NCC over $25K without Call-ups

Diagram 1
Population of NCC over $25K excluding Call-ups = 1% [$1.40M / $201.39M]

Text version - Diagram 1

Methodology
  • Review internal procedures and verify its adequacy through file reviews to ensure they were followed;
  • Selected a random sample of 47 non-competitive contracts (NCC) from a population of 473 contracts ( calculated using a 95% Confidence level, an expected error rate of 2% and precision rate of +/-4%);
  • Reviewed 43 of the 47 NCC contracts (47 minus 4), as 3 contracts were miscoded in GUFI (Government  Financial System – User Friendly Interface) and 1 contract was cancelled by SSO;
  • Selected and reviewed a judgmental sample of 13 contract files;
  • Interviewed Procurement Officers at the SSO and/or Sector level;
  • Analysis of trends to identify anomalies; and
  • Examined system information (GUFI vs. File).
Limitations
  1. The audit was unable to determine whether newly designed procedures were being applied in the 2011-12 fiscal year as only one non-competitive contract had been awarded as of June 27, 2011.
  2. This audit did not review evidence of contract fulfilment and whether services were rendered or goods received (Contract Performance).

The audit was conducted in accordance with the Internal Auditing Standards of the Government of Canada, as it incorporates the Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing published by the Institute of Internal Auditors.

Criteria

Reasonable standards of performance and control were used by the Audit Branch to assess the adequacy of the Department’s contracting for NCC greater than $25K. The audit criteria were derived from Departmental and TB policies and procedures, applicable regulations, and standards, including:

  • TB policies and TBS guidelines – Contracting Policy; Contracting Policy Notice 2007-04 – Non-Competitive Contracting;
  • NRCan Processes as outlined in the NRCan Procurement Manual (available during the period of the audit);
  • PWGSC Supply Manual and Government Contracts Regulations; and
  • Relevant legislation – Financial Administration Act (FAA) and Federal Accountability Act.

A list of the high-level criteria established for this audit is included in Appendix B. The audit criteria were approved by management prior to the commencement of the audit.

Findings and Recommendations

Compliance With Contracting Process
Summary Finding

Government Contracts Regulations contain four exceptions that permit the contracting authority to set aside the requirement to solicit bids. The justification and documentation should be clear and on file. Examination using a random statistical sample found that the supporting documentation, including evidence and compliance with internal procedures for Advance Contract Award Notice (ACAN), varied considerably. Nineteen of the 43 (44%) files contained one or more aspect of non compliance with either TB Policies or NRCan internal procedures.

RISK AND IMPACT
Risk Type Audit Risk Rating Impact
Compliance ModerateFootnote 5 Risk of non-compliance with all the requirements of the TB Contracting Policy, with the impact of not passing the test of public scrutiny, transparency, fairness, best value for the Crown.

Supporting Findings

Documentation of Justification

The Treasury Board Contracting Policy states under section 12.3.1 that procurement files shall be established and structured to facilitate management oversight with a complete audit trail that contains details related to relevant communications and decisions. 

In Section 6 of the Government Contracts Regulations, this decision should be recorded, together with the justification.  The TB Contracting policy requires “Contracting Authorities to provide a complete audit trail and identify the officials or authorities who made decisions or approvals. This information is extremely important for answering questions and evaluating the results.”

The Audit Branch expected that most of the documentation would be readily available within the contract files. The audit procedures determined that:

9 of 43 (21%) files reviewed did not have a clear justification on file. These files did not contain sufficient supporting documentation. In addition, for some files it was not clear which exception the manager had invoked to justify sole-sourcing the contract.

Evidence of exceptions
Government Contracts Regulations 10.2.1 Section 6 contain four exceptions that permit the contracting authority to set aside the requirement to solicit bids. Any use of the four exceptions to the bidding requirement should be fully justified and maintained on the contract file. To assess if there is sufficient documentation to support the use of the four exceptions, it was determined the following evidence should be contained on file as noted below:
Justification Type Required Evidence on file
A The need of pressing emergency Evidence of emergency
B The estimated expenditure does not exceed certain amount limits ($25K, $100K acquisition of architectural engineering, $100K entered into by the member of Queen’s Privy Council for Canada) Original contract amount under the limit and rationale justification
C The nature of the work is not in the public interest to solicit bids Evidence of DM approval
D Only one person or firm is capable of performing the work Answers to the 7 questions as suggested by the TB PN 2007-4Footnote 6

The audit procedures determined that 32 % of files reviewed (12 of 37 contracts) did not contain appropriate evidence as per the above table. In addition:

  • Even though the original contract amount was greater than $25K, 9 files invoked exemption “B”, less than $25K. Four files exceeded the $25K limit by up to $32K, and the remaining 5 files were within $1K of the limit. Interviews suggested that errors in calculations, particularly neglecting to consider taxes in the total were the cause.
  • Although the audit  procedures employed considered that justification “D” should have answers to the 7 additional questions on file as recommended by TB PN 2007-4, it should be noted that of those that did not have the responses to questions, the majority did have some form of  written justification.  Interviews suggested that some contracting officers are unaware of NRCan’s internal requirement to have those questions addressed and on file.
Advance contract award notice (ACAN) waived

If a proposed directed contract for goods and services qualifies under one of the four exceptions, the contracting authority (either PCAM or Sector/Region) is encouraged, whenever possible, to use the electronic bidding methodology to advertise the proposed award through an Advance Contract Award Notice (ACAN). If no valid statements of capabilities meeting the requirements set out in the ACAN are received within fifteen calendar days, the proposed contract is deemed to be competitive and may be awarded using the electronic bidding contracting authority.

NRCan’s Procedures Manual as well as desktop procedures are more prescriptive, and require that all NCC over $25K either be posted to GETS/MERXFootnote 7

9 out of 13 (69%) files that required an ACAN waiver did not satisfy this requirement.

Contracting Limits

Both the TB Contracting Policy and the NRCan Delegation of Financial Signing Authority table outline the limits that a contracting officer has. The audit team found that contracting limits in some cases for contracting with former public servants may not have been adhered to.

Contracting Policy 16.8.8 states that for a NCC with a former public servant in receipt of a federal government pension, Treasury Board approval is required to amend any contract whose total value (including amendments) exceeds $25K. It is essential that departmental officials carefully review the award of NCCs with former public servants.

File reviews found 2 contracts whose total amounts were over $25K and the documentation on file indicated that they were with former public servants. There was no evidence on file of increased scrutiny to see if the vendor in question was in receipt of a federal government pension.  Interviews with the contracting officers involved in these cases suggested that they were unaware of this aspect of the contracting policy.

NCC over $25K that do not contain sufficient justification, or are in excess of limits imposed by delegated financial authorities may not stand up to public scrutiny.

Recommendations

1. CMSS / SSO should clearly communicate the contracting procedures and required supporting documentation for all non-competitive contracts over $25K to SSO NCR, SSO Regions and Sectors.

Management Action Plan and Time Frame

1. Management agrees with the audit findings.

SSO Finance and Procurement Services (FAPS) will further communicate the contracting procedures and required file documentation for all non-competitive contracts >$25K by:

  • ensuring the use of mandatory checklists by all employees with the appropriate procurement delegation,
  • face-to face mentoring, and
  • distributing a communiqué promoting the FAPS SharePoint, and the Procurement and Contracting intranet sites.

TIMELINE:  By September 30, 2011

Monitoring of Procedures

Summary Finding

Monitoring of the contracting function is a key component to ensuring that due diligence is being performed. One of SSO Finance and Procurement Services roles and responsibilities is to define procedures for monitoring of the contracting function through quality assurance and the generation of reports and analysis. Roles and responsibilities regarding this control have not been clearly defined or communicated.

At the time of the audit, there was insufficient proactive monitoring of NCC over $25K.

RISK AND IMPACT
Risk Type Audit Risk Rating Impact
Monitoring Moderate The lack of monitoring of non-competitive contracting over $25K may lead to inaccurate assessments of activities and missed opportunities for the identification and improvement of problem areas. 

Supporting Findings

As noted in the previous finding, significant variances were discovered by the audit team in the supporting documentation on file.  Interviews with contracting officers suggested that although there used to be mandatory checklists according to the NRCan procurement manual, they are no longer required.

TB Contracting Policy (CP 5.1.1) states that it is the responsibility of departments and agencies to ensure that adequate control frameworks for due diligence and effective stewardship of public funds are in place and working. This could include mandatory documentation to have on file and checklists to ensure that required steps are completed before issuing a contract.

Checklists

Checklists are a useful tool to aid in the consistency and completeness of files.  The audit team found that 16 out of 43 files (37%) reviewed contained no form of checklist. Files that contained checklists had significantly lower error rates.

Referring to a Draft Contracting Monitoring and Reporting FrameworkFootnote 8 study completed by an external consulting firm in 2009, it was mentioned that one tool used for monitoring was checklists developed by SSO: “checklists are very useful in highlighting policy and procedural issues that might be missed when a contracting process is initiated.”

Procurement Oversight Bodies

Contracting authorities are encouraged to establish and maintain a formal challenge mechanism for all contractual proposals, including those within departmental authority, those sent to the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC), and those submitted to the Treasury Board. (CP 11.1.1)

In addition, NRCan has also established the Procurement Review Board (PRB) whose mandate includes the review of all non-competitive contracts over 25K. The audit was unable to assess the PRB’s effectiveness as it had only held two meetings and had not yet reviewed any procurement case submissions. 

An analysis of the data suggested that those contracts which began as under $25K and that used a justification of “B” (52% of all non-competitive contracts) had a higher variance between the initial contract dollar amount and the final dollar amount than those with other justifications. Although 86% of the contracts using justification “B” remained under $25K, amendments included, there is a risk that managers could use this GCR exception to circumvent controls in place, like the PRB where only contracts over $25K require PRB approval.

An effective monitoring process should contribute to reducing the risk of inappropriate contracting processes. Non-competitive contracts are inherently high risk due to potential concerns regarding probity and fairness. Therefore, regardless of dollar value, all non-competitive contracts over 25K should be subject to increased scrutiny compared to competitive contracts.

Recommendations

2. CMSS / SSO should strengthen monitoring and reporting by utilizing tools such as checklists that are already in existence.

3. CMSS / SSO should implement a formal contracting quality control process.

Management Action Plan and Time Frame

2. Management agrees with the audit findings.

SSO Finance and Procurement Services (FAPS) will fortify semi-annual reporting and monitoring by updating its mandatory checklist tools at the FAPS SharePoint, and the Procurement and Contracting intranet sites (by September30, 2011), and also verify—by September 30, 2011—the use of such mandatory tools.

SSO FAPS will follow-up with managers where non-compliance is identified and take appropriate action required such as removal of delegated authorities, additional training, etc.

TIMELINE:  By September 30, 2011

3. Management agrees with the audit findings.

SSO Finance and Procurement Services has developed (January 7, 2011) a formal NRCan contracting quality control process (e.g. Procurement Reporting Standards — which will include the requirement for monitoring and oversight of non-competitive contracts).

TIMELINE:  Completed January 7, 2011

SSO will conduct a semi-annual review of non-competitive contracting to assess the implementation and effectiveness of the quality control process, and identify any additional required actions by September 30, 2011.

TIMELINE:  By September 30, 2011

Before contract award the Procurement Review Board (PRB) will review the justification for every proposed non-competitive contract over $25K.  Contract award will only occur if PRB endorses.

PRB will also ensure that:

Public Service Values and Ethics principles have been adhered to; and

All non-competitive contracts over $25K include the required file documentation prior to issuance of a contract.

SSO FAPS will review quality control processes as appropriate, and will continually improve and strengthen the control processes based on findings from the above semi-annual monitoring and reporting.

TIMELINE:  Ongoing

Reporting

Summary Finding

At the time of audit, GUFI had the capability to capture and report on contracting activities. NRCan has developed a number of reports to monitor the contracting process, trends and potential non-compliance issues reports. In addition, all departments should submit reports to TBS on contracting activities. However, data integrity was determined to be an issue, with some contracts containing information that conflicted with the hard-copy file documentation. Although a new SAP system was implemented at the start of fiscal year 2011-12, the audit team was unable to assess the effectiveness of the new system and whether it mitigates the risk of data integrity as it has only been recently implemented.

RISK AND IMPACT
Risk Type Audit Risk Rating Impact
Reporting Minor Incorrect data entry could have an impact on how NRCan monitors its contracts, could compromise the accuracy of reports required, and make it difficult to perform appropriate monitoring.

Supporting Findings

Tools

Tools and systems are in place. However the audit team was unable to assess if they are being effectively utilized since the new system SAP was only implemented on April 4, 2011.  At the time of the audit, the audit team determined that GUFI was the only tool available to report on contracting activities for the Department.

Data integrity

Reports generated for monitoring and oversight both internally at NRCan, and through mandatory requirements by TBS, need to be based on valid data. With the implementation of eProcurement, the client is responsible for entering the initial information into the eProcurement request, which automatically populates GUFI.

Reviews of the random sample indicated that 18 out of 43 contracts (42%) reviewed had justifications in GUFI that were inconsistent with what was in the hard-copy file.  Three contracts out of the original sample of 47 had been coded as non-competitive in GUFI when they were actually competitive.

Interviews have indicated that some contracting officers are unclear as to whose responsibility it is to ensure the accuracy of the data in GUFI.

Incorrect data could have an impact on how NRCan monitors its contracts both internally, and also how it reports externally to TBS.  Accurate and relevant information is fundamental to the success of monitoring of contracting services and the ability to ensure adequate diligence.

Report types

The Department is using reports to assess aspects of contracting that pose risks such as lack of competition (ACAN), contract splitting, amendments and contracts with former public servants.

The NRCan Office of Procurement Policy Analysis and Reporting (PPAR) is tasked with monitoring and reporting on the contracting function in NRCan and has a standards document which was approved on January 7, 2011. At the time of the audit, ad hoc reports have been compiled to address the areas of risk, but the process of reviewing those reports or related contracts has yet to be implemented.

Recommendations

4. CMSS should ensure that the reports generated in SAP:

  1. will provide all information and required to meet TBS and NRCan requirements, i.e. monitoring non-competitive contracts over $25K, and
  2. have data integrity.

Management Action Plan and Time Frame

4. Management agrees with the audit findings.

As part of an initial update for SAP (December 31, 2010), procurement desktop procedures have been developed to ensure relevant information is captured in SAP for monitoring and reporting purposes.

SSO Finance and Procurement Services will continue to consult with SAP subject matter experts (i.e. Felix team) to ensure that all relevant information and necessary data for monitoring and reporting is included in SAP, e.g. when revisions to existing procurement procedures—and the creation of new ones—are required.

TIMELINE:  Ongoing

TRAINING & COMMUNICATION

Summary Finding

The findings in this report suggest that while there are tools, procedures and checklists in place to help contracting officers to fulfill their responsibilities, they are not consistently utilized.  Interviews with contracting personnel involved in awarding of contracts indicated that they are not always aware of policies requirements or of the changes in procedures.

RISK AND IMPACT
Risk Type Audit Risk Rating Impact
Operations Minor The lack of targeted training could lead to ineffective or inefficient use of resources and non-compliance with contracting policies.

In general, interviews conducted with PCAM, SSO regions and the Surveyor General’s Branch in ESS staff has indicated that although there is mandatory training provided by the Canada School of Public Service, the hands-on application of that training is mostly informal, and not based on relevant files or examples. Interviews indicate that there is a desire for a more structured training program, dealing with topics such as contracting with former public servants and the use of ACANs.  Interviews also suggest that contracting officers may not be using the most up to date procedures that are distributed by PCAM using SharePoint.

Recommendations

5. CMSS / SSO should target training to ensure that contracting officers in SSO NCR, SSO Regions and the Surveyor General’s Branch in ESS are aware of all relevant contracting policies, particularly as they pertain to former public servants.

Management Action Plan and Time Frame

5. Management agrees with the audit findings.

Mandatory training will be provided to all of these parties (i.e. including ESS procurement personnel and delegated line managers). E.g. SSO NCR has already begun an ongoing bi-weekly interactive workshop focused on case studies (partially disguised to protect identities as required).  (I.e. instances of Values and Ethics challenges.)

Townhall sessions will also be held with NRCan managers to promote competitive contracting practices and related GoC and NRCan policies and procedures.

TIMELINE:  Ongoing

SSO will send a communication by September 30, 2011 to all NRCan managers reminding them of their responsibilities, obligations and accountability as part of the due process of procurement.

TIMELINE:  September 30, 2011

APPENDIX A – STANDARD RISK TYPES AND AUDIT RATINGS

Standard Risk Types

Our standard risk types are classified based on the COSOFootnote 9 Internal Control-Integrated Framework as follows:

Strategy – High-level goals, aligned with and supporting the Department's mission.
Operations – Effective and efficient use of resources.
Monitoring – Accurate assessments or evaluation of activities.
Reporting – Reliability of operational and financial reporting.
Compliance – Compliance with applicable laws, regulations, policies and procedures.

Standard Audit Risk Ratings

Audit findings are rated as follows:

Major: A key control does not exist, is poorly designed or is not operating as intended and the related risk is potentially significant. The objective to which the control relates is unlikely to be achieved. Corrective action is needed to ensure controls are cost effective and/or objectives are achieved.

Moderate: A key control does not exist, is poorly designed or is not operating as intended and the related risk is more than inconsequential. However, a compensating control exists. Corrective action is needed to avoid sole reliance on compensating controls and/or ensure controls are cost effective.

Minor: A weakness in the design and/or operation of a non-key process control. Ability to achieve process objectives is unlikely to be impacted. Corrective action is suggested to ensure controls are cost effective.

APPENDIX B – AUDIT CRITERIA

APPENDIX C – ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS

ACAN: Advance Contract Award Notice
AIT: Agreement on Internal Trade
CMSS: Corporate Management and Services Sector
CP: Contracting Policy
DM: Deputy Minister
ESS: Earth Sciences Sector
FAA: Financial Administration Act
GCR: Government Contracting Regulations
GETS/MERX: Government Electronic Tendering Service/MERX Canadian Public Tenders Services
GSC: Geological Survey of Canada
GUFI: GFS (Government Financial System) User Friendly Interface
LPO: Local Purchase Order
MAF: Management Accountability Framework
NAFTA: North American Free Trade Agreement
NCC: Non-Competitive Contracts
NCR: National Capital Region
NRCan: Natural Resources Canada
PCAM: Procurement Contracting and Asset Management
PPAR: Office of Procurement Policy Analysis and Reporting
PRB: Procurement Review Board
PWGSC: Public Works and Government Services Canada
SAP: System Application Program
SSO: Shared Services Office
TB: Treasury Board
TB PN: Treasury Board Policy Notification
TBS: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
THS: Temporary Help Services
WTO: World Trade Organization