The effect of public procurement is far-reaching, influencing economies and societies at large. Today, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) released Power of the Purchase Order: Modernizing Public Sector Procurement in Ontario. The report, curated in response to ongoing consultations with industry experts, addresses the critical need for transformation in the province’s procurement practices.
“We were proud to contribute to this report. Modernizing procurement in Ontario can transform health care and other public services, build more resilient supply chains, and improve value for Ontarians. This report assesses the current procurement challenges in the province and offers 23 recommendations to drive better outcomes across the broader public sector, with a particular focus on innovation, attracting investment from a range of businesses, and health care procurement,” said Allan Lafontaine, executive director for the Orillia & District Chamber of Commerce.
Ontario spends nearly $30 billion each year procuring goods and services, from pencils to complex medical technologies. When making those purchases, government and the broader public sector have a responsibility to provide value for taxpayers, as well as a unique ability to foster new markets, improved living standards, and economic development by virtue of their spending power. However, public procurement outcomes in Ontario are often not met.
The key recommendations from the report are:
1. Rethinking Procurement: Embrace collaborative, value-based procurement for complex purchases, with an emphasis on lifecycle costs, innovation, economic development, supply chain resiliency, and other long-term outcomes.
2. Attracting Investment: Encourage participation through competitive contracts, transparent information sharing, and policies that support access for small, local, diverse, and green businesses.
3. Innovating Health Care: Facilitate data sharing, ensuring health care procurement continues to be driven by technical expertise, and tackle implementation barriers to health care innovation.
In light of the transformative potential of procurement, the OCC’s report sets forth a visionary path. By embracing these recommendations, Ontario can amplify economic growth, enhance public services, and solidify its role as a trailblazer in forward-looking procurement practices. The OCC would like to thank its partners, Microsoft Canada and Medtech Canada, for their generous support of this project.