Priority Saskatchewan

In June 2014, the provincial government announced the creation of Priority Saskatchewan, a new branch of SaskBuilds that is responsible for ensuring procurement across ministries and the Crown sector is fair, open, transparent, and based on international best practice. Priority Saskatchewan is committed to ongoing consultation with industry and stakeholders and continuous procurement improvement.

Procurement Transformation Action Plan

SaskBuilds is implementing the Procurement Transformation Action Plan announced in March 2015, a 13-point plan based on the feedback gathered from more than 160 consultations with industry stakeholders and our broader public sector partners (municipalities, universities/colleges, health authorities etc.).  The plan is a best-practice approach to ensuring Saskatchewan businesses are treated fairly and that procurements are open, accessible, and transparent. 

See Action Plan Status section below for more detail on each action item.

Industry Support

The collaborative nature of the project has led to considerable engagement with industry and public sector partners. 

The following is a sample of the strong support Priority Saskatchewan has received to date:

Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – Saskatchewan
Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters
North Saskatoon Business Association
Saskatchewan Construction Association
Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association
Saskatchewan Industrial & Mining Suppliers Association Inc.

Action Plan Status
Implementation is underway for these action items:

Action Item


Exemptions in Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT)

Compliance practices varied across the sector. Crown Corporations will follow the requirements of the AIT only where required to do so. Crowns will continue to look locally and globally for solutions to remain competitive. Change effective September 1, 2015.

Best Value Procurement

Ensures a fuller range of criteria, including price, are considered based on the specific needs of the goods or services being purchased.  A more comprehensive decision making approach that ultimately provides greater value for taxpayers.

This is not a one-size fits all approach – criteria are selected in advance of the competition to meet the specific needs of the procurement and may include:
  • Quality
  • Budget, timing and resource considerations
  • Vendor experience, performance history and demonstrated ability
  • Safety practices
  • Knowledge of local conditions such as geotechnical, environmental, local laws, codes and requirements, etc.
  • Innovation, creativity and originality demonstrated;
  • Cost of ownership over the life of the good or service
Change must be implemented before March 31, 2016.
View Policy document

Conflict of Interest

Requirement for seller to declare any actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest and for those conflicts to be appropriately addressed by government procuring entity. Conflicts may include but are not limited to:
  • Former employees or consultants of the government/Crown sector with information not otherwise publicly available involved in the bid.
  • Friends and family of vendors involved in the decision making process.
Change must be implemented before March 31, 2016.

View Policy document

Multi-staged Procurement

Process to shortlist bidders to ensure only the bidders with relatively good chance of success will invest significant amounts of time and money in competitions. The policy is mandatory for construction projects over $20 million and goods and services contracts over $10 million, or for complex projects of any size unless an exception is made by organization head.

Change must be implemented before March 31, 2016.

View Policy document

Procurement Code of Conduct

Formal declaration that describes to both buyers and sellers what behaviors are expected in the procurement process. This will bring greater consistency and supports open, transparent, and respectful procurement. Deals with conflict of interest for employees of government procuring entity. Establishes clear expectations to meet the highest ethical standards based on:
  • Fairness
  • Accountability
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
Compliance with the law and trade agreements Change must be implemented before March 31, 2016.

View Policy document

Vendor Debriefing

To ensure vendors can request a debriefing following procurement and to ensure there is a consistent approach to debriefings.  This is a dialogue to provide vendors with feedback and for government and Crowns to receive feedback from vendors. To allow:
  • Vendors to receive constructive and meaningful feedback on the strength of their proposal;
  • Vendors to learn where improvement may be made for future submissions; and
  • Government to receive constructive feedback on where the process may be improved.
Change must be implemented before March 31, 2016.

View Policy document

Work is underway on these remaining action items with intent to implement at the earliest opportunity:

Action Item


Vendor Performance Evaluation

A consistent evaluation model will evaluate vendors across government and the Crowns and results will be considered in future competitions. To support continual improvement, vendors will also have the opportunity to provide feedback.

Address the Knowledge Gap

Create a virtual center of excellence to support employee procurement training.  Enhance vendor knowledge to ensure clear understanding of procurement process and objectives, and tools to increase bidding success.

Collaborative Capital Forecasting

Government will lead a more coordinated joint planning approach with Crowns and the broader government sector (municipalities, academia, schools and hospitals).

Enhance the SaskTenders Portal

A single window for all government, Crown and potentially broader public sector procurement.  The site will be enhanced to support electronic submissions.

Common Procurement Templates

Improved templates with consistent and simplified language.

Corporate Citizenship

Everyone benefits from contracts being awarded to vendors who are good corporate citizens. This may include engagement with the Aboriginal community

Define ‘Saskatchewan Business’

Defining this term will improve the accuracy of procurement data