FREDERICTON (GNB) – The New Brunswick First Procurement Strategy and Action Plan was officially launched today as part of the provincial government’s economic recovery and growth plan.

“The procurement strategy and action plan are part of the government’s pro-growth agenda that aims to support our local businesses and help them to compete and prosper,” said Service New Brunswick Minister Mary Wilson. “It recognizes that public procurement can play an important role in economic development by creating more opportunities for growth and increasing the percentage of purchase orders awarded to New Brunswick suppliers.”

Over the past 12 years, the provincial government has spent an average of $1.023 billion on procurement per year. This has included $729 million in goods/services and $294 million in construction. Of these, 77 per cent were awarded to New Brunswick companies, (90 per cent of the construction contracts and 72 per cent of the goods/services contracts).

Key actions include:

  • A New Brunswick First procurement policy to ensure that goods, services and construction services required by the government are procured from New Brunswick suppliers wherever possible, while respecting trade agreements. This includes adjusting principles to include best value, not just low-cost considerations, in awarding contracts and adjusting contract specifications to ensure New Brunswick companies have an opportunity to bid.
  • An Unsolicited Proposals Program that will give New Brunswick suppliers the opportunity to submit unsolicited proposals to the provincial government for innovative, market-ready products or solutions that could assist in the delivery of public sector programs or services.
  • A new Reverse Trade Show and Networking event hosted by the government every two years to connect suppliers in the province with public sector organizations.
  • A new dashboard on the provincial government website to transparently track and report how successful New Brunswick businesses are in obtaining government procurement contracts.

“The pandemic has had a huge impact on the New Brunswick business sector across the province and today’s announcement is a positive step toward economic recovery and growth,” said Gaétan Thomas, CEO of the Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick. “The strategy and action plan will provide better opportunities for New Brunswick businesses to compete and grow, as well as create opportunities for businesses to present new ideas and approaches to delivering services to benefit the public.”

“We agree that procurement can play an important role in economic development and are pleased that the government has acted on our suggestions of how New Brunswick businesses can do more business with government,” said Adrienne O’Pray, president and CEO of the New Brunswick Business Council. “Having local companies work on government projects helps to build their expertise locally. This becomes an advantage for companies to then gain other business both inside and outside of the province. Everybody wins.”

A new webpage has been developed to promote the strategy and action plan.

Policies such as Buy-NB and NB Preferences will be implemented within the provincial government to favour New Brunswick suppliers where permitted by procurement legislation and trade agreements.

Online training and tools will be available for suppliers within the province to help enhance their knowledge of the public procurement process and increase their chances of bidding successfully.

Opportunities NB is training their business development executive and business navigators to provide support to New Brunswick suppliers as they navigate the public procurement process.

A sector-specific task force is being established to identify barriers and possible solutions to procurement in the province.

The strategy and action plan are the result of a collaborative effort between Service New Brunswick, Opportunities NB and the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure. They are based upon extensive consultations with suppliers and industry associations in the province.