Shared Services Canada will have more flexibility in acquiring products and services and sharing responsibility, it said at a government committee today.

Since the Liberal’s 2017 federal budget was read in the House of Commons, it’s passed its first reading in the House of Commons. Now it’s on to the committee review stage before its next legislative hurdle. That’s what brought Shared Services Canada (SSC) President Ron Parker to the Standing¬†Committee on Government Operations and Estimates today to deliver a speech and answer questions.

The budget will bring a couple of changes to Shared Services, he said. First, it will authorize the Minister responsible for it to delegate other Minister to

Ron Parker, president of Shared Services Canada, was appointed July 6, 2015.
Ron Parker, president of Shared Services Canada, was appointed July 6, 2015.

procure IT goods and services. This would include peripherals like keyboards and USB drives that Shared Services would have standing offers for.

“Currently, departments do not have the ability to procure these basic items on their own, and SSC provides little-added value in these transactions,” Parker said. “These IT devices would therefore be strong candidates for delegation of procurement authorities to Ministers and their departments.”

Printing is one example of where other Ministers could buy their own hardware. SSC is working to put three contracts in place with “industry-leading manufacturers,” he said. It will have a catalogue of goods and services that are verified for security purposes that can be bought by other departments outside of SSC.

The second change allows SSC to delegate delivery of services to another Minister where it makes sense to do so for practical or financial reasons. Right now SSC must provide all goods and services related to its mandate anywhere the government has a presence – embassies and consulates and even defence deployments included.

Overall, the change should help SSC address the problem of a “substantial increase in low-value, high-volume transactions” that it’s handled since September 2015, Parker says.

For Sept 1. 2015 to March 30, 2017 it processed 24,000 transactions for the goods and services on behalf of other departments, of which 80 per cent were below $25,000.

SSC will be consulting its customers on a delegation framework.