Agile procurement for better digital solutions

July 27, 2017


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Treasury Board President Scott Brison said at the 2017 Blueprint 2020 Innovation Fair:

“No more 200-page RFPs. Instead, bake-offs and competitions. No more blind marriages with big IT providers, instead constant dating…more show and less tell, more focus on working prototypes [so] that we really see what a company or provider can do, more competition and more agile providers.”

Blueprint 2020 Innovation Fair, May 31

The Government of Canada needs a new approach to buying goods and services. Our existing procurement system is robust and rigorous, but it’s time to try something new. We need to be more nimble, more responsive, and more suited to today’s fast-moving digital environment. In a word, we need to be agile.

Fail fast, learn fast by experimenting

Agile procurement encourages more effective collaboration with partners. It involves experimenting together to ensure we’re a good match for success. Being agile means approaching projects with small steps at a fast pace, while assessing and addressing challenges along the way. By moving in small increments, failures happen fast and small, so we find a solution early and treat each misstep as a learning opportunity. It’s a “fail fast, learn fast” approach where we all have a stake in ensuring a successful result.

Let’s work together

We are ready to test this innovative procurement model with the Government of Canada’s recently launched Open by Default pilot. This pilot project gives you access to working documents from four government departments, through our pilot site. It’s a brand new tool and as it grows we need your help to improve it. See the Government of Canada’s recently issued Call for Proposals for Open by Default portal improvements. Is your small or medium-sized business looking for a digital challenge? Let’s tackle this one together.

We look forward to working with you. For more information about our procurement process, please sign up for a webinar on August 9. You can reach us through our feedback form, email us at, tweet us @OpenGovCan, or apply to the process through the official Call for Proposals.

Alex Benay

Chief Information Officer, Government of Canada

Alex Benay currently serves as the Chief Information Officer of the Government of Canada. Prior to this appointment, Alex was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation since July 2014.

From 2011 to 2014, he was Vice-President of Government Affairs and Business Development at OpenText. He has played a leadership role in Canada’s digital industry, as well as in promoting the global shift to digital in organizations such as the G20, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Olympics. Before joining OpenText, Alex managed various teams and programs at the Canadian International Development Agency, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Natural Resources Canada, and Library and Archives Canada.

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Submitted by Lui Greco on November 23, 2017 - 9:32 PM

As society ages, more and more people will need - ho demand - that services irregardless of who provides them don't create unnecessary barriers. Those of us with disabilities seem to always be delivering the same message; plan for diverse user needs at the onset, and the end result will be products and services that better meet everyone's needs.

Submitted by Matt Nalbandian on August 05, 2017 - 2:43 PM

This indeed will be a great change... Our biggest challenge within Industry... is not IT products that will lead the GoC into the next phase of its Digital Transformation... The industry spends billions and manufacturers work in cooperation with one another to provide best of breed products that can provide solutions that will work... Our biggest challenge is to do things differently .. think differently, procure differently ..agility, cooperation and speed ... success will come with Solution centric requirements !.. great stuff..

Submitted by Kelly Hutchinson on August 02, 2017 - 12:08 PM

Great effort Alex and team, so excited to support these initiatives. Watch for our clients, we will be responding to these great opportunities!

Submitted by open-ouvert on August 02, 2017 - 1:43 PM

Hi Kelly, Thank you for your feedback and we appreciate your support! Regards, The Open Government team

Submitted by open-ouvert on August 02, 2017 - 1:32 PM

Hi Aaron, Thank you for pointing that out to us. The link has now been fixed! Regards, Momin The Open Government team

Submitted by on July 29, 2017 - 6:12 AM

Please let you know I'm really required help, kindly coordinate, I'm professional for information technology 19+ years experience in multinational group of hospital. Looking to move Canada, because me and my family visit last 2 months back there and all 5 members of my family loves to life in Canada.

Submitted by open-ouvert on July 31, 2017 - 7:36 PM

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. This comment system leads to the team responsible for transparency and accountability work in the public service. We host datasets and records about many things, including historic statistics on immigration and visa applications, but we do not deal with these services directly. You can go to the following website to learn more about immigration: Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada: You can email your local IRCC office in for direct help: Warmest Regards, Momin The Open Government team