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Information Technology Strategy Team

Micro-Acquisition Pilot: Status Update 1

2021-01-05 - Written by Rachel Muston, in collaboration with the IT Strategy team and Micro-Acquisition Pilot team members

This is our first status update for the Micro-Acquisition Pilot that we are working on at ESDC. We will continue to provide updates as the project progresses.

Approvals and Governance

  • The pilot is being co-sponsored by the Innovation and Information Technology Branch (IITB) and Chief Financial Officer Branch (CFOB) at ESDC. The CFOB team has briefed up to the CFO.

  • Both ESDC CFOB and IITB have committed FTE resources to the one-year pilot as part of the project documents currently going for approval



  • ESDC CFOB has confirmed that acquisition cards/PayPal can be used for payment of suppliers. While the details on that are still to be worked out, paying by credit card will help achieve 2 of our expected results for the pilot:

    • Reduced burden on procurement officers (& simplifying the procurement process): credit card purchases can be done without CFOB’s intervention as only the person posting the micro-acquisition opportunity and the person holding the credit card will be involved. CFOB will be helping to establish guardrails.

    • Faster payment to suppliers



  • An official go live date is targeted for May 2021 to ensure adequate time to design and test the process, website, and communications

  • We are meeting with potential clients (within ESDC) to assess their requirements and help them plan their budget for next Fiscal Year


Possible Challenges

  • We may experience delays due to backlogs in the project approval process


Collaborative efforts


  • We are working with the BCDevExchange team to help us develop a “bid evaluation process” which is both fair to suppliers and not onerous on ESDC clients.

They have cautioned us against going priced-based and this matches the research we have done re: the US’ experience in micro-purchasing (leads to $1 bids from larger companies to eliminate smaller companies from winning). We are also looking to follow the lead of the BCDevExchange and establish anonymous bid evaluation.

  • The BCDevExchange has been working with provincial governments who also want to establish micro-acquisition initiatives. To better collaboratively develop tools and generally support each other, the BCDevExchange team has suggested establishing a micro-procurement working group that would include members from provincial governments and the federal government.

Shared Services Canada (SSC)

  • We are connected with the team at SSC who is working on the GC Digital Marketplace with the company TechNation.

    This Marketplace is an inventory of small and medium Canadian tech businesses with “products or services that are procurement-ready.”

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC)

  • We are connected with the Office of Small and Medium Enterprise (OSME) at PSPC and it has confirmed that it will be able to help us during design to ensure we don’t inadvertently add barriers to suppliers, and with communications of our opportunities via their supplier channels.
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