Posted by Keelan on April 2nd, 2008 3 Comments
I recently came across the Government of Canada’s Professional Services Online (PS Online), an electronic procurement tool, administered by Public Works and Government Services Canada, that assists federal departments in the procurement of professional services.
I came across it when reviewing PWGSC’s Office of Small and Medium Enterprises (OSME) website. The objective of the OSME is to support SMEs by working to reduce barriers and by simplifying requirements for SMEs that want to do business with the Government of Canada.
The Government of Canada, over the years, has had numerous, similar tools (which we have registered for) aimed at simplifying the purchasing process for buyers and suppliers. After reading about PS Online, and before registering Thornley Fallis and 76design on it, I wanted to make sure one of our previous registrations (e.g Contracts Canada) hadn’t already been rolled into it, in which case I’d be duplicating our entries.
The website didn’t really tell me if or how I could check this, so I called as I felt it would be easier to discuss this with someone directly rather than go back and forth on email. I was greeted by a voice message telling me they weren’t accepting phone calls about PS Online due to high volumes and I should submit my question via email or fax. So I sent an email within a few minutes of placing my call.
As an organization that regularly works with the federal government – where we have a bunch of great clients and frequently get the opportunity to work on some great projects – I’m optimistic that this new system, PS Online, will assist both buyers and suppliers of professional services through the sometimes difficult and expensive (for both parties) procurement process.
I will let you know once I receive a response to my email, either register as a supplier or update our listing, and hopefully have a client use the system to contract for our services.
These tools are always a good idea, but where they seem to have fallen short in the past is on the communications/awareness raising of them. That is, not enough resources are allocated to promote the availability, function and benefits of the tool to both buyers and suppliers. For example, we are a regular supplier to the federal government and are based in Ottawa — I stumbled across PS Online basically by accident.
Has anyone, as a supplier or buyer of PR, communications or creative services, had experience with PS Online that they’d like to share? And/or how did you learn of its existence?