B.C.’s NDP government gets down to business

Credit: Courtesy of BC NDP

Jinny Sims, provincial minister of citizens services

Two new programs aim to help companies share information and bid on provincial contracts

B.C. Minister of Citizens’ Services Jinny Sims has been busy on behalf of businesses. Last week she announced the launch of OrgBook BC, a new provincial government service that lets companies quickly and securely share verifiable business information online. Today Sims attended a breakfast hosted by our partner the BC Chamber of Commerce to talk about the government’s new Procurement Concierge Program, which allows industry experts to propose solutions to government business challenges before starting the formal bidding process.

Unlike traditional procurement systems, where government buyers must already have potential solutions in mind before issuing a tender, the Procurement Concierge Program will see buyers work with vendors to help ensure that the end product meets the needs of both government and British Columbians.

“To create a business-friendly environment, it needs to be simple for small businesses to access new opportunities,” BC Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Val Litwin said in a release. “The B.C. government is providing a way for these businesses to scale—by making it easier to compete for valuable government contracts. This could be game changing for many.”

Sims also announced progress on two more projects to modernize government purchasing.  IT and business process services provider CGI Group has been awarded a contract to replace the BC Bid system, which will make it easier for vendors to find opportunities in or near their communities and streamline bidding for them.

The second project sets social impact procurement guidelines for all government ministries to help them consider not only value for money but also whether contracts can deliver additional benefits for people and communities.