Are You Ready for the New Trade Treaties?

Treaty Compliance Rapid Action Plan

As you are aware, the new Canadian Free Trade Agreement and Canada-Europe Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement are currently scheduled to come into force on July 1, 2017. To help public institutions transition to the new trade treaty regime, we’ve developed a Treaty Compliance Rapid Action Plan that focuses on: (i) updating your tendering templates and procurement procedures; (ii) offering direct support for your high-risk major projects; and (iii) delivering treaty compliance training to your staff. We’ve also developed a free Treaty Compliance Test to help you assess your organization’s current compliance with the new trade treaty rules. Please see below for more details.

Template Updates

For those institutions that recently updated their templates based on our 2.0 series (2015 to the present), we are offering a spot-repair service to quickly incorporate the revisions contained in our new treaty-compliant 3.0 series.

Those institutions that are either still using our 1.0 series templates (2009-14) or have not yet had their templates updated by our office should migrate directly to our new 3.0 series.

For all template users, we also recommend a rapid deployment using our Orbidder drafting system since this is the most efficient route to training your organization on the use of treaty-compliant templates.

Governance Overhaul

The new trade treaties will require significant updates to your operating rules and procedures, including new bid solicitation and contract award posting rules, mandatory debriefings with more detailed disclosure, and a far more extensive bid protest regime for all levels of government.

Those organizations that have worked with us in recent years to update their internal procedures are in a good position to achieve compliance with an internal governance spot repair for specific updates to certain procedures and protocols. For example, those organizations operating at sub-federal levels (i.e. those who have not implemented more formal and extensive debrief protocols under the NAFTA rules) will need to update their debriefing procedures to comply with the new treaties.

Those organizations that have not updated their procurement policies and practices in recent years will likely require a more extensive overhaul of their procurement procedures.

To get a better picture of how you measure up, please take our quick Treaty Compliance Test for a free assessment of where your organization currently stands in complying with the new trade treaty requirements.

Major Project Hot Launch

While major projects are always subject to a higher risk of legal challenge, the new trade treaty regime, with its stricter standards and more onerous debriefing and bid protest mechanisms, significantly increases the risk of major project challenges for all levels of government.

While you are updating your overall procurement practices, your organization should also be implementing specific due diligence procedures to ensure that its high-risk major projects receive special screening for treaty compliance.

Whether you need help drafting your solicitation documents, using negotiated RFP formats under the new trade treaties rules, or implementing Enhanced Consensus Scoring to bolster your debriefing defensibility, please feel free to contact us if you need project support for your major projects during this transition period.

Training

To better ensure compliance with the new procurement treaties, your organization should be implementing a treaty awareness program to train staff on the new treaty rules. Our Live Online Learning program includes the new Canadian Law Series with a specific Treaty Compliance stream featuring four 90-minute modules that will help bring your team up to speed on the new trade treaty rules. Please contact us today for more information or to book your online training sessions.

Take the Treaty Compliance Test

While complying with the new trade treaties may appear to be an overwhelming task, we’ve simplified the challenge by creating a free Treaty Compliance Test to reduce the details down to twelve easy questions. Take our test today for a quick snapshot of how your organization measures up to Canada’s new trade treaty rules.

Take the Treaty Compliance Test