The Government of Canada is one of the largest buyers of goods and services in the country, purchasing approximately $22 billion work each year. The BC Provincial government is estimated to purchase a proportionate amount.
While we are building our understanding of BC First Nations participation in federal or provincial contract opportunities, our preliminary position is that it has been minimal. Current general estimates indicate less than 1% of contracts going to First Nations. The federal target moving forward is 5%, clearly much work is required to achieve this.
The FNBDA has been successful in obtaining resources through a working relationship with Procurement Assistance Canada (Pacific Region) to establish a Procurement Development Office within the FNBDA.
Work is beginning now to establish this office. Foundational work we will undertake includes developing a greater knowledge of the scale, timing and type of federal procurement opportunities that will be relevant to First Nation businesses in BC. Along with building working relationship with the federal and provincial procurement community, we will also work to develop a greater understanding of the current capacity and experience of BC First Nation businesses in pursuing government procurement opportunities in BC.
Some of the key activities that we have identified as a starting point include; which we see as foundational work to establishing the Procurement Development Office.
- First Nation Capacity and Capability Assessments
- Government Procurement Opportunity Assessment
- Seek partnership and collaboration opportunities.
As of March 2023, this work has begun, and we look forward to First Nation and government participation to move this forward.