Volume 15, Number 4, Winter 2015

ABSTRACT. The subject of outsourcing, A-76 studies and strategic sourcing are familiar terms in government and business. What lies behind the development of increasing activity in this area is an organizational field that legitimizes and perpetuates such activities. Justifications are provided in terms of cost savings, improved services and thereby, value to stakeholders. The following article provides examples of “field structuration” that contribute to the perpetuation of these forms of procurement practice. Literature research, interviews and participation as a contracts management professional provided input to the article.

ABSTRACT. This paper aims to discuss the problems in maintaining an effective contract compliance system in a Canadian context from the perspectives of the individuals managing the system (Workplace Equity Officers) and the individuals who work with the system (public sector purchasers). To this aim, interviews were carried out in June 1999 with Workplace Equity Officers (WEO) and purchasing managers based in Ontario. The results show clear differences in approaches to contract compliance between WEO and purchasing managers. It is noted that the Federal Contractor's Programme and the general employment equity scheme in Canada are underfunded and cannot achieve their stated objectives.

ABSTRACT. Recent federal procurement policies require evaluations of offerors' past performance as a way to reduce risk in selecting sources of supply. As past performance has grown in importance in source selections, however, the number of past performance-related contract award protests has also increased, indicating that firms are uncomfortable with the discretion exercised by procurement officials in this area. Two resources that can aid in the development of officials' "competent discretion" are procurement agency's best practice guides, which reflect practical wisdom and lessons learned from the experience of practitioners, and General Accounting Office (GAO) cases of past performance-related bid protests. This article provides a coordinated discussion of these resources, which together with applicable Federal Acquisition Regulation provisions, illuminate more effective use of past performance as an evaluation criterion.

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