PSAB : Bringing Meaning to Procurement

The Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business supports Aboriginal business capacity development on behalf of the government of Canada. Through mandatory set asides, voluntary set asides, joint ventures and partnerships, the Strategy aims to assist Aboriginal businesses to compete for and win federal contracting opportunities.

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Transcript: PSAB Bringing Meaning to Procurement

PSAB English, Narration, RT 00:11:51:09

Presenter OS - 00:00:10:00 - 00:03:04:09

Did you know there are over 37,000 Aboriginal-owned businesses across Canada? In fact, Aboriginal people are creating new businesses at 9 times the rate of the average Canadian, according to the CCAB 2011 Aboriginal Business Survey.

The most recent census revealed that over 5 years, there was a 38% increase of Aboriginal Business owners – this exceeds that of self-employed Canadians overall. Aboriginal businesses have also created approximately 82,000 full time jobs as well as 18,000 part time jobs and the future looks even better.

That makes this is a pretty exciting time for Aboriginal entrepreneurs, and the Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business or PSAB, is helping to make that change even more remarkable.

The Government of Canada believes that employment and wealth creation is key to economic self-reliance. By helping Aboriginal businesses compete for more government contracts, PSAB allows Aboriginal communities to access a more level playing field, enabling economic prosperity like never before.

For years, the Government of Canada has been devoted to helping Aboriginal businesses increase their opportunities and find new horizons through the use of PSAB. The program was implemented by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada in 1996 to assist and support Aboriginal businesses to pursue and win federal procurement opportunities.

Since that time, more than 100,000 contracts with the Federal Government have been awarded to Aboriginal suppliers with a total value of $3.3 billion. PSAB aims to support business capacity development by identifying opportunities for Aboriginal businesses by:

  • Fair and transparent competition of federal contracts; and
  • Encouraging and supporting partnerships; Through PSAB, Aboriginal businesses can find new opportunities to
  • Demonstrate their capabilities to perform;
  • Diversify their business; and
  • Access supply chains

Aboriginal firms are proving their value, competitive skills and prices against their non-Aboriginal counterparts; and as departments become more familiar with PSAB and the process, they are more willing to participate in Set-Aside contracting with Aboriginal businesses.

Every day PSAB is creating strategic partnerships that not only benefit Aboriginals, but our nation's proud industries, our economy, and Canadians as a whole.

Fred - 00:03:04:10 - 00:05:25:14

The Set-Aside program is an Aboriginal based program, but it shouldn't be seen as that. It should be seen as an easier way for both the client and your company to work together. It's not a hand-out, or...

It's not about race; it's about helping your company become stronger. My name is Fred Cattroll, my company name is Cattroll Photo Associates, and I've been in business for 35 years based out of Ottawa.

It was extremely easy to register online for the Aboriginal program. It's a smart program that should be used more. And people should be aware of how important this program is. One of the amazing things about being involved in PSAB is suddenly; you're able to talk a PSAB coordinator in every department. That's so powerful.

You're no longer looking for that person. That individual is helping you to market your services to the right people.

I think people now see us not so much as an Aboriginal company, we're a company that plays on a national stage, if not an international stage, and that's where we want to go. And the Set-Aside program gives us that credibility.

You know, over the past few years, I've worked for National Arts Center, Supreme Court, National Defense, Health Canada, Canadian Housing Mortgage Corporation...

When you're saying that to other clients, all of a sudden people are, you know, sitting back and saying, "You've photographed the Pope? You've photographed the Dalai Lama?"

You have an immediate trust and clout when you've worked for Federal Government departments. You're no longer only dealing with Aboriginal issues. You can apply for all the government contracts.

The federal government is one of the very few industries that is going to be there forever. You can have a client that will be there for the length of your company. The Set-Aside contracts have really helped my business of the years, and it's helped my company grow so much.

As my company grows, confidence grows, and I get larger and larger contracts.

Presenter OS - 00:05:25:14 - 00:06:17:13

The PSAB is open to all Aboriginal businesses, including sole proprietorships, limited companies, co-operatives, partnerships, and not-for-profit organizations.

To be considered an Aboriginal business, the following criteria must be met:

  • at least 51% of the firm must be owned and controlled by Aboriginal people, and
  • if the firm has six or more full-time staff, at least one third of the employees must be Aboriginal.

If your firm is starting a joint venture, or if you'd like to know more information regarding eligibility, you can find it at Once you've determined if your business is eligible to participate with PSAB, you can start your registration process.

Presenter OS - 00:06:27:11- 00:07:52:22

Once your registration is accepted you can begin using the PSAB's tools and resources.

Firstly, Aboriginal businesses should register their firms with AANDC's Aboriginal business database, housed on the Industry Canada's website.

Aboriginal firms should also get to know the people within the federal government who may want to buy their goods or services.

Firms can market themselves to PSAB coordinators and departmental material managers, and use this network to learn about upcoming opportunities.

Aboriginal businesses can also identify prospects for contracts under $25,000 through departmental material managers.

Larger federal contracts are listed for free by searching or browsing the latest tenders using the quick search icons on the Government of Canada's website

If you have want to know more about a particular tender, you can simply direct your questions to the contracting authority identified in the tender documentation.

If you have federal procurement or tendering questions please contact the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises for training in submitting tenders and bidding on contracts.

If you have any questions about PSAB itself, please visit our website or call our toll-free number 1-800-400-7677.

Presenter OS - 00:10:49:12 - 00:11:30:15

PSAB has helped hundreds of Aboriginal entrepreneurs and thousands of Aboriginal employees gain more access to Canada's robust economy.

It has created successful partnerships between the Government, Aboriginal peoples, industry and private sector, bridging worlds and bringing new ideas together.

And it has strengthened Aboriginal communities' control over their own economic independence, skills development, and prosperity; while raising the profile of Aboriginal business skills, success and contribution to the Canadian economy.

PSAB is determined to carry this positive momentum into the future, creating more financial stability for Aboriginal generations to come.

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