Priority Saskatchewan

In June 2014, the provincial government announced the creation of Priority Saskatchewan, a division of SaskBuilds that is responsible for ensuring procurement across ministries and the Crown sector is fair, open, transparent, and based on international best practice. Priority Saskatchewan is committed to ongoing consultation with industry and stakeholders and continuous procurement improvement.

Procurement Transformation Action Plan

SaskBuilds implemented the Procurement Transformation Action Plan in March 2015, a 13-point plan based on the feedback gathered from more than 160 consultations with industry stakeholders and public sector partners (municipalities, universities/ colleges, health authorities etc.). The plan was developed as a best-practice approach to ensure that Priority Saskatchewan had tangible goals and the concrete ability to deliver on its promises.

See Action Plan Status section below for more detail on each action item.

Industry Support

The collaborative nature of the project has led to considerable engagement with industry and public sector partners. 

The following is a sample of the strong support Priority Saskatchewan has received to date:

Action Plan Status

Action Item


Exemptions in Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT)

Compliance practices varied across the sector. Crown Corporations will follow the requirements of the AIT only where required to do so. Crowns will continue to look locally and globally for solutions to remain competitive.

Change effective September 1, 2015.

Best Value Procurement

Ensures a fuller range of criteria, including price, are considered based on the specific needs of the goods or services being purchased. A more comprehensive decision making approach that ultimately provides greater value for taxpayers.

This is not a one-size fits all approach – criteria are selected in advance of the competition to meet the specific needs of the procurement and may include:

  • Quality
  • Budget, timing and resource considerations
  • Vendor experience, performance history and demonstrated ability
  • Safety practices
  • Knowledge of local conditions such as geotechnical, environmental, local laws, codes and requirements, etc.
  • Innovation, creativity and originality demonstrated;
  • Community benefits
  • Cost of ownership over the life of the good or service

Change effective March 31, 2016.

View Policy document

Conflict of Interest

Requirement for seller to declare any actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest and for those conflicts to be appropriately addressed by government procuring entity. Conflicts may include but are not limited to:

  • Former employees or consultants of the government/Crown sector with information not otherwise publicly available involved in the bid.
  • Friends and family of vendors involved in the decision making process.

Change effective March 31, 2016.

View Policy document

Multi-staged Procurement

Process to shortlist bidders to ensure only the bidders with relatively good chance of success will invest significant amounts of time and money in competitions. The policy is mandatory for construction projects over $20 million and goods and services contracts over $10 million, or for complex projects of any size unless an exception is made by organization head.

Change effective March 31, 2016.

View Policy document

Procurement Code of Conduct

Formal declaration that describes to both buyers and sellers what behaviours are expected in the procurement process. This will bring greater consistency and supports open, transparent, and respectful procurement. Deals with conflict of interest for employees of government procuring entity. Establishes clear expectations to meet the highest ethical standards based on:

  • Fairness
  • Accountability
  • Honesty
  • Integrity

Compliance with the law and trade agreements effective March 31, 2016.

View Policy document

Vendor Debriefing

To ensure vendors can request a debriefing following procurement and to ensure there is a consistent approach to debriefings. This is a dialogue to provide vendors with feedback and for government and Crowns to receive feedback from vendors. To allow:

  • Vendors to receive constructive and meaningful feedback on the strength of their proposal;
  • Vendors to learn where improvement may be made for future submissions; and
  • Government to receive constructive feedback on where the process may be improved.

Training for Vendor Debriefing has been developed and is offered through Priority Saskatchewan.

Change effective March 31, 2016.

View Policy document

Vendor Performance Evaluation

A consistent evaluation model has been developed to evaluate vendors across government and the Crowns with results being considered in future competitions. To support continual improvement, vendors will also have the opportunity to provide feedback.

Address the Knowledge Gap

Create a virtual center of excellence to support employee procurement training. Enhance vendor knowledge to ensure clear understanding of procurement process and objectives, and tools to increase bidding success.

Government wide Community of Practice introduced in January 2020 to supplement ongoing procurement training which commenced in 2016.

Collaborative Capital Forecasting

Government will lead a more coordinated joint planning approach with Crowns and the broader government sector (municipalities, academia, schools and hospitals).

Government introduced in March 2016 an Integrated Capital Planning framework.

Enhance the SaskTenders Portal

A single window for all government, Crown and potentially broader public sector procurement. The site will be enhanced to support electronic submissions.

Common Procurement Templates

Improved templates with consistent and simplified language.

Common templates were developed in 2017-18 by a joint committee of Crowns and government ministries with industry feedback.

A review is underway, using the joint committee, effective January 2020 to reflect any changes required as a result of change to trade agreements, procurement processes any industry input.

Corporate Citizenship

Everyone benefits from contracts being awarded to vendors who are good corporate citizens.

Research into the use of social or community benefits criteria to leverage procurements process and funds expended to help government achieve its social objectives commenced September 2019.

Define ‘Saskatchewan Business’

Based upon feedback from industry, the working definition is a business that is:

  1. Located in Saskatchewan
  2. Employs Saskatchewan people
  3. Pays Saskatchewan taxes
  4. Sources their supplies from Saskatchewan-based business based upon capacity, quality and availability