Each year, approximately $3.5 billion are spent on contracted goods and services by Alberta Health Services (AHS) through the Contracting, Procurement, Supply Management (CPSM) department, to support the delivery of health care in this province. This includes a wide range of goods and services needed to provide health care to over four million Albertans, from hypodermic needles to hospital gowns, and housekeeping services to the provision of long-term care.
When contracting for any goods or services, AHS abides by stringent and comprehensive contracting processes and policies (e.g. Contracts Policy; Travel, Hospitality, and Working Session Expenses Policy), which are in compliance with inter-provincial trade agreements, the New West Partnership Agreement (NWPTA) and the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) as they apply to the Municipalities, Academic Institutions, Schools and Hospitals (MASH) sector.
The agreements that govern us set out guidelines, thresholds and appropriate exceptions which ensure that the contracting process protects vendors and does not limit trade. This includes requirements for fair competition, transparency and prevention of discrimination.
To be open and transparent with Albertans about how contracts are entered into, and about what kinds of contracts we hold, AHS is posting information about the contracts we sign outside of a competitive process and managed by CPSM. These postings will continue to be updated on a quarterly basis.
Fair and Open Competitive Process
AHS conducts a fair and open competitive process before awarding a contract for goods or services in keeping with inter-provincial trade agreements, New West Partnership Agreement (NWPTA) and the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT).
It is necessary at times, for some contracts to be entered into without having undergone a public competitive process. Under the trade agreements which govern us, this is completely acceptable in certain circumstances and reflected in the various permitted exemptions that are found in those trade agreements.