In the News Archive
September 2002

Subscribe to Summit!



Fad or fashion

Procurement trends dominate the Canadian Public Procurement Council's Forum 2002

by Helen Stein

From its opening plenary to the concluding panel discussion, trends in procurement remained in the forefront of discussion among conference delegates representing every province and territory. Two of the three keynote speakers focused on the topic - one from an industry perspective, the other from within the government.

Paul McLellan, a senior executive at Sun Electric, Mancon Holdings and Alliance Energy, drew on his experience as past chairman of the Canadian Construction Association (CCA), in his presentation titled, Industry Trends Affecting Procurement. He explored issues evolving from five major industry trends, beginning with technology. McLellan compared the attraction of some aspects of the digital environment to the temptation to release the genie from a bottle, saying: "Once the cork is off, there's no putting it back."

McLellan asserted, "The advent of electronic bidding, particularly in the private sector, has unfortunately led some owners to abandon not only traditional media, but also fundamental principles." In particular, he cautioned against reverse auctions, although emphasizing that the CCA's objection to them is with the process involved and not the medium that makes them possible. "We at CCA embrace new technologies and IT tools that make the process of construction, including construction procurement, more efficient and easier to all concerned," he emphasized.

The IT tool most heartily embraced by CCA - COOLNet (Construction Opportunities On-Line Network) - comprises what McLellan referred to as the second trend and the preferred source for disseminating tender information, used by 20,000 contractors and suppliers of construction services.

The "dumbing down" of owners in both the public and private sectors, McLellan sees as a trend tied to the gradual elimination of in-house expertise within the government agency or corporate owner for engineering and construction works.

After touching on the impact of the free trade agreements, McLellan turned to the changing legal environment about which he said: "Canadian courts have developed in recent judgments an unwavering desire to preserve the integrity of the competitive bidding process." He noted that this trend is especially true with respect to public sector tenders, which has not gone unnoticed by bidders who are now more willing to pursue legal remedies if they feel they've been treated unfairly.

Jane Billings, Assistant Deputy Minister at Public Works and Government Services Canada, in her address: Government Trends Affecting Procurement, looked at the general evolution of government and the related changes in broad procurement practices. She traced these shifts through four eras: from Confederation, through World War I, to the late 1960s (when the federal government increased its consumption of services and began to turn to external expertise to respond to its needs), to the current era of modern comptrollership (brought about by the deficit-related need to curb spending, that began around 1993).

Billings described the federal government's approach to the present as characterized by an emphasis on getting the best value out of every dollar it spends. "We continue to buy construction and goods and services but in an entirely different context," she said. "We have to fight for every dollar we need, and then account for what we have done with that dollar, whether to our internal auditors, the federal Auditor General or Parliament."

Billings described how, in the wake of these constraints, the process of procurement has become immensely more complex, and subsequently, how the emergence of computers and information technology (IM/IT) has further complicated what was once a relatively straightforward mandate.

Approaches designed to address these modern-day complexities - bundling of requirements, end-to-end solutions, contracting for results, and organization-wide initiatives - in turn have an unintended consequence, she explained - they tend to make it more difficult for smaller businesses to participate in government procurement opportunities.

One possible solution for small business, Billings mused, might be found in the growing market for environmentally friendly products. "Canada may not have ratified the Kyoto Accord," she said, "but increasingly, governments are seeking environmentally friendly solutions."

She also touched on the infamous "sponsorship file," which has drawn much media attention and resulted in what she called "a veritable United Nations of enforcement organizations trying to make sense of the situation." But, she emphasized: "Voluntarily, based on an internal audit, and before the media frenzy started, I accepted the move of the contracting-related aspects of sponsorship into my organization." As such, these transactions are treated under the same rules as other contracts, she said.

Turning to the divergence between what government needs and the procurement environment, Billings targeted the trade agreements as the area in which divergence is most evident. She described the ramifications of meeting AIT (Agreement on Internal Trade) requirements, federally through the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT), as "increasingly litigious, ever more expensive and a huge influence on our day-to-day work." The divergence is created, she explained, by the increasingly restrictive view with which the CITT defines the AIT requirements regarding procurement, juxtaposed against the growing demand for operational requirements to be defined more generally.

To deal with all of this, the federal government launched a Procurement Reform initiative about three years ago, "...a comprehensive effort, bringing together most of the main federal departments involved in procurement, to modernize every aspect of how we do business," Billings said. She added that two key elements among the many it addresses are policy reform and ensuring that procurement professionals have the knowledge and training necessary to respond to current demands.

Billings acknowledged that information about such initiatives already underway in other countries is of great help. "But why are we learning this from abroad or from outside the public sector?" she asked. She is convinced the solutions already exist within the minds and experiences of those attending the conference.

CPPC Forum 2002's concluding panel recapped issues discussed throughout the conference, taking various perspectives on how to do more with less. Panelist Ted Musgrove, general manager of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, discussed outsourcing as a way of reducing costs. He pointed out the importance of retaining control while not performing the functions, and recommended sharing services before actually outsourcing.

Michel Brown, a director with the Government of Québec's Treasury Board Secretariat, discussed how Québec is preparing to deal with the consequences of Canada's changing demographics - such as its aging population. Brown explained that the province has opted for a series of strategic and global measures, including among others, an integrated data processing management system, and the recently announced policy aimed at filling vacant jobs with people 35 years of age or less, members of the cultural communities and visible minorities.

Panelist, Charles Kaszap, a project manager with the Contracted Airborne Training Services (CATS) Project, Department of National Defence (DND), emphasized the importance of having processes in place prior to the onset of any emergency. He overviewed private sector imperatives - profits, ratios, growth, limitation of liability, limiting competition and maximizing shareholder value - that must be balanced against government objectives. Using examples from DND projects, Kaszap showed how, for example, long-term contracts can be beneficial, sharing services (or in this case a facility) can help defray costs, and that it is possible, though challenging, to contract out critical support.

The last word went to Gilles Breton, from the Quebec City Convention Centre, who provided a glimpse of the welcome in store for all who attend next year's conference in Quebec City.

Helen Stein is a freelance writer based in Winnipeg.

E-procurement - e-gads!

CPPC conference offers lessons learned

by Helen Stein

Like the ghost that haunts Winnipeg's historic Fort Garry Hotel where the Canadian Public Procurement Council's (CPPC's) Forum 2002 took place, September 29 to October 2, e-procurement made several appearances but remained elusive. Although most of the conference attendees encountered the topic in a number of information sessions, it seems unlikely that many came away with a solid understanding of the entire subject. This is no reflection on the presenters. Electronic procurement is simply one tough entity to nail down.

Even its definition is subject to interpretation. One audience member, during the question period that followed an e-procurement presentation, pondered aloud: "Is what we have here a solution without a problem?" Another wished we could just drop the "e" and have procurement in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible, whether electronic or not.

In his presentation, "E-Procurement Lessons Learned," Stephen Whittaker, director, Procurement Services, University of Toronto, walked his audience through a successful pilot project currently winding down at the university (the 13th largest employer in the Toronto region, affiliated with 20 teaching hospitals and has an operating budget of $671.6 million).

Whittaker described how "one of the world's first pure B2B e-procurement systems in the higher education sector" proceeded from conception through feasibility study, solution selection, supplier engagement, and system implementation. "In December 2000, I conducted a feasibility study for e-procurement at the university and found that we had a real monster on our hands," Whittaker said. Major problem areas included laboratory technicians and other non-procurement staff members routinely spending up to 40 percent of their time on procurement activities. "Off-contract spending was growing exponentially and departments, more and more, were doing their own thing, with shadow systems popping up like mushrooms to keep track of things," Whittaker explained.

Under these circumstances any one of the available solutions - which included electronic catalogue, e-marketplaces, and sector-specific application service providers - would have been capable of reducing or at least containing the product costs at the front end, Whittaker said. "But to realize the full benefit of e-procurement would require end-to-end integration, to get the productivity gains through automation," he added.

Having demonstrated major gains for both the university and its suppliers, the project is slated for general release before the end of this year. "By July 2004, we expect to handle the equivalent of 40,000 transactions annually, representing $40 million and involving between 40 to 50 suppliers," Whittaker said. "We should have about a thousand users and be in a position to start making the system available to our affiliated hospitals."

Along the way to implementation, Whittaker learned some valuable lessons, which he shared with his audience:

  • Vendors "Can Do!!" (Most can't today)
  • Absolutely must get senior executive commitment
  • Clear project plan, milestones, executive-level monitoring
  • Universal (or accepted) standards - XML, OCI, UN/SPSC
  • Scarcity of experienced consultants - have technical knowledge but little end-to-end experience
  • New working dynamic - technical and business

Greg Lusk, executive director, Government Services Department of Transportation and Public Works, Government of Nova Scotia, said he would watch the University of Toronto's progress with great interest. But as the title of his presentation implies, he took the position of devil's advocate in his discussion: "I've Got the Answer - Now, Does Somebody have the Question? Public Sector E-Procurement: Confucius or Confusion?"

Lusk acknowledged that e-procurement, done well, could or should streamline process, improve public access and save money, de-emphasize task and professionalize roles, and improve public policy accountability mechanisms. But he cautioned against seeing it as the new Holy Grail.

"There really is a debate about what e-procurement is," Lusk said. For example, he described three perspectives - the access model, the internal operating efficiency model, and the marketplace model - all of which view e-procurement in different terms.

"E-procurement really is about business policy," Lusk asserted. "To pursue e-procurement without a clear vision is to muddle strategies without a reasonable prospect of improving operational effectiveness." To acquire that clear vision he recommended careful consideration of some essential questions:

  • What is the problem?
  • For whom?
  • Why do anything?
  • What's in it for them? For you?
  • What compromises can you make?
  • How does it fit your value system?

Can you afford it?

Ted Hlynsky, managing consultant, EDS Canada Inc., shared more lessons learned in his presentation, "Bridging the Great Divide between the Promise and Reality of e-procurement." He noted that the reality of e-procurement has not lived up to the initial hype that surrounded it.

But despite some questionable attempts and early disappointments, Hlynsky said he believes expectations have become more realistic. "I think we're entering a phase now where we know what the systems can do, what they can't do, where some of the benefits are and where they aren't," he said, adding that now some real productive work can be accomplished.

  1. Hlynsky mapped out the road to successful e-procurement in the following 10 steps:
  2. Conduct internal assessment
  3. Conduct external assessment
  4. Create the vision and scope
  5. Mobilize key resources and partnerships
  6. Develop the business case and economic model
  7. Create solution architecture and design
  8. Determine sourcing strategy for e-procurement - system assessment, contracting, implementation and risk management
  9. Identify early success opportunities
  10. Develop overall implementation plan
  11. Monitor progress and key performance indicators from business case

Hlynsky stressed that while e-procurement provides a tremendous opportunity for some organizations, it requires a significant amount of work and necessitates that each organization have a unique business case to determine the most appropriate course of action.

"E-Procurement, A status Report by Sector: Provincial and Crown Corporations," delivered two success stories. Marie-Josée Linteau, procurement executive director, Government of Québec, focused on Québec's implementation of the Public Procurement Catalogue, an initiative which began in 1997. The catalogue lists office furniture and supplies, buying groups for training courses and education, leasing of vehicles, hotel and conference room reservations, and buying groups for microcomputers and servers. Between 1999 and 2000 the number of requests for these items totalled 3,184 for the amount of $1.1 million. From April 1 to August 31 of this year, 17,387 requests were processed for goods and services in the amount of $9.2 million. Linteau pointed out that this represents an increase of 170 percent over the same quarter last year.

Roger McCune, director Business Development, E-Business, Canada Post Corporation, described how the Crown Corporation's journey to e-procurement began with a business case in November 1999 and evolved during a period of substantial change within the organization. He discussed some of the unique considerations that arise in a service provider that offers trusted third party services to the e-procurement industry. He pointed out a number of products the corporation has developed that incorporate visible marks of trust in the online world, such as ePost, PosteCS, and the Electronic Postmark.

Among McCune's key factors for success, trust and security stand out, and in terms of training, he advised: "Triple your original estimates."

The e-procurement discussions at Forum 2002 may not have reached a consensus, but did provided quality information to help the procurement professionals who grapple with this important issue. Like the Fort Garry ghost, e-procurement appears in many forms and will continue to haunt us for some time to come.

Helen Stein is a freelance writer based in Winnipeg.

Canadian Forum on Public Procurement

The theme of this fourth annual Forum on Public Procurement is "The Meeting Place". CPPC is pleased to host its annual conference at one of the most significant meeting places in all of Canadian history. At the 2002 Forum in Winnipeg, participants will be able to network, share valuable information and ideas and learn of developments in public procurement with and from their colleagues from other levels of government. As media sponsor, Summit magazine will provide each delegate with a copy of the latest issue. Following the Forum, check the Summit magazine website for a report of this years meeting and the issues that are raised.

Who should attend the Forum?

The participants are typically managers, directors, purchasing officers, assistant deputy ministers, executive directors - all involved in public procurement at the federal, provincial/territorial and municipal levels of government and in the education, health case and social services organizations in Canada.

For more information and to register, click through to the Forum program at www.ccmp-cppc.qc.ca

French treat Halifax water

Ondeo (www.ondeo.com), the water division of French utility company Suez, has been awarded a 30-year, US$304 million contract to build and operate water treatment plants in Halifax. The three new plants will tidy the environment around the city, which sees 150 million litres of untreated waste poured into the harbour daily.·

Buying fleets just got better

by Bindu Suresh

The business of fleet procurement just got easier, faster, and cheaper. The Directorate of Support Vehicles Program Management (DSVPM) at the Department of National Defence (DND) extended their revolutionary, cost-effective Long Term Standing Offer (LTSO) solution to involve other government departments and the acquisition of complex military vehicles.
The standing offer itself is not new. Government departments have been awarding exclusive contracts for years in such areas as business supplies and staff cars. The LTSO takes the customary standing offer and lengthens it, applying the idea to large vehicles and bundling equipment with service and parts. The largest LTSO award went to Sterling and Western Star for heavy trucks, a 5-year deal worth $50 million.

The new idea is paying off for DSVPM - the department saved millions last year on 613 pieces of equipment through LTSOs and achieves, on average, a five percent discount on equipment, parts and servicing through bulk buys. LTSOs reduce costs by limiting paperwork to one initial contract award. By dealing with one winning company, LTSOs homogenize fleets, allowing for easier training and maintenance. For greater flexibility, the LTSO is optional for customers (unlike in a single sourcing solution), may be accessed by the customer directly, and allows the customer to anticipate need and order in advance.

The LTSO substantially speeds up delivery on fleet vehicles. Under a typical contract, a truck takes 38 weeks to be delivered; under the LTSO system, the process takes 15 weeks, and often only two to four weeks. This rapid, efficient delivery and shorter contractual process allows supply managers to order and acquire what they need in the limited time they have to spend devolved funds.

Customers are impressed. "When they wanted something, a global contract was already there," says Lynn Fonger, senior capital procurement officer at DSVPM."They could feed into that what they wanted and get it delivered in a couple of months rather than a year." DSVPM recently diversified their longterm agreements to include re-life projects, custom military vehicles, and other machinery such as backhoes, forklifts, and graders. Many complex vehicles, such as the state-ofthe- art Multi-Purpose Engineering Vehicle (MPEV), a militarized backhoe that travels 100 km/hr, could not have been acquired under the previous system due to time and funding constraints.

DSVPM hopes to expand the LTSO project to the Internet and to agreements with municipalities, and aims to increase volume discounts and the number of custom vehicles in DND's fleet.

And the winners are

Materiel Management Recognition Award

Marc Whelan is Transport Canada's Director, Materiel and Contracting Services and is known as a leader in leveraging current technologies, resulting in significant financial and materiel savings for the department.

Environmental Recognition Award

Jacques Labonté, Manager of the Materiel Management Division in PWGSC and Departmental Fleet Manager, was responsible for setting up and chairing the Departmental Green Procurement Strategy Working Committee aimed at promoting green procurement and sharing best environmental practices.

Environmental Recognition Award for a Team

Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) ship's engineers under the leadership of Patrice St-Pierre, worked with Advanced Biological Solutions Canada to implement a new approach to the disposal of solid, chemical and oily waste from ships on three CCG vessels that now meets and exceeds both national and international standards.

Excellence in Service as a Materiel Manager

Award sponsored by Summit

Russell Faulkner,Regional Manager, Materiel Services with the Department of Fisheries & Oceans, Maritimes Region, has practiced his belief in client satisfaction and teamwork for over 20 years. He is responsible for the regional management of integrated materiel management services in support of Maritimes Region management, staff and clients and their programs, operations and facilities.

South of our border

Source: govexec.com

  • In 2000, two naval centres in San Diego spent US$68 million in government purchase card transactions, including purchases of cosmetics, clothing, and compact discs. Despite attempts in the last year to fix lax internal controls and poor oversight, personnel continue to abuse the charge cards, which allow employees to spend up to US$2,500 per transaction without going through procurement paperwork. The Department of Defense has suspended the charge card program in these locations until proper controls are in place.
  • The US Coast Guard (www.uscg.mil) awarded a US$11 billion contract to Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman after a performance-based contract competition. Over the next 30 years, Lockheed-Northrop will rebuild the Coast Guard's aging fleet and construct the next generation of ships and aircraft.
  • To increase homeland security, the Bush administration suggested a government-only intranet, GovNet, but security strategists in the private sector believe that GovNet will isolate the government from valuable local and state resources. They suggest strengthening authentication tools and encryption on the Internet instead.
  • USF Holland recently installed a FuelMaker compressed natural gas (CNG) refuelling station (www.fuelmaker.com) for 40 forklifts at its Milwaukee terminal. The move was prompted by economic, health, and environmental considerations ­ CNG use offers considerable fuel savings, reduces carbon monoxide emissions by 95 percent and prevents back injuries by eliminating manual gas cylinder handling.
  • The Department of Defense has granted IBM a US$50-100 million contract to overhaul the department's financial system. Currently, the DoD has 1,000 feeder systems, a number the department hopes to reduce by 90 percent, simplifying the department's financial organization and making it more efficient and cost-effective. The new system should be widely installed by 2005.
  • Apple's (www.apple.com) new dual processor, rack-mountable server, Xserve ­ with generous processing and storage capacities and the Mac OS X operating system ­ is intended mainly for the data centres of the US federal government. Despite competitive pricing, Xserve must still competes with PC giants Dell, HP, and Sun Microsystems, who make similar servers.
  • A General Accounting Office study found that IT contractors are afraid that intellectual property (IP) rights for research undertaken on a federal project will belong solely to the government. Thus they are reluctant to work with the government on IT projects such as homeland security measures. The report suggests that federal procurement officers undergo training in IP policy to assuage contractors' concerns.

Schools get it together with IT

Canadian colleges and universities are catching the IP telephony bug ­ over 20 educational institutions across the country switched to the new technology, which uses Cisco's Architecture for Voice, Video and Integrated Data (www.cisco.com). IP telephony, which allows data, video and voice to converge on the same network, simplifies network management and increases organizational flexibility, resulting in cost savings and productivity gains. Seeking similar efficiency, 24 Quebec colleges adopted Novell's Campus Provisioning Solution (www.novell.com) to organize divergent data sources, applications, and databases.

Saskatchewan's LAND provides Ukraine food for thought

The province of Saskatchewan applied Swiftview viewing technology (www.swiftview.com) to its Information Services Corporation's state-of-the-art LAND system. LAND integrates the province's land titles and land surveys online, automating 50 million paper documents. Using Swiftview and GIS technology, customers can access geographic images of any property in the province ­ including information on forest, soil and water cover ­ encouraging faster real estate transactions and new economic development projects in Saskatchewan. A Ukrainian delegation recently visited the province to study this system and incorporate these ideas in their own land registration efforts.

Alberta supports programs with CGI's help

NEW WORDS CGI (www.cgi.com) recently won a four-year IT contract valued at $12 million from the Alberta Human Resources and Employment Ministry. CGI, which already has long-term IT agreements with five Alberta departments, will provide application maintenance services for the Ministry's systems. These systems support such integral programs as labour relations, financial benefits, training, and safe workplaces.

Web-enabled supply chains

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) implemented Ceecom Systems' (www.ceecom.com) Quartermaster,a web-enabled inventory,ware-housing, and supply-chain system for police forces. The system makes police procurement more efficient and secure by allowing supply man-agers to respond immediately to requests over the OPP Intranet, enabl-ing officers to order for themselves, and ensuring that controlled items may be tracked until delivery.

Canadian hospitals and suppliers continue to implement Global Healthcare Exchange (www.ghx.com), an e-procurement tool for healthcare products. GHX aims to reduce supply chain costs in the Canadian healthcare system by providing an efficient, web-based exchange and access to an industry standard catalogue. The 28 suppliers and 60 hospitals involved believe GHX will increase overall transaction volume and reduce cycle time.

E-government alters service inside and out

E-government is touted as a way to provide more and better service 24-7, and as a powerful tool of direct democracy. But political scientist Loleen Berdahl points out,"The other side that is important, but doesn't have a public face, is how government is [altered by technology] on the inside." Berdahl led a study of municipal e-government in Western Canada for the Calgary-based Canada West Foundation, where she is research director. She participated in the Western Government Gateway conference in May, a forum for governments to share e-government lessons.

"Technology has a lot of promise in getting things coordinated and allowing departments to work together," Berdahl says. It can level silos. "That could help us have a more efficient government, a government with more capacity." It also frees public servants from menial tasks."It's a very important internal revolution for governing" ­ gradual enough to avoid upheaval, but recognized in retrospect as a revolution, nonetheless." The fact that governments are learning from each other across levels, and internationally, benefits them all.

"So much of the power of technology is not associated with automating what we're already doing, but rather serving as a catalyst to cause people to rethink what they're doing," a Microsoft Corp. executive told the conference. Bob McDowell, vice-president, executive relations, says the Internet lets government interact in new ways with the customer/ citizen and with suppliers. "The big opportunity is in rethinking some bureaucratic processes ­ looking at [the Internet] as a complement to existing services. From a government perspective, it's improving the quality of service to citizens, and from a seller's perspective, access to selling the product."

Berdahl cautions that e-government adds cost during the transition because even though one segment of the public is excited about getting information whenever they want it, "for at least another generation, another group of people will insist on having someone at the kiosk or on the phone, so governments have to [offer service] both ways." In her opinion, anything governments can do to become more accessible is worth the cost. "There's tremendous public cynicism about elected officials and government. [E-government] can bring politicians and the public service closer to the people." The public safety aspect is also valuable; for instance, doctors' typing in prescriptions for pharmacists, and having patients' prescription history available to them on-line.

McDowell expects citizens to shape e-government by virtue of how they use it, but says it's up to the supplier to teach customers ­ including governments ­ how to take advantage of their capabilities."So much of what technology is about is sitting unused." ­Melanie Collison

W3C: creating "one size fits all" government websites

For many people with disabilities or physical limitations, using the Internet is not always as easy. Those who rely on adaptive technology to go online often come across websites not programmed to be compatible with software that supports a voice-activated mouse and screen readers. Plain-old bad design can also lead to problems for those with poor eyesight or limited hand mobility.

To address these obstacles, federal government websites are currently being revamped to include the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Introduced in 1999 by an international consortium based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the guidelines are now part the Treasury Board's "Common Look and Feel (CLF)" initiative, scheduled to be in place by December 31. The goal of CLF is to ensure continuity in both design and the way a website is navigated.

According to Mary Frances Laughton, chief of Industry Canada's Assistive Devices Office, the W3C guidelines are an effort to make sure online information is available to people who use non-standard software and hardware, "With the standards, anyone who can access a computer will be able to access a government website," she said, noting that about 20 percent of the population now has problems accessing the Internet: people with disabilities, and seniors. She suspects that number will grow as baby boomers age and have increasing vision problems; arthritis and disabilities.

The Bank of Montreal's MERX website, used for federal and other government tenders, will not be affected by WC3 standards. Jocelyne Limoges, spokesperson with Public Works and Government Services Canada said, "This could be corrected in the future," with incorporation of W3C guidelines possibly being included in a future MERX-type contract. Mike Edmonds, senior manager, media relations for MERX, said the site's information will be available through other means such as phone and faxes. "We are extremely sensitive to the customization needs of clients. Those with difficulties can notify a call centre and have a file set up to make sure they get the information they need," he said.

Ellen Passmore of Ontario's Accessibility Directorate, said official websites should incorporate W3C by the fall, when the Ontarians with Disabilities Act comes into full effect. By then, all municipalities over 10,000 in population have to have an accessibility advisory committee in place, which will most likely address Internet access. Ottawa adopted W3Cs principal checkpoints upon amalgamation in 2000.

In Nova Scotia, Geoff Kerson, Chair of the Web Review Committee, said the province's website standards are being reviewed, and W3C standards are being examined closely. Saskatchewan adopted the most important W3C components in 1999.

Geoff Waddington, CEO of Real Decoy, an Ottawa company that evaluates accessibility and overhauls sites, also points out that improving the design for people with disabilities will actually benefit everyone. "Poor web design is generally one of the biggest obstacles to e-commerce," he said. ­Celeste Mackenzie

Alberta supports programs with CGI's help

NEW WORDS CGI (www.cgi.com) recently won a four-year IT contract valued at $12 million from the Alberta Human Resources and Employment Ministry. CGI, which already has long-term IT agreements with five Alberta departments, will provide application maintenance services for the Ministry's systems. These systems support such integral programs as labour relations, financial benefits, training, and safe workplaces.

 

compiled by Summit staff

 


Submissions are welcome

Email: summitup@summitconnects.com 

Snail-mail: 

Summit Magazine
800-180 Elgin St
Ottawa ON K2P 2K3

Fax: (613) 688-0767


.

  About Summit MagazinePrivacy PolicyContact UsThe Summit Group