NTI seeks feedback on Nunavut procurement policy review
"We need specific changes to the way it is administered and in the policy itself"
Cathy Towtongie, the president of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., said Sept. 16 that she welcomes the tabling of Nunavummi Nangminiqaqtunik Ikajuuti review documents in Nunavut’s legislative assembly.
The two reports, tabled Sept. 16, clearly show the need to make substantial changes to the NNI Policy and its enforcement, Towtongie said in a NTI news release.
The reports are available on NTI’s website, in English and Inuktitut, where NTI is encouraging members of the public and Nunavut’s business community to make comments by Nov. 30, 2013.
NTI had pushed for the 2012 launch of the review of the NNI policy that sets out how the Government of Nunavut should comply with Article 24 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement in giving preferential treatment to Inuit- and Nunavut-owned businesses when awarding procurement contracts.
“The NNI Policy is meant to implement Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Article 24, but I have heard from many Inuit businesses that it is not being applied properly and that changes are required. We need specific changes to the way it is administered and in the policy itself,” said Towtongie in the Sept. 16 news release.
Towtongie made the comments following the release of an independent review of the NNI Policy by the legal firm Borden-Ladner-Gervais; and the report of the NNI Review Committee, a joint NTI-GN committee for which the BLG report was prepared.
Towtongie said the report shows that the NNI policy is very important to Inuit firms, but actually costs very little for the GN to apply.
“The argument we often hear is that the cost to implement the NNI Policy drives up the cost to government, but this is completely false and misleading. The research conducted by BLG and reinforced by the NNI Review Committee clearly demonstrates that the associated additional costs to implement such an important government policy is minimal,” said Towtongie.
“The NNI Policy is intended to meet the objectives of Article 24. All government departments and agencies are obligated to follow it. The report shows that this is not happening, and this must change immediately.”
The BLG report found that the Qulliq Energy Corp. has not followed the NNI policy, although it is clearly obliged to do that, NTI said.
The BLG report also suggested changes to NNI bid adjustments, under which businesses may be eligible to receive a competitive adjustment of up to 21 per cent on bids or proposals.
Without changing the 21 per cent bid adjustment ceiling, BLG proposes modifying the adjustments to provide more support for Inuit firms that demonstrate increased Inuit ownership.