We’ll fix contracting policy and practice: NTI
"NTI remains committed to work with the GN to find solutions to fix the issues"
As the Inuit small business roundtable organized by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. wrapped up in Iqaluit June 27, NTI thanked the 30 participants “for taking the time out of their busy schedules to participate in the roundtable.”
The Government of Nunavut’s contracting policy and practice need serious improvements, NTI’s acting chief executive officer, Arthur Yuan, said in an NTI news release.
“NTI remains committed to work with the GN to find solutions to fix the issues,” he said. “NTI also commits to continue a review of our internal procedures and work towards the solutions required.”
At the two-day meeting in Iqaluit, participants discussed various aspects of Nunavut’s economy, including the implementation of Article 24 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement and territorial government contracting procedures and practices, specifically the Nunavummi Nangminiqaqtunik Ikajuuti policy, which gives priority to Inuit companies when awarding contracts, and NTI’s Inuit Firm Registry, which decides which companies are Inuit-owned.
NTI acknowledged that the delegates had “serious concerns and frustrations” about the GN’s implementation of the NNI policy as well as the inadequacy of some of the provisions of the policy itself.
“What’s ‘Inuit Firm’ status? It’s a joke. It’s not defined properly,” said former Nunavut cabinet minister Manitok Thompson on June 26.
Businesses only claim to be from Nunavut to garner benefits, while they operate from the South, she said.
Her brother, Louie Bruce, lost a GN fuel delivery contract in 2011 to the local co-operative in Coral Harbour, even though his company, Sudliq Developments Ltd., was 100 per cent-Inuit owned.
A review of the GN’s contracting process, announced in the Legislative Assembly March 1, has recently begun.
The delegates at the roundtable also questioned NTI’s roles and practices related to providing assistance to Inuit firms in connection with the GN’s contracting process, the news release said.
The roundtable resulted in a list of recommendations from the delegates to NTI and the GN, which will be discussed, along with concerns about the NNI policy review, at NTI’s August board of directors meeting.