Thank you, Mr. Chair and members of the committee, for your invitation to appear today.
I am happy to be able to address you today, and answer your questions along with my colleague.
I'm the assistant deputy minister of networks and security at Shared Services Canada. I am joined today by my colleague Samantha Hazen, assistant deputy minister and chief financial officer.
The current digital landscape is a highly complex system of network infrastructure. Shared Services Canada is modernizing our IT infrastructure. To realize the vision of a digital government, we must deliver end-to-end digital services to public servants and Canadians. A high-performing and resilient enterprise network is a key underpinning enabler of a digital government.
Technologies are rapidly changing. It is essential that the Canadian government keep pace, and as the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, it's even more critical in a crisis. SSC has taken an enterprise approach to modernization. This means that SSC continues to consolidate, standardize and modernize networks across government. We are ensuring that our strategy is aligned with current best practices and is adaptable to future requirements for our network and security services.
To get where we want to go, SSC has been investing in the development of standards, IT infrastructure, contracts consolidation, and technology simplification and standardization, as well as a modernized procurement strategy. SCC has established a robust project management process that involves assessing all potential options to deliver new services or address new needs. After looking at best practices, capacity and existing solutions, SSC determines the process that best allows it to deliver products and services that are cutting-edge and aligned to global best practices and offer extensive support and functionality to users.
As we continue to effectively modernize how we deliver digital services to Canadians, we are increasing our workforce and investing in attracting and retaining talent from across Canada. We are committed to continuing to train our existing workforce to adapt to a rapidly changing IT landscape and emerging needs. Our employees are our greatest asset.
The complexity of our IT infrastructure and the speed with which we are modernizing do not always allow us to use in-house expertise. When working with external service providers, our employees provide the guidance necessary to ensure success in all of our initiatives.
Over the past two and a half years, we have adopted digital solutions to unprecedented challenges at lightning speed. In these times of rapid changes to technology and security, speed and scale matter. Execution and implementation matter. In order to effectively deliver on our initiatives, we comprehensively assess our business objectives and determine the best way to meet them.
These are situations where we must rely on commercially available resources in order to focus on the strategic side of a project. Examples would be the mobile device service, which offers three types of cellular plans and a broad selection of mobile devices, and the Government of Canada's wide area network, which is a fully managed network service that interconnects our partner or client locations across metropolitan, regional, national or international boundaries.
When we are required to outsource, SSC conducts transparent, open and fair processes as per the Government of Canada's policy on the planning and management of investments and the directive on the management of procurement. Our employees are critical in ensuring that these processes are successful. Whenever possible, SSC uses competition to get the best value for Canadians.
Industry has been and will continue to be a critical stakeholder as we work to transform the federal government's information technology infrastructure systems. SCC's procurement strategy involves leveraging private sector expertise through early engagement, flexible process and the ability to mitigate the risks.
Our agile procurement process 3.0 is a highly collaborative approach to procurement that will also help the Government of Canada with its socio-economic and climate-related policy objectives. Our strategy includes reducing the barriers to entry for small and medium-sized enterprises and companies run by women, Black or indigenous people, persons of colour and other under-represented groups.
In 2021-22, 66% of SSC-funded contracts, valued at approximately $746 million, were awarded to small and medium enterprises. Of these, 90% of the total number, which is also 90% of the value of those contracts, were awarded to Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises. There is an impressive array of Canadian small and medium enterprises, and we are encouraged to cast a wider net in procurement opportunities to tap into that knowledge and innovation. SSC is committed to getting more Canadian companies involved in competing for government contracts.
Shared Services Canada is working hard to create economies of scale, more secure and reliable services, faster turnarounds, enhanced collaboration, reduced risk and an agile procurement process that is fair and transparent, ultimately better serving Canadians.