Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a) (i) (ii), in processing parliamentary returns, the government applies the principles set out in the Access to Information Act. As a result, this information cannot be released on the grounds that it constitutes third party information.
With regard to (b), the mandate of the task force, which is an ad hoc working group, is to consult with suppliers and industry associations about their practices, and analyze ethical procurement approaches of other government organizations as well as prevailing international standards. The working group has collected information in the following areas: metrics on PWGSC apparel contracts; international conventions, principles, standards and guidelines related to corporate social responsibility and ethical sourcing; related Government of Canada initiatives; practices of other jurisdictions within Canada and abroad; and supplier practices and experiences in relation to corporate social responsibility and ethical sourcing. It is important to note that currently, almost 90% of garments purchased by PWGSC are for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Department of National Defence, and 98% of those garments are made in Canada.
With regard to (c) (i) (ii), the working group is composed of PWGSC procurement and procurement policy officials as well as a consultant contracted to coordinate and help conduct research. The group is led by the senior director, consumer and commercial products directorate and the senior director from the acquisition program’s policy directorate. Members of the group have experience and expertise in the areas of apparel procurement and policy development.
With regard to (d), the working group collected information from various apparel companies, industry representatives, non-governmental organizations and other levels of government.
With regard to (e), effective April 1, 2014, an origin of work provision clause, country only, is included in all solicitations for apparel. In August 2014, PWGSC began posting the manufacturer’s country of origin on its Buy and Sell website.On November 29, 2013, PWGSC published on Buyandsell.gc.ca the national goods and services procurement strategy for clothing and textiles: https://buyandsell.gc.ca/procurement-data/tender-notice/PW-13-00541965. All PWGSC procurement policies are available online through the PWGSC Internet site: http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/app-acq/dpa-ppd-eng.html.
With regard to (f) to (i), the findings of the working group are currently being reviewed. PWGSC will consult with industry stakeholders on any proposed procurement practice revisions.
With regard to (j), the working group is funded from within existing reference levels and largely using resources simultaneously working on other related files. As a result, the precise costs associated only with the group’s activities cannot be estimated.