PSPC – Invitation to Qualify for Artificial Intelligence Source List

October 2, 2018

The following message has been provided by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC).

September 21, 2018 launch
Invitation to qualify on a source list of suppliers to provide Canada with responsible and effective AI services, solutions and products

AI applications and their potential impact on the public sector is wide ranging. Canada is seeking to integrate AI into services while ensuring it is governed with clear values, ethics, and law and in accordance with human rights obligations.

After research and consultation with industry, academia, and civil society, the Government of Canada has identified three categories and business outcomes to inform this solicitation process:

    1. Insights and Predictive Modelling – Canada is looking to maximize the value of the data and information within the organizations. There is a need to better understand how to leverage such techniques as machine learning and natural language processes to predict outcomes and gain deeper insights into behavioural patterns and trends. This includes, but is not limited to, preparing data, building and training models, putting models into production, and monitoring them as they are used.
    2. Machine Interactions – Canada is increasingly seeking to implement digital channels to facilitate interactions between citizens and government and make them more accessible. There is interest in exploring such techniques as semantic analysis, natural language processing, speech recognition and rule based-pattern matching to see how they may improve interactions with users and government operations.
    3. Cognitive Automation – Canada wants to start automating low-value tasks to maximize the value of their employees and to support more efficient business processes. Consequently, there is an interest to bring AI to further automate repetitive tasks or information-intensive processes. This could include, for example, applications to assist in or perform automated decision-making and robotic process automations.

This new method of supply is based on an agile approach, and will allow government departments to rapidly access pre-qualified suppliers who can integrate AI into services.   Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) has also added a number of innovation into this procurement activity, like making an oral pitch,  or including the possibility of requesting suppliers to work together to deliver on a contract, as well as flexibilities in assigning multiple contracts plus some new commercial terms and conditions.

Introduction of price bands will also facilitate and control risk to suppliers and to the Crown, and foster an environment of collaboration between suppliers, and provide a space for all suppliers including Small and Medium Enterprises to do business with the Government of Canada.

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