The Government of Alberta (GoA) employs approximately 35,000 people across the province. Until 2009, most procurement of goods was handled on behalf of the ministries, via the Province’s central agency, Service Alberta.
In January 2009, the GoA set out to implement a new initiative which would increase the contracting authority delegated to the ministry level. An important component of this initiative would be a new Accountability Framework, which would define procurement and contract management guidelines for the ministries.
In-depth training would be required to familiarize the GoA’s procurement and contract management staff with the new Accountability Framework and the implications of their increased level of responsibility. The development of the training program had a rigid deadline, to align with the roll-out and implementation of the framework. In addition, like all government organizations, public-sector budget pressures called for the most efficient development process possible.
In response to the GoA’s need for in-depth training for procurement staff on the new Accountability Framework, NECI worked closely with the GoA’s Procurement Services department to review the requirements in conjunction with their various procurement tools, templates, terms, and conditions. In order to realize the necessary cost efficiencies, NECI was able to take existing course material from their other programs, and tailor it to meet the specific needs of the GoA. The material was then supplemented by customized case studies and exercises which focused on GoA procedures.
The result was a three-day intensive training course called “Procurement 201: Acquiring Goods through the Competitive Process”. NECI not only designed and developed the curriculum, but continues to deliver and facilitate the training to date.
The collaborative approach that NECI took to developing the curriculum with the GoA meant that they were able to effectively capture all of the key nuances of the new Accountability Framework, including government-specific policies, templates, and guidelines for the purchase of goods by ministries. In addition, incorporating real world case studies and examples that pertained to the GoA made the course material relevant and practical for GoA staff.
Meeting these needs and delivering this important training has empowered ministry staff to exercise their delegated authority under the Accountability Framework and purchase goods at a higher level than before – ultimately increasing efficiency in procuring goods.
In addition, NECI’s proven approach to project management and collaboration with clients ensured that the program was developed on time and on budget – coinciding with the launch of the new initiative.
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