In 2014 and 2015, a series of consultations were held about how to make it easier for government to welcome innovative ideas from the marketplace.
One of the issues government has heard repeatedly is the difficulty associated with finding the right person to talk to when a vendor has an innovative product or service that government may not know exists. This topic was documented in the Doing Business with Government report, and resulted in recommendation #10: To implement a new policy and approach for welcoming new ideas.
As part of its commitment to these recommendations, the Province has created a project under the umbrella of procurement transformation. More information about procurement transformation is available online.
In 2014, outreach sessions took place throughout British Columbia to:
- Share an understanding of the operating context;
- Identify ways for businesses to bring innovative goods and services to the Province; and
- To gather recommendations for how to structure a future model/process.
There were three ministry sessions held in Prince George, Kelowna and Kamloops, with a total of 16 participants; and four vendor sessions in Prince George, Kelowna, Kamloops and Vancouver, with a total of 63 participants. The input received from these outreach sessions was used to create a survey that received 271 vendor responses and 21 ministry responses.
In 2015, 18 ministry employees were interviewed, representing:
- A cross section of roles from administrative to senior management;
- A range of specialization from administration to procurement specialists; and
- Varying experience levels, from never receiving innovative ideas to receiving, reviewing and procuring
Input leads to action:
Innovative Ideas Project: A project team was created in 2015 to analyze the data listed above and define the project scope. A continuous improvement workshop, Kaizen, took place in February 2016 to highlight opportunities for improvement, to draft a new process for sharing ministry and broader public sector opportunity statements, and for receiving innovative ideas from the vendor community. Attendees to the Kaizen event included ten ministry and nine vendor representatives.
The recommendations stemming from the Innovative Ideas consultation and workshop have been prepared for executive review.