ARRAY Development

Contract Service Administration System (Contract*Admin)

top Contract*Admin Project

In this project, ARRAY Development is helping Treasury Board Secretariat and selected line departments to radically improve quality, flexibility, user accessibility, level of customer service and timeliness of its critical IM/IT, Government On-Line (GOL) and communications contract services, while minimizing their costs. Contract Service Administration System (Contract*Admin) allows departmental line managers, procurement officers and executives to effectively manage the backroom administrative cycle as a part of every service acquisition transaction.

The Project has been performed within the framework of the TBS GOL Procurement Forum (GoForIT) initiative. It has been originated as a part of the strategic business initiative aimed at repositioning and enhancing the GOL Contract Service support infrastructure within Government Departments and Agencies. Its principal goal was to support the Client in reengineering these services by transferring them to the more interactive Extranet environment that would be capable of directly engaging the participants in the administrative activities, and thus creating a seamless electronic service.

Developed in cooperation with the Treasury Board's CIO Office and several leading government departments, Contract*Admin could accommodate every public and private sector organization's unique requirements. This customizable system utilizes best Canadian government practices and risk management frameworks to ensure success of government projects. It also addresses concerns expressed in the recent Auditor General's Report regarding the accountability of government employees for managing communications service contracts, proper delegation of payment authority, and discharging their responsibilities with due care and diligence.

top About

Contract Service Administration System (Contract*Admin) is an automated service that simplifies GOL/IM/IT Contract Service Acquisition approval.

Contract*Admin is an Extranet-based business administration application developed for Canadian government agencies that require actively-managed administrative service delivery and policy compliance. It provides an open-standard support platform for transactional delivery of Contract Service Acquisition and reporting. It moves all Contract Service Acquisition administration to the Departmental intranet/Extranet environment, providing individual access through standard Internet browsers.

Contract*Admin is intended to:

  • Help Departmental line and materiel managers to drastically reduce the resources and time required for selecting and approval of IM/IT and GOL Contract Service requisitions.

  • Improve the quality and overall accountability for the Contract Service approval process.

  • Increase employee satisfaction by making the Contract Service requisition system more flexible and user-friendly.

  • Minimize development risks through the use of our proven prototyping methodology that would lead to an extensible, robust and scalable solution.

top Contract*Admin Service: Mission Statement

Contract*Admin helps departmental users to radically improve efficiency and integrity of the GOL Contract Service Acquisitions operations, while reducing waste and transactional costs. Contract*Admin strives to ensure for our clients the best overall service in their GOL Contract Service Acquisitions operations.

top Government Internet Procurement

To ensure viability of its service in the open environment of Internet procurement, public sector purchasing practices must be as efficient and price competitive as the corresponding industrial practices and systems. However, unlike business enterprises, government agencies have legal obligations to protect public interests and taxpayers money, as well as meeting all relevant internal policy requirements and international trade agreements.

Internet procurement is daunting enough in the private sector. In addition, a typical federal government organization has to respect all relevant social, economic, trade and legal competition policies. It has to ensure full compliance with the Financial Administration Act of Canada, trade agreements like NAFTA and WTO, contracting policies on environmentally-friendly, bilingual or aboriginal procurement, and numerous government contract regulations that guaranty that the procurement process is open, fair and transparent. Clearly, it must also include such standard commercial steps as e-payment, taxation, privacy and security, fulfillment and catalogue ordering.

This "fishbowl purchasing environment" necessitates development of automated procurement processes and systems that are at least an order of magnitude more complex (but no more difficult to use) than any sophisticated procurement system currently used in the industrial environment. By pointing, clicking, ordering and receiving, the user should be able to procure government services on Internet with full confidence that all relevant legislative requirements have been fully met. Not surprisingly, procurement, financial or ERP solutions developed for the industry have a low chance to succeed when transferred to the public sector.

top Contract*Admin Advantages

Now it is easy to save resources, time and effort on conducting GOL Contract Service Acquisitions operations! Contract*Admin is the new GOL/IM/IT Contract Service especially developed for departmental users. The Contract*Admin concept is simple -- decrease the time (75% to 80% less) and costs (by 40% or more) it takes for Departmental authorized staff to plan, approve, purchase and track GOL Contract Services.

Contract*Admin radically improves quality, flexibility, user accessibility, level of customer service and timeliness of its critical Government contract services, while minimizing their costs. It allows departmental line managers, procurement officers and executives to effectively manage the backroom administrative cycle as a part of every service acquisition transaction.

Contract*Admin helps government organizations to minimize and control their substantial internal and external Contract Service Acquisition administrative costs, improve efficiency and effectiveness of their Contract Service Acquisition management functions and save substantial resources in the process.

Contract*Admin adds value to the departmental administrative cycle and, while improving control, consequently strengthen the long-term business relationships between departmental line and materiel managers and their vendors. Contract*Admin System is essential to the departmental procurement process, as it could support a vibrant GOL Contract Service business model and a dynamic interactive acquisition process.

Contract*Admin Service streamlines and expedites internal Contract Service Acquisition and reporting processes and hence reduces the paper burden. A critical advantage of Contract*Admin is that it is entirely consistent with the emerging Internet corporate and government information infrastructure and does not require expensive software installations on the user desktop, or even on the Departmental network server.

Contract*Admin provides a new level of accountability by automatically ensuring that every step in the departmental Contract Service Acquisition cycle strictly adheres to all the respective Government and NAFTA policies.

Contract*Admin helps project participants to strictly follow all the applicable requirements of sections 32-34 of the FAA, Government Contracts Regulations and TBS policies that ensure prudence, probity and security in government procurement. It documents all the critical contracting steps specified by the Canadian Government rules, preserves complete audit trails of important decisions and the names of the authorities that made them.

The system's electronic database stores all the required evidence of transparent and competitive selection process, negotiations with contractors, legal and quality control reviews, and how the price has been established. As well, it documents whether all significant contract requirements have been met and helps to justify contracting exceptions in cases of emergency. It addresses the requirement of the Supply Manual for a current file to serve as a historical record and an accurate audit trail in the event of a financial review, subsequent legal action, or an official complaint.

Contract*Admin defines how the need for the services had been determined, the basis for establishing the price and scope of the contract work, selection of the contractor, contract amendments and deliverables. It also helps to verify that the amount of time billed by the contractor was an acceptable reflection of the conducted work and the ceiling for professional fees has not been exceeded. According to government procurement policies, it is critical for answering subsequent questions and evaluating the results.

Using Contract*Admin, executives and line managers should be able to define and procure service contracts with full confidence that all relevant legislative requirements and corporate regulations have been fully met.

Here are the top benefits of Contract*Admin service:

  • Substantial administration savings and better departmental financial and policy controls. For a typical Government agency, cost of an IT Contract Service Acquisition cycle reaches many thousands of dollars. Contract*Admin can reduce internal overhead cost by 40% or more. As IT procurement rapidly moves to Internet, does it make much sense to conduct acquisition approval by pushing paper through the system and hampering your valuable staff with non-productive activities?

  • Better structuring and control of GOL contracts. Contract*Admin informs both parties on their obligations under the contract, thus fostering its successful completion.

  • Ease of use. You can use it from anywhere where there is access to the Departmental intranet/Extranet, by utilizing Web browsers your Department already owns. Contract*Admin does not require much training or additional software installation on the user's computer.

  • Trustworthy and safe. The contracts are signed only after responsible managers authorize them. Your GOL Contract Service Acquisition guidelines and approval procedures are available online to guarantee there are no misunderstandings of Government's GOL Contract Service Acquisitions policy.

  • Fully automated. Contract*Admin ensures increased efficiency of backroom administration processes. Paperless process of approval and reporting can lead to significant departmental administration savings.

top Step-By-Step

On Contract Service Administration System (Contract*Admin), a typical IM/IT or GOL Contract Service Acquisition approval cycle consists of the following key policy compliance steps and decision support functions:

  1. Assign a Project Manager and start formulating Acquisition Request, Evaluation Procedures, IPS Marketplace Approval Form, Project Charter, Statement of Work, Risk Management Evaluation and RFP.

  2. IM/IT or GOL Contract Service RFP pre-approval by the immediate manager.

  3. Submitting the RFP to the Branch Contract Approval Committee (if required).

  4. Comparing Project Charter with the Initial Mandate and automatic departmental policy compliance verification (following relevant rules and regulations that guide the Contract Service procurement process below the NAFTA threshold).

  5. Using an IPS Marketplace Template, prepare a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a project that does not exceed the NAFTA Threshold of CAD$84,400, including travel and living, amendments, and taxes, such as GST or HST, and for 100 days or less.

  6. Conduct a search on PWGSC IPS Marketplace to obtain a List of Potential Bidders.

    1. If three or more Potential Bidders have been found for either a GOL or a Non-GOL RFP, distribute an RFP to the Potential Bidders.

    2. If at least one Potential Bidder have been found for a GOL RFP among the vendors placed on the preapproved list for GOL projects, distribute an RFP to such Potential Bidder(s).

    3. If less than three Potential Bidders have been found for a Non-GOL RFP, originate a Notice of Proposed Procurement (NPP) to be placed on Merx.

  7. Receive formal proposals from the Bidders submitted before the deadline.

    1. If three or more compliant bids have been received, the bidding process has been considered competitive and a supplier can be selected.

    2. If less than three compliant bids have been received, apply to the Departmental Approval Authority (through materiel Management Group) with the justification for selecting a particular bidder or conduct a new search on IPS Marketplace. Justification should state whether:

      • A throughout search of the IPS Marketplace has been carried out.

      • RFP issued and competition conducted.

      • As a result of a competitive process a Contract Award to the compliant bidder has been recommended even though less than 3 vendors are compliant.

      • Repeating of a new RFP cycle is not recommended, as the process would likely be ineffective and too costly.

  8. Check whether the Vendor has been involved in a previous phases of the same project and certify it didn't. The total of all past and bided projects for this Vendor would not exceed the NAFTA Threshold of CAD$84,400, including travel and living, amendments, and taxes, such as GST or HST, and for 100 days or less. This would ensure that contract splitting will not take place.

  9. Selection of the Supplier. According to PWGSC regulations on evaluation procedures, minimum 3 members are required to participate in the evaluation of IPS Marketplace projects.

  10. Jointly with the Supplier finalize the Project Charter.

  11. Contract approval by Materiel Managers, including:

    1. Issuing/co-signing with Supplier of GOL/IM/IT Service Contract

    2. Filling Security Requirements Check List (SRCL), if necessary.

  12. After a contract has been awarded, initiate a notification of unsuccessful bidders and, at the request of unsuccessful bidders, a debriefing process. The goal of debriefing is to help unsuccessful bidders learn how they might do better next time. Debriefing should also help Project Manager and other contract participants to learn how to improve their acquisition process in the future.

  13. Periodic Executive Reporting.

  14. Invoice originated by Supplier and submitted in electronic (RTF, PDF, HTML, MS Word) or paper format.

  15. Service audit and evaluation of process efficiency and financial accountability.

Compensating manual controls will be implemented in cases of non-automated residual interaction with external procurement, financial and HR systems.

As well, it includes numerous interactive enablers that add value to users and lower overall business costs.

top Hardware, Software and Security Requirements
  • Contract*Admin open-standard programmable technology platform supports transactional delivery of administration services and periodic reporting within and outside the organization.

  • Our overriding objective is to ensure fast development cycle, good cost-benefit ratios, and sufficient degrees of security and scalability, by minimizing potential for costly maintenance, training and support.

Hardware and Software
  • Written in XML, Perl, SQL, and integrated with email, workflow agents and advanced AI expert-system technologies, our system consists of several hundred thousand lines of code. The server can reside on any inexpensive, readily available, mature and stable hardware that could support Windows 2000 and MS IIS platform. If required, Perl provides easy portability to the Unix environment, as it was originally developed for it.

  • We have selected xHTML, a subset of XML, as a well-structured document development application standard. xHTML is currently the only XML schema that can be used as a development rather than experimental platform and can be displayed by the newest browsers on the market. As the XML standard matures, we plan to use other schemas that will be universally supported, i.e., do not require installation of proprietary applications on the user desktop.

  • In a typical corporate environment our technology platform is much faster and inherently more secure than would be applet-based implementations. It can also work with legacy non-graphic workstations still used in some government organizations and private corporations. Applets have a well-documented tendency to freeze older workstations.

  • Databases are in ODBC-compatible format and require approximately 10 Mbytes of disk space initially, with an increase of about 5 Kbytes per additional user, and additional 2 Kbytes per transaction.

  • Contract*Admin intranet/Extranet-based server supports sophisticated interactive forms, multi-field intelligent inputs, in-context instructions and other transactions, feedback and exception-management tools compelled by its demanding functionality.

  • Corporate users can access the service through all commonly used Web browsers and email client software.

  • It is hardly a secret that PC workstations used in many government organizations and private corporations are not always of the latest variety or have inadequate internal memory. Our versatile, robust and easy to maintain operating environment has been developed to support rapid implementation across organizations where legacy applications and older networking solutions are still widely used.

  • Even though an Internet-based technology platform always requires constant improvements and updates, our main technology strategy is to upgrade as we go and implement new competitive features with advances in Internet and evolvement in customer preferences.

  • Many government organizations and private corporations currently mandate the use of our technology platform as the only one that they are willing to support. The product has been developed to be easily scaled up by porting it to the mainstream Web hosting services, as there is nothing in the technology platform or architecture that requires running a proprietary platform.

Security Requirements
  • Security requirements for the browser are entirely dependent on organizational policies. The platform is fully compatible with any security level implemented in the given organization. If the system resides on open Internet, transactional security can be enhanced by the use of Secure Socket Layer, Version 3 (SLL3) and 128 bits encryption keys, or even more powerful PKI solutions. Browsers that default to the 40 bits International standard will be able to service clients outside the US and Canada.

  • Many organizations ban the use of applets on local browsers or strip them from the Web pages using a firewall or a proxy server. Our technology platform does not overburden client organizations with the need to change their security policies.

The above are minimum recommended configurations. Effective operation might be affected by local hardware, software and networking components. Discuss details with your corporate technical support.

Please contact us using email (preferred), fax or by phone, to:
array (at)
Phone: (613)733-0399
Fax: (613)248-4819