Saving the People of Ontario a Billion Dollars Annually

Published on March 19, 2019

Ontario’s Government is making it easier and more efficient to deliver services and do business with the province. By finding savings for the taxpayer, the government is protecting education, health care and all the vital services the people of Ontario rely on.

The Ontario Government is streamlining back-office processes and services, reducing unnecessary duplication and removing waste across government. Through the centralization of the province’s public sector procurement and by creating more efficient delivery processes, the Ontario Government is projecting savings of $1 billion annually.

“For far too long, smart procurement practices in Ontario have been ignored,” said Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board. “We have a tremendous opportunity to better leverage the volume of purchasing across the Ontario Public Service and broader public sector, ensuring purchases are more competitive and achieve the best value for the taxpayer. This is all part of our plan to bring the rigour and language of business to the business of government.”

Ontario is committed to building a modern centralized procurement system that will drive significant cost savings through the streamlining of purchasing processes across vendors and the consolidation of contracts for health care products, from pacemakers to bandages, to computer and IT hardware across the Ontario Public Service and broader public sector. This new system will apply to Ontario ministries, provincial agencies, as well as broader public sector organizations such as hospitals and schools.

As well, the province has created a new Lean and Continuous Improvements Office that will provide value to citizens by modernizing how services are delivered, increasing productivity, and basing individual and business supports on what citizens want. It is also removing multiple, redundant, and unused voice services across government to reduce waste, saving up to $8 million annually.

“As part of our plan to make it easier to deliver services, we are introducing more efficient processes and systems that will make government more effective. When we design services and supports around the needs of the people of Ontario, we will improve their experiences with government,” said Bill Walker, Minister of Government and Consumer Services. “The Lean and Continuous Improvements Office will help streamline how we deliver services by applying lean practices and building a culture of continuous improvement. We will take the time needed to get this right, ensuring we buy better, and have an efficient and effective system in place.”

“Centralized procurement is already underway in some areas of government, and we have already seen the savings potential from the Ontario Public Service alone in areas such as print services, mobile devices, and office furniture,” said John Yakabuski, MPP for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke. “Expanding this model to the broader public sector just makes sense. It is the right thing to do for our partner vendors, and most importantly, for Ontario taxpayers.”

In the coming weeks, the government will engage with leaders in the industry on centralizing the province’s procurement. The Government of Ontario will also reach out to the Ontario Public Service and the broader public sector to gather data to help inform the development of a modern, efficient procurement system that works for the people of Ontario. The vendor community will also be engaged to build a system that addresses the needs of Ontario’s businesses.  

 

QUICK FACTS

  • Centralizing Ontario Public Service and broader public sector procurement will build on the progress made to date in reducing procurement spend. For example, the province manages a Vendor of Record program that has helped to reduce procurement spending across ministries for common goods and services. Savings realized through this program include:
    • Mobile Devices – over $80 million estimated over 10 years
    • Office Furniture – over $80 million estimated over 5 years
    • Courier Services – over $70 million estimated over 7 years
    • Managed Print Services – over $15 million estimated over 5 years
  • The Lean and Continuous Improvements Office is improving the way government works by developing programs to reduce ServiceOntario call centre volumes and Lean Standard for systems and processes across the Ontario Public Service.
  • Centralized Procurement is aligned with the independent, line-by-line review of government spending, which revealed opportunities for efficiencies and cost savings through the modernization of Ontario Public Service and broader public sector procurement.  
  • Under the Voice Services Initiative, the government will cancel phone lines that are not required and reduce the use of voicemail — which will continue to be provided to frontline and essential employees and those who serve customers directly — resulting in estimated annual savings of up $8 million for the people of Ontario.