The Office of Small and Medium Enterprises (OSME) was created in 2005 within Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) to advocate on behalf of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in federal procurement. OSME improves SMEs access to government contract opportunities by reducing procurement barriers, simplifying the contracting process, providing advice to SMEs wishing to do business with the government, collaborating to improve procurement policies and best practices and working with SMEs to ensure their concerns are brought forward and heard.
In 2006, the Government increased OSME's regional presence through the Federal Accountability Act Action Plan and established six offices across the country. Since its creation, OSME has assisted over 53,000 individuals and suppliers through outreach seminars, trade shows, and meetings. In addition, since 2006-2007, PWGSC has awarded, on average, more than 43% of the total value of contracts transacted with businesses located in Canada to SMEs.
OSME is committed to eliminating barriers to SME participation in federal procurement. Previously there were fees associated with accessing contracting opportunities posted on the Government Electronic Tendering Services (GETS) hosted through MERXTM. While there are still user fees associated with accessing some contract opportunities (for example, provincial and private sector) posted on MERXTM, the Government has eliminated the fees to access the system so that suppliers can view and order all federal procurement opportunities at no cost.