Supporting Documentation - Understanding the new CanadaBuys tender and award notices datasets

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At the end of April 2023, the existing Public Services and Procurement Canada tender notices dataset will be archived and two new datasets will be published in its place: the CanadaBuys tender notices and the CanadaBuys award notices. Both datasets will include information on new, open, cancelled and expired notices that are published on the CanadaBuys website. While CanadaBuys includes tender opportunities from across multiple levels of government, these data files will only include notices from federal government organizations.

What’s different in these new datasets?

The new datasets have been updated to be more consistent, making them easier to use. For example, all files in the same dataset will share the same column structures. And both datasets will use the same data dictionary for consistent column names and descriptions. Other changes include the following:

To learn more about these changes, refer to the section Additional update information, below.

How the files will be organized

The previous dataset included seven tender notice files that will be updated as follows:

The old Tender Notices dataset also included one award notice file, which will be expanded into its own dataset, as follows:

Finally, the historical data will also be available in these two new datasets as static files (that use the new CanadaBuys data file structures) called Archived: 2009-2022 historical tender notices and Archived, 2012-2022 historical award notices.

When are the data files refreshed?

Whereas the previous datasets were updated throughout the day, the new datasets will have the following refresh schedule:

How are the different data sources synchronized?

As the federal procurement information feeding into CanadaBuys comes from multiple sources that are synchronized following different schedules, some new tender notices will not be immediately visible in the open data files. For example, new notices that are published through PSPC’s SAP Ariba system will only be included the following day, after the nightly refresh processes have run.

Additionally, award notices generated by the federal procurement system called the Automated Buyer Environment (ABE) are transferred to CanadaBuys monthly, in the third week of each month. As such, award notices posted in ABE may not be included in the related data files for up to a month after they have been awarded.

Additional update information

In this section

The following provides more information on what is being changed in the new data files.

Bilingual data rows

The previous tender notice data files contained two separate rows for each record, one for English and one for French. The new data files will have English and French information all in one row. English and French text entries will appear in different columns. For example, the English and French titles of a tender will appear in the first two columns labelled “title-titre-eng” and “title-titre-fra” respectively.

Tender closing date formatting changes

In the previous tender notice data files, the date and time when a tender closes was captured in the local time zone of the procurement officer entering the data. This information was displayed in the “date_closing” field. In the new tender notice data files, this information will be displayed in the field called “tenderClosingDate-appelOffresdateCloture” and displayed in Universal Time Coordinated minus 5 hours (UTC-0500).

Changes to the “Active” and “Open” tender statuses

In the previous data files, the “Active” status was used to describe both a tender notice accepting bids and an active award notice. To better follow standards for open contracting, tenders that are open for bidding will be labelled as “Open”. Active awards will continue to be labelled as “Active”.

Using reference numbers while searching

The new data files will contain two ID-related fields that were in the previous tender notice files: “referenceNumber-numeroReference“ and “solicitationNumber-numeroSollicitation.” The solicitation numbers will remain consistent between the new and historical records, but the reference numbers will not in all cases. If you are trying to link records across the different data files (for example, tenders notices to awards notices) it is best to use the solicitation number in your search.

Contract currency

The previous award data files did not always indicate the currency of a contract value. This was a known issue, in part due to currency / exchange rate information being entered inconsistently in the systems feeding into these datasets. All new award notice data files will include a “contractCurrency-contratMonnaie” column. Null entries in this field can be considered to imply the use of Canadian dollars (CAD).

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