IN THE MATTER OF a complaint filed by The Access Information Agency Inc. pursuant to subsection 30.11(1) of the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. 47 (4th Supp.);
AND FURTHER TO a decision to conduct an inquiry into the complaint pursuant to subsection 30.13(1) of the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act.
Should the parties be unable to agree on the amount of the costs awarded pursuant to subsection 30.15(4) of the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act, The Access Information Agency Inc. shall file with the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, within 40 days of the issuance of this determination, a submission on the issue of the costs it incurred in preparing its bid. Global Affairs Canada will then have 20 days after the receipt of the submission by The Access Information Agency Inc. to file a response. Unless it requires additional information, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal will inform the parties of the nature and amount of costs as soon as practicable after the receipt of the response by Global Affairs Canada.
Each party will bear its own costs in relation to the proceedings.
The statement of reasons will be issued at a later date.
Complainant: The Access Information Agency Inc.
. R.S.C., 1985, c. 47 (4th Supp.) [CITT Act].
. On November 4, 2015, the Government of Canada announced that the name of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development would become Global Affairs Canada. As of this statement of reasons, the legal name of GAC remains the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.
. S.O.R./93-602 [Regulations].
. S.O.R./91-499 [Rules].
. The Tribunal notes that, for a large part of this inquiry, there was confusion surrounding the version of the standing offer document in force when the RFA was issued and, therefore, which clauses were incorporated by reference into the RFA. Somewhat conflicting versions were submitted by AIA, whereas no standing offer document was submitted by GAC in its GIR. The Tribunal had to ask the parties to clarify which standing offer document applied to the RFA. Further to the parties’ submissions, the Tribunal concluded that the relevant clauses of the standing offer in force can be found in Exhibit A, enclosed with GAC’s June 23, 2016, letter (Exhibit PR-2016-001-27, Exhibit A, Vol. 1D). The Tribunal notes the comments made by AIA (Exhibit PR-2016-001-32, Vol. 1E) that this document does not contain Part B, namely, the resulting contract clauses.
. Exhibit PR-2016-001-27, Exhibit A, sections 11, 11.1, Vol. 1D.
. Ibid., Exhibit A, section 8.
. Ibid., Exhibit A, section 9.
. Ibid., Exhibit A, section 9.4.
. Exhibit PR-2016-001-11, tabs 1, 2, 4, Vol. 1A.
. Exhibit PR-2016-001-01B at 1, Vol. 1.
. Rizzo & Rizzo Shoes Ltd. (Re),  1 SCR 27, 1998 CanLII 837 (SCC) at para. 21; Wilson v. British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles),  3 SCR 300, 2015 SCC 47 (CanLII) at para. 18.
. Canada (Attorney General) v. Almon Equipment Limited, 2010 FCA 193 (CanLII) [Almon] at paras. 21-23.
. A contract prescribed by regulation or that is in a prescribed class is, by and large, a contract under one of the trade agreements listed at subsection 3(1) of the Regulations, a condition that is met in this case.
. Exhibit PR-2016-001-01, Vol. 1.
. Since the facts in this case involve a contract that was awarded, the Tribunal will not discuss the interpretation of the second element in the definition of “designated contract”, which relates to a contract that has not been awarded but “is proposed to be awarded”.
. Almon at para. 23. In Siemens Westinghouse Inc. v. Canada (Minister of Public Works and Government Services),  1 FCR 292, 2001 FCA 241 (CanLII) at para. 22, the Federal Court of Appeal stated the following: “Legislation has been enacted to ensure that procurements are conducted openly and fairly, and the CITT is responsible for overseeing all of this activity.”
. Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (9 January 2014), PR-2013-013 (CITT) at para. 112; CGI Information Systems and Management Consultants Inc. v. Canada Post Corporation and Innovapost Inc. (27 August 2014), PR-2014-006 (CITT) [CGI] at para. 47; The Access Information Agency Inc. v. Department of Transport (16 March 2007), PR-2006-031 (CITT) [Access Information Agency] at para. 37.
. In fact, certain trade agreements set out the circumstances in which a federal institution may terminate a procurement process. For example, paragraph 1015(4)(c) of the North American Free Trade Agreement between the Government of Canada, the Government of the United States of America, and the Government of the United Mexican States, 17 December 1992, Can. T. S. 1994, No. 2, online: Global Affairs Canada <http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/nafta-alena/text-texte/toc-tdm.aspx?lang=eng> (entered into force 1 January 1994) [NAFTA], states that “unless the entity decides in the public interest not to award the contract”, the entity shall award the contract to the supplier that has been determined to have the lowest-priced tender or the tender determined to be the most advantageous in terms of the criteria set out in the solicitation. This is another indication that, by empowering the Tribunal to conduct an inquiry into complaints concerning any aspect of a procurement process that relates to a designated contract that has been awarded, Parliament did not intend for the Tribunal to be deprived of this jurisdiction because of a federal institution’s decision to terminate the process.
. The consequences of alleged violations of the trade agreements could include their impact on the integrity of the system or possible prejudice to the bidders in certain circumstances. Moreover, the Federal Court of Appeal has confirmed that the Tribunal plays a regulatory role within the procurement system, which aims to, in particular, make recommendations for the purpose of maintaining potential bidders’ confidence in the integrity of the procurement system. Canada (Attorney General) v. Envoy Relocation Services,  1 FCR 291, 2007 FCA 176 (CanLII) at paras. 3, 21, 22, 26, 27. The Tribunal could be prevented from exercising this role in certain cases if the cancellation of a procurement process by a federal institution after a contract is awarded could deprive it of jurisdiction. See also Adélard Soucy (1975) Inc. v. Department of Public Works and Government Services (24 June 2009), PR-2008-062 (CITT) [Adélard Soucy] at para. 25; R.P.M Tech Inc. v. Department of Public Works and Government Services (24 February 2014), PR-2013-028 (CITT) [R.P.M Tech] at para. 9; Lanthier Bakery Ltd. v. Department of Public Works and Government Services (24 June 2009), PR-2014-047 (CITT) [Lanthier Bakery] at para. 25.
. Novell Canada Ltd. v. Canada (Minister of Public Works and Government Services), 2000 CanLII 15324 (FCA).
. Exhibit PR-2016-001-11 at para. 42, Vol.1A.
. Cougar Aviation Ltd. v. Canada (Minister of Public Works and Government Services), 2000 CanLII 16572 (FCA) at para. 74; CGI Information Systems and Management Consultants Inc. v. Canada Post Corporation and Innovapost Inc. (9 October 2014), PR-2014-015 (TCCE) at para. 47.
. Flag Connection Inc. v. Canada (Minister of Public Works and Government Services), 2005 FCA 177 (CanLII) at para. 3; IBM Canada Ltd. v. Hewlett Packard (Canada) Ltd., 2002 FCA 284 (CanLII) at paras. 18-20.
. See emails from AIA dated March 24 and 29, 2016, Exhibit PR-2016-001-01, Vol.1.
. Exhibit PR-2016-001-01B, Vol.1.
. Exhibit PR-2016-001-47, Vol.1E.
. 18 July 1994, C. Gaz. 1995.I.1323, online: Internal Trade Secretariat <http://www.ait-aci.ca/agreement-on-internal-trade/?lang=en> [AIT]. The parties both agreed that the AIT is the only agreement that applies in this case. Exhibit PR-2016-001-16 at para. 17, Vol. 1C; Exhibit PR-2016-001-27, Vol. 1D. The Tribunal agrees. The services in the call-ups under the standing offer for temporary help essentially fall under category R201 “Civilian Personnel Recruitment” (including services of employment agencies), a service category that is excluded from NAFTA and other potentially applicable agreements that contain the same exclusion. With regard to the Revised Agreement on Government Procurement, online: World Trade Organization: <https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/rev-gpr-94_01_e.htm> (effective 6 April 2014), annex 5 of Appendix I of Canada, which identifies the services covered by the agreement, does not include the type of services in question. The contract in question is therefore excluded from these trade agreements.
. Excel Human Resources Inc. v. Department of the Environment (2 March 2012), PR-2011-043 (CITT) at para. 33; Northern Lights Aerobatic Team, Inc. v. Department of Public Works and Government Services (7 September 2005), PR-2005-004 (CITT) at para. 51; Marcomm Inc. (11 February 2004), PR-2003-051 (CITT) at 9.
. The invitation email of March 9, 2016, informed potential bidders that the “right of first refusal” method would apply. This methodology was set out and described in the standing offer. Exhibit PR-2016-001-27, Exhibit A, section 9.3, Vol. 1D.
. Exhibit PR-2016-001-11 at paras. 18, 19, 45-48, Vol. 1A.
. Exhibit PR-2016-001-27, Exhibit A, section 9.3, Vol. 1D; Exhibit PR-2016-001-01, Vol.1 (email from PWGSC dated April 4, 2016); Transcript of Public Hearing, 10 August 2016, at 84.
. For example, GAC was not able to produce, following the order of the Tribunal dated June 8, 2016, the communications sent to MaxSys, the bidder with the lowest price. GAC explained that it could not find any emails sent to MaxSys to notify it of the result of the RFA. However, an erroneous document seems to have been sent to MaxSys as part of another procurement process that GAC was carrying out at the same time. Moreover, emails relating to the RFA were sent to two firms that did not submit bids in response to the RFA. Exhibit PR-2016-001-23, Vol. 1C; Exhibit PR-2016-001-11, tab 8, Vol. 1A.
. R.S.C., 1985, c. I-21.
. The Tribunal will not comment on this alternative argument in light of its decision on the interpretation of subsection 511(7) of the AIT. That being said, the Tribunal would not necessarily have agreed with GAC if there had actually been an obligation to provide information.
. For example, Article 1015(6) of NAFTA states that “[a]n entity shall . . . (b) on request of a supplier whose tender was not selected for award, provide pertinent information to that supplier concerning the reasons for not selecting its tender, the relevant characteristics and advantages of the tender selected and the name of the winning supplier.” Article 1015(8) stipulates limits to this duty to disclose.
. Ecosfera Inc. v. Department of the Environment (11 July 2007), PR-2007-004 (CITT) at para. 20; Med-Emerg International Inc. v. Department of Public Works and Government Services (15 June 2005), PR-2004-050 (CITT) at para. 39; Giamac Inc. DBA Autorail Forwarders v. Department of Public Works and Government Services (25 November 2009), PR-2009-037 (CITT) at para. 28; Krista Dunlop & Associates Inc. v. Department of Canadian Heritage (14 April 2010), PR-2009-064 (CITT) at para. 30; Access Information Agency at para. 30.
. Northrop Grumman Overseas Services Corp. v. Canada (Attorney General),  3 SCR 309, 2009 SCC 50 (CanLII) at paras. 18, 31.
. See, for example, Article 501 of the AIT, which states that the purpose of Chapter Five “is to establish a framework that will ensure equal access to procurement for all Canadian suppliers in order to contribute to a reduction in purchasing costs . . . in a context of transparency and efficiency”; Almon at para. 23; CGI at para. 47.
. In its submissions, AIA referred to section “5– Compte rendu” of the document identified as AIA Exhibit 13. Exhibit PR-2016-001-12A, Vol. 1A. However, this section did not concern the RFA, which related to the award of a call-up against the standing offer, but rather concerned the possibility of requesting a debriefing on the request for standing offer process within 15 days of receiving the results of this process. In addition, in the Tribunal’s opinion, this specific provision was not included in the RFA.
.  1 SCR 619, 1999 CanLII 677 (SCC).
.  2 SCR 860, 2000 SCC 60 (CanLII).
. The Tribunal will not address this argument because the AIT is the only applicable agreement, which was also acknowledged by GAC.
. AIA relied on a passage from section “2. Summary” in the document entitled “Revision to a Request for a Standing Offer” dated October 25, 2013, that provides that when a call-up is made it “constitutes an unconditional acceptance by Canada of the Offeror’s Offer for the provision . . . of the services described in the [Standing Offer] . . .” (Exhibit PR-2016-001-12A, Vol. 1A). The Tribunal is not convinced that this provision is among the clauses in the standing offer included in the RFA. Be that as it may, the Tribunal finds that this sentence, read in its immediate context and in light of the clauses in the standing offer included in the RFA, does not have the scope that AIA contends it has and does not oblige GAC to issue a call-up.
. Under sections 3.1 and 13(c) of the standing offer (Exhibit PR-2016-001-27, Exhibit A, vol. 1D), the “2005 (2015-07-03) General Conditions – Standing Offers – Goods or Services” document applied to the standing offer and formed part of it. This document is available online at: ˂https://buyandsell.gc.ca/policy-and-guidelines/standard-acquisition-clauses-and-conditions-manual/3/2005/11˃.
. See also the Tribunal’s finding in MGIS Inc. and iGeoSpy Inc. in Joint Venture (10 April 2014), PR-2014-001 (CITT) at paras. 7-10.
. Exhibit PR-2016-001-11, tab 12, Vol. 1A.
. Exhibit PR-2016-001-27, Exhibit A, section 8, Vol. 1D. See also article 8.1, which, according to the evidence, is not applicable in this case, but which confirms by analogy that the expiration of the bid validity period automatically leads to the cancellation of the RFA.
. Exhibit PR-2016-001-11, tab 4, Vol. 1A.
. Exhibit PR-2016-001-38 at para. 6, Vol. 1E; Transcript of Public Hearing, 10 August 2016, at 31-32, 67, 74, 75.
. Exhibit PR-2016-001-11, tab 4, Vol. 1A; Exhibit PR-2016-001-01, Vol. 1.
. Exhibit PR-2016-001-39, Vol. 1E.
. Ibid.; Exhibit PR-2016-001-48, Vol. 1E.
. Exhibit PR-2016-001-27, Exhibit A, Vol. 1D.
. Transcript of Public Hearing, 10 August 2016, at 98.
. Exhibit PR-2016-001-11 at 196, Vol. 1A; Exhibit PR-2016-001-16 at 38.4, Vol. 1C.
. Transcript of Public Hearing, 10 August 2016, at 54; Exhibit PR-2016-001-38 at para. 14, Vol. 1E.
. Transcript of Public Hearing, 10 August 2016, at 32-34.
. Ibid. at 22-23, 30, 88-90.
. Exhibit PR-2016-001-38 at paras. 8-9, Vol. 1E.
. Transcript of Public Hearing, 10 August 2016, at 89-90.
. Exhibit PR-2016-001-38 at para. 13, Vol. 1E; Transcript of Public Hearing, 10 August 2016, at 28-31, 75-76, 79-85.
. Transcript of Public Hearing, 10 August 2016, at 90-91.
. Paragraph 30.15(3)(d) of the CITT Act.
. The Tribunal further finds that there are some discrepancies between MaxSys’ bid documents produced by GAC on 15 June and 10 August 2016 (Exhibit PR-2016-001-21, Vol. 1C; Exhibit PR-2016-001-48A (protected), Vol. 2; PR-2016-001-48, Vol. 1E), and the version submitted in the confidential version of the GIR on 25 May 2016 (Exhibit PR-2016-001-11A (protected), tab 6, Vol. 2). These discrepancies concern namely the crucial notation indicating the time at which the bid was received by GAC; as this notation does not appear on the copy submitted in the confidential GIR. In this regard, the Tribunal refers to its decision in Space2Place Design Inc. v. Parks Canada Agency (30 October 2015), PR-2015-012 (CITT) at paras. 50-53. The Tribunal reaffirms that any alteration of evidence, whether intentional or not, poses serious concerns. The Tribunal pointedly reminds the parties and their legal counsel that it is their responsibility to ensure that the evidence is complete and has not been altered.