Information Bulletin 3—Establishing IRB Requirements

The Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRB) Policy is an important tool that the federal government uses to lever its major defence and security procurements to encourage industrial development in Canada.

Each procurement project has its own IRB strategy, based on an established set of IRB requirements. Beginning in the early stages of a procurement project, Industry Canada reviews these standard IRB requirements and assesses them against the specifics of the project. This process ensures that the IRB requirements are established in a consistent manner, are achievable and maximize the Canadian industrial opportunities of each project.

IRB officials engage with government procurement partners and industry stakeholders as it refines its IRB strategy. Once approved, the IRB strategy becomes part of the broader procurement strategy for a project and the specific IRB requirements are outlined in the Request for Proposal.

Below is an overview and explanation of the standard IRB requirements.

  • Commitment to IRB equal to 100 percent of contract value
    • The 100 percent commitment is standard for all IRB strategies.
  • Schedule for identifying specific IRB activities
    • The standard schedule for IRB contractors to identify their specific IRB activities is:
      • At least 30 percent is identified at bid submission
      • At least 60 percent is identified one year after contract award, and
      • The full 100 percent is identified three years after contract award.
    • Industry Canada may consider allowing more time (i.e. for the third phase to identify the entire 100 percent) when it makes sense within a particular project.
  • Minimum Direct Requirement
    • A minimum direct IRB requirement is a standard consideration in all IRB strategies.
    • The exact percentage is determined on a case-by-case basis, following a detailed and thorough consultation and assessment process.
  • Minimum Small and Medium Business (SMB) Requirement
    • A minimum SMB requirement of 15 percent is the default approach in all IRB strategies.
    • In cases where this minimum may not be suitable, another percentage will be considered by Industry Canada.
  • Minimum Technology List Requirement
    • A minimum five percent requirement associated with the Enhanced Priority Technology List is the default approach in all IRB strategies. In cases where this minimum may not be suitable, another percentage will be considered by Industry Canada.
    • A minimum requirement associated with the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Technology List (SADTL) is considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • IRB Achievement Period
    • The standard start date for an IRB achievement period will be the date of the first official notice to industry about a procurement process and its associated IRB obligation. In most cases, this will be the date of release of the Letter of Interest. Other dates/milestones will be considered, should a project have no Letter of Interest or involve other unique circumstances.
    • The standard end date for an IRB achievement period will coincide with the end of the contract, as defined by the Contracting Authority. Alternate end dates may be considered by Industry Canada in some circumstances, in order to ensure there is a reasonable period within which to achieve the IRB obligation.