A sole-sourced contract worth $70,000 seeks to study “best practices and policy options” to retain and attract remote workers to Nova Scotia. The contract is set to be awarded by the federal government to a pre-selected supplier.
While the Trudeau Liberals have already identified a preferred contractor, they are required to post a notice online to allow other parties to “signal their interest in bidding.”
The contract will be awarded through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and is meant to “explore policy trends related to remote work and the potential economic opportunity that this trend may present for Nova Scotia.”
According to the tender posted on the government's procurement website,
The purpose of this project is to understand the context around, and scale of opportunity related to, the attraction of remote workers to Nova Scotia. The study will review trends in remote work, best practices and policy options for attracting and retaining workers who are able to work remotely (rather than be tied to the geographic location of an office or business). It will also investigate the potential scale of the opportunity by analyzing social media data to understand the East Coast diaspora. Nova Scotia is well-positioned in a number of respects to benefit from this growing trend (quality of life, cost of living, scenic beauty, history, culture, etc).
Further, the contract also asks that the supplier distinguish between remote workers “with a family and friends connection [to the province] and those without”:
This work will include a review of people with connections to the region who occupy high-skilled professional jobs that could be undertaken remotely as well as the potential for people without any existing connection to the region to consider relocating. A cursory estimate of the associated potential economic benefit should be included as well as insights pertaining to the longevity of the opportunity (i.e. will this trend persist beyond the global pandemic?).
If ACOA does not find a better supplier, the contract will be handed to Accenture Inc:
If no supplier submits a statement of capabilities that meets the requirements set out in the ACAN, on or before the closing date stated in the ACAN, the contracting officer may then proceed with the award to the pre-identified supplier.
Last year, global consultancy Accenture Inc. partnered with ACOA and Invest Nova Scotia to take part in a $400,000 federal grant to deliver a “new corporate innovation pilot program” to place “traditional business leaders in a startup environment where they can learn and develop alongside innovative entrepreneurs and experts” through an “innovation outpost” in Halifax.