Thank you so much, Mr. Chair.
It's a real pleasure and honour to be here with all of you this evening, which is my fourth appearance before this committee this year.
Before we start, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge that we are on the unceded territory of the Algonquin nation.
With me today are Bill Matthews, Deputy Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada, James Stott, Assistant Deputy Minister, as well as other departmental officials.
Today, I am pleased to appear before you to discuss our requests for funding in the main estimates and supplementary estimates for 2020-2021.
In our main estimates, PSPC is requesting $4 billion. Just over $3 billion of that amount will be spent on property and infrastructure, including the parliamentary precinct. Of that, $316 million is for payments in accounting; $170 million for government-wide support programs including the Translation Bureau—merci beaucoup; $206 million for the purchase of goods and services; $4 million for the procurement ombudsman; and $281 million for internal services.
Mr. Chair, I will also address our supplementary estimates (B) in which we are asking for an additional $720 million, with the bulk of those funds supporting Canada's important response to COVID-19. For the last several months, PSPC has been working non-stop to procure vital PPE and other medical supplies for front-line health care workers. More than two billion individual pieces of equipment have been procured. More than half of that has been delivered. We are increasingly turning to competitive processes wherever feasible. Equipping health care providers remains our priority, but the needs for PPE are also significant especially as we approach and are involved in this second wave.
This is why the department launched the essential services contingency reserve. This emergency backstop allows organizations to apply for temporary, urgent access to PPE and other supplies on a cost recovery basis. Today, we are requesting $500 million in our supplementary estimates (B) to support this important initiative.
Additionally, our government has delivered to the provinces and territories more than four million rapid test kits in the last few weeks. This is from the total of 38 million rapid tests that we have procured to date.
We also continue to aggressively pursue vaccine candidates. Canada now has agreements with seven of the world's leading vaccine developers and has the most diverse portfolio of vaccine candidates in the world. We know that logistics associated with vaccine distribution can be complex, which is why we are not waiting to act. We are moving quickly on this. We have begun to put contracts in place for end-to-end logistics solutions.
Another priority is pay.
Mr. Chair, while our COVID-19 response is my number one priority, there is a lot of other important work taking place at PSPC.
On public service pay, I am pleased to say that we have made significant progress in stabilizing the Phoenix pay system and eliminating the backlog of transactions. As of October 18, the backlog of transactions with financial implications has decreased by 71% since the peak of January 2018.
Mr. Chair, I will now turn to another major file where work is continuing even through the pandemic, which is our portfolio of crown-owned real property.
Building on the successful completion of the West Block and the Senate of Canada buildings, PSPC will continue to advance important work on the Centre Block and the West Memorial building, which will allow it to accommodate the Supreme Court of Canada during that building's renovations.
I will note that through the supplementary estimates (B), we are requesting $285 million to support operations, repairs and maintenance across all of our buildings. Some of these funds will be used to increase cleaning services to keep employees safe throughout and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
I will now turn to the file on revitalizing science infrastructure.
Mr. Chair, at a time where we are all looking to the expertise of our public health officials to guide us through the pandemic, the work of the government's science departments and agencies is especially important to our daily lives.
As part of PSPC's work on the government's Laboratories Canada strategy is our long-term plan to revitalize Canada's science infrastructure.
We have asked for $101 million in our budget for expenses in this regard.
Mr. Chair, I have outlined some of the important work being led by our department, which has performed admirably during this pandemic. The portfolio is broad and diverse. The department's work is vital to support this government and all Canadians in many different ways, but especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
I am so looking forward to speaking with you this evening and working with parliamentarians, our client departments, Canadian suppliers and the employees at PSPC to continue to respond to COVID-19 and provide other essential services to government and Canadians.
I would now be pleased to take your questions. Thank you.