What’s Canada Buying? August 9, 2012
- Wanted: Someone to provide “the supply of labour, material, supervision and equipment necessary for the construction of the Canadian Forces Land Advanced Warfare Centre” at Trenton for ~$39.6 million “no later than 1160 calendar days after notification of contract award“ (links to part of bid document package) – a little bit more detail in another part of the bid docs here. Deadline for bids: “2012-09-20 02:00 PM Eastern Daylight Saving Time EDT”
- F-35 Tug o’ War More on this from The Canadian Press “The Harper government has yet to hire an independent auditor to crunch the numbers on the F-35 deal, more than two months after its self-imposed deadline to clean up the stealth fighter fiasco. Public Works quietly re-issued a tender on Wednesday, asking for an audit firm to come forward and take on the politically explosive task of verifying the figures provided by National Defence, which was accused last spring of hiding the true cost of the multi-billion dollar program. The tender was re-issued because the original call did not allow accounting firms enough flexibility to sub-contract portions of the complex project, said Amber Irwin, a spokeswoman for Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose. “This request for proposals (RFP) issued today will ensure that this independent review is done properly and supersedes the previous one issued,” Irwin said. “The requirements of the RFP have been broadened to ensure qualified bidders can fulfil the task required by the government.” Asked whether the delay will affect the minister’s promise to table the independent cost assessment in Parliament this fall, Irwin replied, “The National Fighter Procurement Secretariat is committed to getting this done right and in a timely manner.” The tender does not close until the end of the month and Irwin would not speculate on how quickly a company will be chosen and get to work …. “ According to pages 3 and 4 of an excerpt from the latest Statement of Work, the latest guesses are “Draft report of key findings: November 5, 2012; Oral briefing with senior government officials: November 13, 2012; Final report of key findings: November 20, 2012; Report on independent verification of the 2012 Annual Update to Parliament for the NGFC Project: November 27, 2012″ We’ll have to see how that goes.
- Editorial: Drones OK for SOME jobs “…. As a means of patrolling the Arctic and ensuring border security, unmanned drones seem a brilliant fit. They can stay in the air for 35 hours at a time, something that human pilots simply cannot accomplish. Arming the drones with missiles, however, gives rise to serious concerns about the actual deployment plans for these weapons. There will surely be little support for this government if its intention is to use the drones for the targeted executions of alleged terrorists in Afghanistan or any other country, for that matter ….”
- Some criticism of how the CF plans to buy things “…. The government, stung by a years-long deluge of controversy over last-minute delays, pricing problems, and twisted processes in its military acquisition projects, has been testing the idea of handing greater responsibility to Public Works and Government Services Canada through its public servicing and administration unit that deals with almost $17 billion of procurement a year. A new potential system would see the Department of National Defence hand responsibility for forming options and specifications for new equipment to a permanent secretariat in Public Works, according to a July 19 report in the Globe and Mail, which cited an unnamed Department of National Defence source. That resembles what the government has done with its shipbuilding and new fighter jet procurement strategies. But the head of one of Canada’s major military advocacy groups, as well as a former Defence department top bureaucrat, and two long-time defence academics all tell Embassy that such a system won’t stem the flow of procurement problems—because it leaves accountability for the programs still spread among four ministers and three departments ….”