Wanted: Someone to Schlep AFG Display Around Canada?

An interesting sequence of events in Canada’s latest attempt to communicate what we’re doing in Afghanistan.

I’m not saying anything is wrong or illegal – far from it – but I’ll let you be the judge about how odd the timing appears (more info at bottom of post on this).

June 5, 2009: Afghanistan 360 (see below) appears at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities 72nd Annual Conference and Municipal Expo at Whistler, BC

June 6, 2009 (.pdf version here in case link doesn’t work):  Bev Oda, Minister for International Cooperation and Vice-Chair of the Cabinet Committee on Afghanistan, announces Afghanistan 360, a “multimedia exhibit …. Showcasing Canada’s six priorities and three signature projects through a myriad of visuals, short videos and narrative”.

June 10, 2009 (.pdf version here in case link doesn’t work):  The Canadian International Development Agency (Minister Oda’s shop) posts a “Standing Offer Arrangements for Touring of Multimedia Exhibitions”.  The contact for this work?  None other than a Contracting Officer for Canada’s Afghanistan Task Force, the team of officials providing, “advice and support to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Committee on Afghanistan in the delivery of a strategic plan to transform Canada’s role in Afghanistan”.

June 12, 2009: Afghanistan 360 appears at the Red River Exhibition in Winnipeg.

June 27, 2009: Afghanistan 360 appears at the Atlantic Superstore Festival of Lights in Charlottetown

July 3, 2009: Afghanistan 360 appears at Calgary Exhibition & Stampede

July 21, 2009: Deadline for bidders to submit proposals for above-noted “Touring of Multimedia Exhibitions.”

I’m guessing they arranged some short-term first-dates to include on the news release while the process unfolded to hire an outside firm do the leg work once the road show gets fulling rolling.

I guess this is what the PM’s spokesperson meant by this quote on an unrelated issue:

“Routinely, when you’re looking to contract services in a short period of time, the paper flows somewhat after the work commences.”

NEW INFORMATION – I stand corrected.  After posting this, I received this e-mail from CIDA (underlining mine):

With reference to your post on your blog, wanted to point out that the standing offer we are seeking through Merx is for work that we are intending to do in the future, beginning this fall.

Work that is being done now is being done via a separate contract through a call up of a Standing Offer offered by Public Works.


Bernard Etzinger
Directeur général int | A/Director General
Agence canadienne de développement international | Canadian International
Development Agency
Groupe de travail de l’Afghanistan | Afghanistan Task Force

Thanks for clearing that up.

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