Land Operations Temperate Boots (LOTB) Procurement
Fairness Monitor Contractor's Final Report
July 30, 2012
Submitted to: Director General, Operational Integrity Sector, Departmental Oversight Branch
Submitted by: Knowles Consultancy Services Inc. and Hill International Inc. in Joint Venture
Table of Contents
- Background and Introduction
- Project Requirement
- Attestation of Assurance
- Objectives of the Fairness Monitor Assignment and Methodology
- Fairness Monitor Specific Activities and Findings
- Reference Documents
Background and Introduction
Knowles Consultancy Services Inc. and Hill International Inc. in Joint Venture was engaged as the Fairness Monitoring (FM) to observe the competitive procurement process for the Land Operations Temperate Boots (LOTB) project undertaken by Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) for Department of National Defence (DND) through Solicitation Number W8476-113039/A. Knowles Consultancy Services Inc. and Hill International Inc. in Joint Venture is an independent third party with respect to this activity.
We reviewed all of the information provided and observed all relevant activities.
We hereby submit the Final Report covering the activities of the Fairness Monitor, commencing with the review of drafts of a Request for Proposal (RFP), continuing through the Request for Proposal (RFP) stage, the bid evaluation stage and the User Acceptance Trials stage.
This report includes our attestation of assurance, a summary of the scope and objectives of our assignment, the methodologies applied, and relevant observations from the activities undertaken.
The Government of Canada has identified a requirement for Land Operations Temperate Boots (LOTB) for the Canadian Forces.
The competitive procurement process would be implemented in two phases. A maximum of three contracts would be awarded for the supply of 60 pairs of boots and these boots would be subjected to a User Acceptance Trial. Following the User Acceptance Trial, one contract would be awarded to the highest ranked bidder in the User Acceptance Trials for the supply of 120,000 pairs of boots, 80,000 pairs of spare insoles, and options for additional quantities.
Attestation of Assurance
The FM hereby provides the following unqualified assurance statement concerning the Land Operations Temperate Boots (LOTB) procurement process. It is our professional opinion that the competitive procurement process for the Land Operations Temperate Boots (LOTB) we observed, was carried out in a fair, open and transparent manner.
Knowles Consultancy Services Inc.
FM Contractor's Representative
Bruce Maynard P Eng.
FM Team Leader
Objectives of the Fairness Monitor Assignment and Methodology
The overall objective of the assignment was to provide PWGSC with independent observation of all activities involving the LOTB procurement project that could impact fairness and to attest to the fairness of the process and its execution, or lack thereof. The objective included providing fairness related comments to project officials as early as possible so that appropriate action could be taken to resolve the concerns before fairness was impacted and, if there was no timely resolution with project officials, bringing any potential fairness concerns to the attention of the Director General Operational Integrity Sector.
To accomplish the objective we undertook the following activities:
- became familiar with the project governance structure;
- reviewed information including questions and answers posted on the project website prior to posting of the RFP;
- reviewed draft and final versions of the Request for Proposal (RFP);
- reviewed all amendments and addenda to the RFP including questions submitted by proponents and answers;
- reviewed the procedures to be used for the evaluation of responses and the guidance provided to the evaluation team;
- observed the evaluation of responses to the RFP to ensure that the specified evaluation and selection procedures and departmental policy were followed and consistently applied during the evaluation and selection process; and
- observed the debriefing of unsuccessful bidders. (This activity will be reported on in an addendum to this report after any debriefings.)
Fairness Monitor Specific Activities and Findings
Fairness Monitor Activities and Findings concerning the Phase 1 RFP Stage
In accordance with the terms of our engagement, we familiarized ourselves with the relevant project documents. During the period August 8, 2011 to September 13, 2011, we reviewed the draft RFP and the version that was published on MERX (Document 1), Questions and Answers (Qs & As) concerning the RFP, and draft and final Amendments 1 to 4 (Documents 2 to 5) and provided fairness related comments to the Contracting Authority. All comments were addressed appropriately by project officials.
Fairness Monitor Activities and Findings concerning the Phase 1 Evaluation Stage
On September 20, 2011 we observed the unpacking and initial examination of sample boots received. During the period September 21, 2011 to December 1, 2011 we provided fairness related comments on the evaluation of the requirements and the associated findings. All comments were addressed appropriately by project officials.
On December 2, 2011 we reviewed the results of the evaluation and the application of the selection method that identified the bidders that had qualified for the resulting contract for trial quantities of boots for the User Acceptance Trials stage of Phase 1. The Phase 2 production of boots would be awarded to the highest ranked bidder identified as a result of the User Acceptance Trials stage. No fairness deficiencies were identified.
On December 15, 2011 we reviewed the letters to three successful bidders that received contracts for the trial quantities for the Trials stage, and the letters to the unsuccessful bidders. No fairness deficiencies were identified.
Fairness Monitor Activities and Findings concerning the Phase 1 User Acceptance Trials Stage
During the period March 23, 2012 to June 29, 2012, we provided fairness related comments on the proposed actions by Canada to ensure that the boots supplied by the three successful companies would meet the requirements identified at the time of award of the contracts for the trial quantities, and to address issues that arose during the User Acceptance Trials stage. In all cases appropriate action was taken by project officials.
All bidders were found to be non-compliant as a result of the User Acceptance Trials.
Note: For all references in this report concerning fairness related comments being provided to project officials, it is confirmed that, as necessary, project officials provided clarification to the Fairness Monitor or took appropriate action to address the comments, and as a result no fairness deficiencies were recorded.
The following documents are referenced by number in the attached report. Unless otherwise indicated, these documents are available through the LOTB project office.
The following table includes a list of documents referred to in the report such as the Request for Proposal(RFP), amendments, clarification letters, debriefing letters, etc. Each row is numbered, followed by the document title, then a document identifier such as a date or document number.
|1||Request for Proposal (RFP)||Published on MERX on August 10, 2011|
|2||Amendment 1 to RFP||Published on MERX on August 12, 2011|
|3||Amendment 2 to RFP||Published on MERX on August 18, 2011|
|4||Amendment 3 to RFP||Published on MERX on August 23, 2011|
|5||Amendment 4 to RFP||Published on MERX on August 31, 2011|
Addendum to Fairness Monitor Final Report dated July 30, 2012 concerning Land Operations Temperate Boots (LOTB) Procurement Project
This Addendum to the Fairness Monitor Final Report covers the period subsequent to the cancellation of the RFP. The following should be added to the Final Report as the last section after the section entitled “Fairness Monitor Activities and Findings concerning the Phase 1 User Acceptance Trials Stage”:
FM Activities related to Debriefings
On July 3, 2012 the Fairness Monitor Specialist reviewed the letters to be sent to the three unsuccessful bidders that had qualified for the Phase 1 User Acceptance Trials Stage informing them of the results of the testing of their boots. The FM Specialist had no fairness related comments concerning the letters. He observed the face to face debriefings of the three bidders that took place on July 11, 2012, August 8, 2012, and August 15, 2012. The FM Specialist had no fairness related comments concerning the three face to face debriefings.
Fairness Monitor Attestation of Assurance
It is the opinion of the Fairness Monitor that the written and face to face debriefings were carried out in a fair manner. In this context, fairness is defined as decisions made objectively, free from personal favouritism and political influence, and encompasses the elements of openness, competitiveness, transparency and compliance.
Fairness Monitor Team Leader
Bruce Maynard P Eng.
Fairness Monitor Specialist
Knowles Consultancy Services Inc.
FM Contractor's Representative
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