Land Operations Temperate Boots (LOTB) Procurement Request for Proposal 2 (RFP 2)
Fairness Monitor Contractor's Final Report
February 9, 2014
Submitted to: Director General Operational Integrity Sector
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 Monitor (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 a Letter of Interest (Solicitation Number W8476-113039/B) and a Request for Proposal (Solicitation Number W8476-113039/C).
Knowles Consultancy Services Inc. and Hill International Inc. in Joint Venture is an independent third party with respect to this activity.
A previous solicitation, Solicitation Number W8476-1130339/A was cancelled because no compliant bids were received.
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 a draft Letter of Interest (LOI), drafts of a Request for Proposal (RFP), continuing through the 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. Under the first phase a maximum of three contracts would be awarded for the supply of 200 pairs of boots under each contract, and these boots would be subjected to a User Acceptance Trial. Following the User Acceptance Trial, up to three contracts would be awarded to the highest ranked bidders 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 of boots, insoles and laces.
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.
President, 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 draft and final versions of the Letter of Interest (LOI) and Request for Proposal (RFP);
- reviewed all amendments and addenda to the RFP including questions submitted by bidders and answers;
- reviewed the procedures to be used for the evaluation of responses and the guidance provided to the evaluation team;
- reviewed 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 LOI
In accordance with the terms of our engagement, we familiarized ourselves with the relevant project documents. During the period August 9, 2012 to November 23, 2012, we reviewed the draft LOI that included an Invitation to Industry Day, and the version that was published on MERX on November 26, 2012 (Document 1). The LOI closed on December 11, 2012. We observed the Industry Day on December 12, 2012. We provided fairness related comments to the Contracting Authority on the LOI and the Industry Day and appropriate action was taken by project officials.
We observed One-on-One meetings with suppliers on January 8, 2013 and January 10, 2013, and provided fairness related comments. Appropriate action was taken by project officials.
Fairness Monitor Activities and Findings Concerning the RFP
During the period March 13, 2013 to April 10, 2013, we reviewed draft versions of the RFP and the version that was published on MERX on April 11, 2013 (Document 2). Fairness related comments were provided to the Contracting Authority and appropriate action was taken by project officials.
During the period April 19, 2013 to June 9, 2013 we reviewed draft and final Amendments 1 to 5 (Documents 3 to 7) and questions from, and answers provided to, bidders.We provided fairness related comments and appropriate action was taken by project officials.
The RFP closed on June 25, 2013.
Fairness Monitor Activities and Findings Concerning the Evaluation of Bids
The evaluation process consisted of two phases. The Phase 1 technical evaluation required that the bidder meet certain mandatory requirements related to bidder capability; an appearance evaluation by individual soldiers; and the submission by bidders of information from independent laboratories as described below.
The Phase 2 User Acceptance Trial evaluation consisted of soldiers carrying out individual evaluations of boots that were selected through the Phase 1 technical evaluation process, while wearing them during day to day activities. The evaluations were carried out in accordance with a defined process contained in the RFP.
No consensus evaluations were required. We reviewed all relevant draft and final reports concerning the evaluation of bids and were satisfied that all evaluation activities were carried out in accordance with the provisions of the RFP. Fairness related comments were provided and appropriate action was taken by project officials.
Fairness Monitor Activities and Findings Concerning the Phase 1 Evaluation Selection of Trial Contractors
The three stages of the Phase 1 bid evaluation are summarized as follows:
- Stage I Mandatory Technical Criteria required the bidder to demonstrate that it had the capability of meeting the technical requirements by submitting pre-award samples of its boots, certain test results, certificates of compliance and a Quality Plan;
- Stage II Appearance Evaluation carried out by soldiers in accordance with a defined process contained in the RFP; and
- Stage III Point Rated Technical Criteria assigned points to the top five boots from Stage II based on average weight, slip resistance and drying rate basedon information from independent test laboratories.
On July 3, 2013 we reviewed the draft report “Pre-Award Technical Evaluation Stage 1 (Technical Verification)” covering Stage 1 of the evaluation of bids. No fairness deficiencies were identified. On July 5, 2013 we reviewed the final report on the Pre-Award Technical Evaluation Stage 1 (Technical Verification). One model of boots proposed by a bidder was found to be non-compliant. No fairness deficiencies were identified.
On July 18, 2013 we reviewed the report “Appearance Evaluation Stage II” covering the application of the selection method that identified the five highest rated models of boots proposed by bidders that had qualified in Stage 1. No fairness deficiencies were identified.
On July 22, 2013 we reviewed the report “Point Rated Evaluation Stage III” covering the point rated evaluation of bids and the Financial Evaluation resulting in the calculation of the cost per point for each of the five highest rated models of boots proposed by bidders. The two bidders that provided the three models of boots that had the lowest cost per point were recommended for receipt of Phase 2 User Acceptance Trial contracts during which detailed evaluation of the boots, based on actual usage, would take place. The Contracting Authority confirmed that all calculations had been double checked by a second official. No fairness deficiencies were identified.
On July 23, 2013 we reviewed the communications to be sent to the two bidders that proposed the three successful models of boots. No fairness deficiencies were identified.
On July 24, 2013 we reviewed the debriefing letters to be sent to the unsuccessful bidders. No fairness deficiencies were identified.
Three contracts were awarded to the two successful bidders on July 25, 2013. Each contract required the contractor to deliver 200 pairs of boots of a specified boot model by September 30, 2013.
On October 7, 2013 we were provided with a copy of the “LOTB Pre-Trial Evaluation of Bids” covering Stages I, II and III of the Phase 1 bid evaluation process. The report summarized the previous findings and contained no conflicting information. No fairness deficiencies were identified.
Fairness Monitor Activities and Findings Concerning Phase 2 Evaluation User Acceptance Trial
On January 6, 2014 we were provided with a report covering the results of the Phase 2 User Acceptance Trial that determined the winning bidders. In accordance with the selection process in the RFP two contracts were recommended to be awarded, one for 65% of the requirement and one for 35% of the requirement. No fairness deficiencies were identified.
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||Letter of Interest (LOI)||Published on MERX on November 26, 2012|
Request for Proposal 2 (RFP 2)
|Published on MERX on April 11, 2013|
|3||Amendment 1 to RFP||Published on MERX on April 19, 2013|
|4||Amendment 2 to RFP||Published on MERX on May 7, 2013|
|5||Amendment 3 to RFP||Published on MERX on May 8, 2013|
|6||Amendment 4 to RFP||Published on MERX on June 7, 2013|
|7||Amendment 5 to RFP||Published on Government Electronic Tendering Service (GETS) on June 10, 2013|
Addendum to the Final Report
February 28, 2014
Addendum to Fairness Monitor Contractor’s Final Report dated February 9, 2014 concerning the Land Operations Temperate Boots (LOTB) Project Request for Proposal 2 (RFP 2)
This Addendum to the Fairness Monitor Contractor’s Final Report covers the period following the conclusion of the evaluation phase.
On January 21, 2014 we reviewed the proposed debriefing letter to the unsuccessful bidder which provided the overall results of the evaluation. We were advised by project officials that two contracts had been awarded to two successful bidders on January 24, 2014 in accordance with the provisions of the Request for Proposal. We were advised by project officials on February 27, 2014 that they did not expect that any bidder would be requesting a further debriefing.No fairness deficiencies were identified.
Fairness Monitor Attestation of Assurance
It is the opinion of the Fairness Monitor that the post evaluation activities, including the debriefing letter 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.
President, Knowles Consultancy Services Inc.
FM Contractor's Representative
Bruce Maynard P.Eng.,
FM Team Leader
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