Canadian coast guard medium lift helicopters

Fairness Monitor final report

Canadian Coast Guard Helicopter Renewal Project

Final Report - Medium Lift Helicopters

24 November, 2014

Submitted to:
Director General,
Operational Integrity Sector,
Departmental Oversight Branch

PPI Consulting Limited
Centrepointe Chambers
86 Centrepointe Drive
Ottawa, ON, K2G 6B1
Telephone: 613-567-0000
Website: PPI Consulting Limited
Ottawa | Toronto | Atlantic Canada

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Table of contents

1. Introduction

PPI Consulting Limited (PPI) was engaged in April 2013 as a Fairness Monitor (FM) to observe the procurement process related to the Canadian Coast Guard’s (CCG) acquisition of Light, Medium and Polar Helicopters. This Final Report relates to the Medium Lift Helicopter Request for Information and subsequent Request for Proposal (RFP) issued by Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) as a result of Solicitation No. F7013-120014/F dated February 21, 2014.

PPI 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 our Final Report, covering the activities of the FM commencing with the Request for Information (RFI) and vendor consultation process, RFP and subsequent proposal evaluation including operational testing.

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.

1.1 Project requirement

The Canadian Coast Guard provides services for the safe, economical and efficient movement of ships in Canadian waters through the provision of aids to navigation systems and services, marine communications and traffic management services, icebreaking and ice management services, and channel maintenance. CCG is also responsible for the marine component of the federal search and rescue program and responding to marine pollution.

CCG has developed a Fleet Renewal Plan, a long term investment strategy to modernize its fleet of aging vessels and helicopters. The Fleet Renewal Plan includes the acquisition of Light, Medium and Polar Helicopters.

2. Request for information process

A Letter of Interest/Request for Information, Solicitation No: F7013-120014/D, was published on the Government of Canada’s tendering website ( on April 22, 2013, with a closing date of April 30, 2013.

2.1 Activities monitored

During the RFI Phase, the FM attended the following meetings:

  • Three rounds of Commercially Confidential Meetings with five Helicopter Manufacturers.
  • Project team meetings/discussions to review status, evaluation approach, issues resolution, evaluation criteria, specifications etc.

During the RFI Phase, the FM was provided with the following documents for review:

  • Request for Letter of Interest
  • Draft Request for Proposal (RFP) documents for Medium Lift Helicopters (substantially the same document as issued for Light Lift Helicopters with approximately 12 technical specification changes). The FM was provided with multiple iterations of the draft documents for review. As the documents were substantially the same as had been previously issued, there were no fairness observations. The contracting authority satisfactorily clarified some questions the FM raised with respect to the new technical specifications.
  • Correspondence with industry e.g. containing clarifications to questions raised during the Commercially Confidential Meetings and accompanying an Amendment to the Draft Baseline Requirements previously issued.
  • Draft Evaluation Plan. The FM reviewed the evaluation plan which was also substantially the same as had been issued for the Light Lift Helicopters. There were no fairness observations.
  • Minutes of Commercially Confidential Meetings.

The documents and activities completed in this phase complied with the fairness principles below:

  • All potential proponents were provided with the same opportunity and the same information at the same time.
  • Potential proponents were afforded the same opportunity to provide feedback with respect to the requirements and proposed procurement approach.
  • Potential proponents’ feedback received due consideration by the client based on an assessment against the client’s operational and business requirements.
  • Requests for further explanation or clarification were provided to all participants.

2.2 Fairness Monitor observations

The FM reviewed the draft solicitation documents and attended three rounds of Commercially Confidential Meetings with interested Helicopter Manufacturers.

Any requests for clarification by the Helicopter Manufacturers during the Commercially Confidential Meetings were addressed by the CCG team and by the Contracting Authority either during the meetings or provided following the meetings. The same information was provided to all participants.

Any observations or request for clarification made by the FM were addressed by the CCG team and by the Contracting Authority.  
Both the CCG team and the Contracting Authority were responsive in providing clarification when requested by the FM.

3. Request for proposal process

3.1 Bid open period

The Request for Proposals for Medium Lift Helicopters was issued as Solicitation No. F7013-120014/F dated February 21, 2014 with an original closing date of May 27, 2014.  During the Bid Open Period twelve (12) Amendments were posted on the open bidding system related to this initiative.

During the consultation process, potential bidders had been made aware that a “Value Proposition” may be added to the RFP during the solicitation period as part of the assessment of the proposal’s industrial benefit to Canada. Although a placeholder had been included in the RFP for this requirement, the details were not finalized by Industry Canada until a few days prior to the RFP submission date. Amendment #8 was issued on May 28, 2014 to incorporate the change from Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRBs) to Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITBs) and to incorporate the new Value Proposition (VP) requirements. Subsequent Amendments (#s 9, 10, 11 & 12) were issued extending the closing date until July 7, 2014 and responding to specific ITB and VP clarification questions.

3.2 Proposal submission stage – Activities monitored

PWGSC received a proposal from one bidder by the closing date and time on July 7, 2014.

The FM attended the following meetings with respect to the evaluation of the proposal received in response to the Medium Helicopter RFP.

  • Operational Testing Process Briefing and Planning sessions (2 days)
  • Operational Testing (4 days)
  • Technical Proposal Evaluator Briefing
  • Consensus Scoring of Technical Proposal

During this period the following documents were reviewed with the FM:

  • Operational Test Briefing Presentation
  • Technical Evaluation Plan
  • Operational Test analysis and results
  • Third party Financial Assessment report
  • Bidder Price Proposal
  • Financial Analyst confirmation of bidder financial capability
  • Industry Canada confirmation of compliance with ITB and VP requirements.

3.2.1 Operational test

The FM witnessed the entire operational testing and analysis process and confirms that this was conducted appropriately in accordance with the process established in the RFP and in a fair, open and transparent manner. Following the Operational Testing process, the proposal was deemed to comply with the requirements of the RFP and therefore the CCG evaluation team were provided with the technical proposal for evaluation.

3.2.2 Technical proposal evaluation

The FM attended the Evaluator Briefing and distribution of evaluation documents. The evaluation team was briefed on all issues related to conducting the evaluation in accordance with the stipulated selection process, including roles and responsibilities, confidentiality, document control, evaluator conduct, independent assessment, consensus process, schedule, and an explanation of clarification versus bid repair.

The following process was undertaken to evaluate the proposal:

  • Each evaluator conducted their own independent review and scoring of the proposal in their evaluator workbook.
  • Once the independent reviews were completed, the evaluators participated in consensus meetings to agree the score to be assigned to each rated requirement. The scores and the rationale for the scores were recorded in the master record.
  • Evaluators recorded and initialled any changes agreed to during consensus in their individual workbooks.
  • The FM confirmed with each member of the evaluation team that they were in agreement with the final consensus scores.
  • All evaluators confirmed their agreement.
  • The evaluation team signed the consensus record.

The FM witnessed the consensus sessions and confirms that the process was conducted appropriately in accordance with the process established in the RFP and in a fair, open and transparent manner.

3.2.3 Price proposal

An assessment of fair market value for the proposed helicopters was completed by a third party organization. The bidder’s assessment of operating and maintenance costs was also verified with a second third party organization. Both reports confirmed satisfactory pricing.  The Contracting Authority reviewed the pricing with the FM.

The Price Proposal was complete and complied with the requirements of the RFP. In addition, the other financial requirements of the RFP, Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITBs), Value Proposition (VP) requirements and financial capability requirements were met.

The documentation from Industry Canada confirming compliance with the ITB, the points awarded to the VP requirements in the RFP and the PWGSC financial analysis confirming compliance were reviewed with the FM. All requirements were met and the FM had no fairness concerns.

4. Attestation of assurance

The FM hereby provides the following unqualified assurance statement concerning the evaluation of the proposal received in response to PWGSC Solicitation No. F7013-120014/F dated February 21, 2014.

It is our professional opinion that the RFI and RFP processes, including the evaluation of the proposal received in response to the Canadian Coast Guard RFP for Medium Lift Helicopters, that we observed, was carried out in a fair, open and transparent manner.

John Davis
CEO, PPI Consulting Limited

Ian Brennan, CSCMP
FM Team Leader

Mairi Curran
FM Specialist

5. Methodology

PPI Consulting Limited was engaged as a Fairness Monitor (FM) to observe the Request for Information process and Request for Proposals (RFP) process for the Canadian Coast Guard’s procurement of Medium Lift Helicopters and to attest to the fairness, openness and transparency of this monitored activity.

In accordance with the terms of our engagement, we familiarized ourselves with the relevant documents, observed the pre-bid solicitation activities including the RFI and vendor consultation processes, the bid solicitation activities including the evaluation of the operational test, the written proposal and the price proposal, identifying fairness-related matters to the contracting and technical authorities and ensuring that responses and actions were reasonable and appropriate.

6. Reference documents

Table Summary

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.

No. Document Document Date/Time
1 Draft Statement of Requirements April 25, 2013
2 Draft Statement of Work April 25, 2013
3 Draft Request for Proposal documents May 31, 2013
4 Round 1 Minutes of Commercially Confidential Meetings with Helicopter Manufacturers (CCMs) June, 2013
5 Round 2 Minutes of CCMs September, 2013
6 Amendment to Baseline Statement of Requirements September 23, 2013
7 Correspondence relating to CCMs October, 2013
8 Round 3 Minutes of CCMs November, 2013
9 Correspondence clarifying definitions within the draft RFP December 4, 2013
10 Final RFP, Solicitation # F7013-120014/F February 21, 2014
11 Addendum 1
February 27, 2014
12 Addendum 2
March 7, 2014
13 Addendum 3
March 26, 2014
14 Addendum 4
April 24, 2014
15 Addendum 5
April 28, 2014
16 Addendum 6
May 1, 2014
17 Addendum 7
May 26, 2014
18 Addendum 8
May 28, 2014
19 Addendum9
June 4, 2014
20 Addendum 10
June 5, 2014
21 Addendum 11
June 19, 2014
22 Addendum 12
June 25, 2014
23 Letters from Industry Canada to the Contract Authority confirming compliance with the ITB and VP requirements July 25, 2014
24 Third party report confirming the operating and maintenance costs of the proposed helicopters August 26, 2014
25 Third party report confirming the fair market value of the proposed helicopters August 29, 2014

Addendum to the Final Report
January 8, 2015

Addendum to fairness monitor final report dated November 24, 2014.

This Addendum to the Fairness Monitor Final Report covers the period following the conclusion of the evaluation phase up to and including contract award.

Contract award

The successful bidder was selected and a contract awarded on December 18, 2014. No debriefings were requested.
It is our professional opinion that the Canadian Coastguard Medium Lift Helicopter procurement process we observed, was carried out in a fair, open and transparent manner.

John Davis, CEO,
PPI Consulting Limited

Ian Brennan, CSCMP,
FM Team Leader

Mairi Curran,
FM Specialist