British Army Training Unit Suffield Adventurous Training Centre (Canada)

Fairness monitor final report, November 13, 2015

Addendum to final report, May 30, 2016

Submitted to Director, Fairness Monitoring Program

Submitted by Hallux Consulting Inc.

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1. Introduction

Hallux Consulting Inc. was engaged as a Fairness Monitor (FM) on November 3, 2014 to observe the competitive procurement process for the British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS) Adventurous Training Centre (Canada) (BATC Canada) contract, issued by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) on behalf of the British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS), as a result of solicitation number W0142-15X035/A for the Industry Engagement portion of the procurement and solicitation number W0142-15X035/C for the request for proposal (RFP). Hallux Consulting Inc. 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 industry engagement day November 5, 2014 which occurred following the notice of proposed procurement (NPP) published October 15, 2014, continuing through to the bid evaluation consensus meeting held on November 3 and 4, 2015.

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.

2. Attestation of assurance

The FM hereby provides the following unqualified assurance statement concerning the BATUS Adventurous Training Centre (Canada) contract procurement process: It is our professional opinion that the competitive procurement process we observed was carried out in a fair, open and transparent manner.

Original signed by
Howard Dubois, CIA
FM Contractor Representative

Original signed by
Elizabeth Buckingham, CPA, CMA, CIA
FM Team Leader

Original signed by
Marthe Girouard, CPA, CA
FM Specialist

3. Project requirement

BATUS is the British Army's premier training unit co-located at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Suffield, Ralston, Alberta. It has been in existence for over forty years. The role of BATUS is to provide training and training support, principally to armoured forces, but also to other units as required.

A contingent of approximately 200 permanent British staff reside at CFB Suffield and ensure the delivery of training to British exercise troops. The exercise season normally runs from the beginning of May through to the end of October. BATUS also conducts year round adventurous training (AT) and challenge pursuit activities (CPA) near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta. Activities occur in backcountry areas such as Kananaskis, Banff National Park, Jasper National Park and Bieseker, Alberta. The AT and CPA is delivered to approximately 2,000 personnel annually.

This initiative has the objective to obtain the multi-year use for a BATUS Adventurous Training Centre (BATC) for the British Military deployed on permanent or temporary duty in Canada. Under the proposed contract, the successful bidder will provide facilities including accommodation, facility operation and maintenance, housekeeping and janitorial services, catering facility and support systems and site services.

4. Fairness monitor engagement and observations

Hallux Consulting Inc. was engaged as a Fairness Monitor (FM) to observe the competitive procurement process for the BATUS Adventurous Training Centre (Canada), 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 request for proposal related activities identifying fairness-related matters to the appropriate parties, e.g., contracting and technical authorities, and ensuring that responses and actions were reasonable and appropriate.

4.1 Industry consultation phase

Key activities during this phase of the procurement included:

  • observation of the Industry Engagement Day held in Calgary, Alberta on November 5, 2014. Eighteen suppliers attended the meeting
  • review of amendments one to nine which provided materials presented at the Industry Engagement Day, provided feedback and supplementary questions from Industry to seven questions posed by PSPC, answered the 46 questions posed by potential suppliers either at the Industry Day or through the one-on-one sessions, or provided information on the one-on-one sessions held March 17, 2015. All of the amendments were published on buyandsell.gc.ca
  • observation of optional one-on-one sessions with potential suppliers on March 17, 2015. Four suppliers participated in these sessions, three in-person and one via teleconference. Twenty-nine questions were posed by potential suppliers during the one-on-one sessions

All observations on potential fairness issues were properly addressed during the Industry Consultation phase.

4.2 Request for proposal phase

Key activities during this phase of the procurement included:

  • reviewing the draft request for proposal (RFP)
  • participation in a teleconference where the bidders’ conference was planned
  • reviewing the final RFP
  • attending the bidders conference which was held on September 2, 2015 in Calgary, Alberta and reviewing the minutes published with amendment no. 3, including the answers to 43 questions
  • participation via teleconference in the training provided by PSPC on the BATC RFP evaluation criteria to the bid evaluators on October 20, 2015
  • reviewing questions posed by potential bidders and the responses provided by the contracting authority via amendments to the RFP

The tendering procedure was open to all interested suppliers. A one-phase selection process approach with a two envelope evaluation was used for this procurement. The notice of proposed procurement (NPP) was published on buyandsell.gc.ca on August 18, 2015. The RFP had an initial closing date of September 30, 2015 which was extended to October 30, 2015. Eleven questions were received from potential bidders and responses to the questions were provided by way of the nine amendments issued to the RFP. Three bids were received in response to the RFP.

All observations on potential fairness issues were properly addressed during the RFP phase.

4.3 Evaluation phase

Key activities during the evaluation period included:

  • participating in a teleconference November 2, 2015 when instructions were provided to the team of four evaluators; proposals and individual scoring sheets were distributed; and evaluators signed confidentiality and conflict of interest statements
  • reviewing the mandatory evaluation sheets for the three bidders
  • observing the technical evaluation sessions held November 3 and 4, 2015 in Calgary, Alberta. The evaluations were undertaken in a consistent fashion and by consensus of all the evaluation board members
  • observing the validation of the technical evaluation results by the contracting authority November 4, 2015
  • observing the calculation of the final scores for the technical rating by the contracting authority on November 4, 2015
  • observing the final evaluation spreadsheet which included both the technical and financial scores on November 4, 2015

The FM Specialist observed that the evaluation processes and instructions published in the Final RFP, the RFP amendments and the Evaluation Plan and Guidelines were followed during the evaluation phase. Comments were provided by the FM Specialist as required throughout the evaluation process to the Technical Team and the contracting authority. All comments were addressed appropriately by project officials.

One of the three bids had to be disqualified because the mandatory requirements were not met. The price proposal envelope from this bidder was not opened.

No potential fairness issues were noted during the evaluation phase.

5. Reference documents

Documents related to the Industry Engagement portion of the procurement (solicitation number WO142-15X035/A) are available on Buyandsell.gc.ca and/or through the project office.

Table summary

The following table includes a list of documents referred to in the report such as the 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.

Notice of proposed procurement documents
No. Document Additional information
1 Notice of proposed procurement Notice of proposed procurement released on buyandsell.gc.ca on October 15, 2014
2 Amendment No. 001 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on November 13, 2014
3 Amendment No. 002 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on November 18, 2014
4 Amendment No. 003 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on November 24, 2014
5 Amendment No. 004 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on December 17, 2014
6 Amendment No. 005 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on December 18, 2014
7 Amendment No. 006 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on January 7, 2015
8 Amendment No. 007 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on January 14, 2015
9 Amendment No. 008 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on January 15, 2015
10 Amendment No. 009 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on January 26, 2015

A copy of the presentation made at the Industry engagement session November 5, 2014 was published on buyandsell.gc.ca April 15, 2015 as solicitation number WO142-15X035/B It was also available as an attachment to solicitation number WO142-15X035/A, Amendment 001.

Documents related to the request for proposal (archived - solicitation number WO142-15X035/C) are available on Buyandsell.gc.ca and/or through the project office.

Table summary

The following table includes a list of documents referred to in the report such as the 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.

Request for proposal documents
No. Document Additional information
1 Request for proposal Request for proposal (RFP) documents published on buyandsell.gc.ca on August 18, 2015
2 Amendment No. 001 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on September 8, 2015
3 Amendment No. 002 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on September 16, 2015
4 Amendment No. 003 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on September 21, 2015
5 Amendment No. 004 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on September 21, 2015
6 Amendment No. 005 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on September 24, 2015
7 Amendment No. 006 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on October 5, 2015
8 Amendment No. 007 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on October 9, 2015
9 Amendment No. 008 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on October 16, 2015
10 Amendment No. 009 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on October 23, 2015

6. Addendum to the final report, May 30, 2016

Addendum to the final report dated November 13, 2015 for the acquisition of British Army Training Unit Suffield Adventurous Training Centre (Canada) services

This addendum to the final report covers the period following the conclusion of the evaluation phase including the contract award and debriefings.

The successful bidder was selected and the contract awarded on May 10, 2016. Letters were sent by email to the unsuccessful bidders on May 10, 2016 advising of the result. Additional feedback was provided to one of the unsuccessful bidders through a teleconference on May 25, 2016. The Fairness Monitor reviewed the correspondence sent to the successful and unsuccessful bidders and participated in the debriefing held by teleconference.

Fairness monitor attestation of assurance

The Fairness Monitor hereby provides the following unqualified assurance statement concerning the British Army Training Unit Suffield Adventurous Training Centre (Canada) contract procurement process: It is our professional opinion that the competitive procurement process we observed was carried out in a fair, open and transparent manner.

Original signed by
Howard Dubois, CIA
FM Contractor Representative

Original signed by
Elizabeth Buckingham, CPA, CMA, CIA
FM Team Leader

Original signed by
Marthe Girouard, CPA, CA
FM Specialist

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