Fixed wing search and rescue replacement aircraft

Fairness monitor final report, June 14, 2016

Addendum to final report, April 17, 2017

Submitted to Director, Fairness Monitoring Program

Submitted by Knowles Consultancy Services Inc. and Hill International Inc. in joint venture

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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 Fixed Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR) Aircraft Replacement project undertaken for the Department of National Defence (DND) by Public Works and Government Services Canada, now Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), through Letters of Interest (LOI) Solicitation Numbers W8475-11003/A, W8475-110004/A, W8475-120001/A, W8475-130001/A, W8475-130002/A, W8475-130003/A and W8475-130004/A, and Request for Proposal (RFP) Solicitation Number W847A-150179/A.

Knowles Consultancy Services Inc. and Hill International Inc. in Joint Venture is an independent third party with respect to this activity.

We hereby submit our Final Report on the FWSAR Aircraft Replacement project covering our activities commencing in February 2012 through the industry engagement phase, including the release to interested suppliers of draft portions of the RFP, the release of the RFP, the evaluation of bids and the selection of the recommended bidder.

This report includes our attestation of assurance, a summary of the scope and objectives of our assignment, the methodologies applied, and details of our activities, including any relevant findings from the activities undertaken.

Project requirement

In Canada, DND has the primary responsibility for the provision of aeronautical Search and Rescue (SAR) services.  Besides the Canadian landmass, the Canadian SAR area of responsibility, as defined by various international agreements, includes the Canadian waters of the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence River System and extends 1000 nautical miles off the east coast, 800 nautical miles off the west coast, and to the north geographic pole.

To continue to meets its SAR obligations, DND has a requirement to acquire new fixed wing aircraft to replace the existing CC130H Hercules and CC115 Buffalo aircraft assigned to the task, and to obtain up to 20 years of In-Service Support for the new fleet. The selected contractor will be required to provide a sufficient number of multi-sensor equipped aircraft to have a 99% probability of an aircraft being available at each of the main operating bases and an 80% probability of a second aircraft being available at each base, as well as sufficient aircraft to fulfill the operational training requirement. The aircraft will be based at least three, but to no more than five airfields proposed by the contractor.

SAR operations are usually required in extremely poor weather conditions and the aircraft requirement specifies minimum aircraft capabilities to enable the aircraft to operate safely in environmental extremes and to carry specified minimum volumes and weights of SAR equipment.  The procurement strategy also includes an Aircraft Performance Assessment Tool (Tool).

The aircraft will be flown by Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) crews.  Other than first line maintenance which will be performed by RCAF personnel, the contractor will provide all in-service support including second and third line maintenance, material and logistics support, engineering, publications, infrastructure and training including the provision of various simulators and associated devices.  The contractor’s in-service support software, hardware and services must be integrated with the DND electronic information environment (EIE).

There will be a single contract with a Prime Contractor which will be the single point of accountability.  The contract will provide the terms and conditions for the acquisition of the multi-sensor equipped aircraft, and the provision of the long term in-services support, reference documents, dictionary, statement of work, basis of payment, the deliverables, the performance management plan, the industrial and technological benefits requirements, certifications, insurance requirements and security requirements necessary at contract award.

There is also a Value Proposition (VP) and industrial technological benefit requirement associated with the project.  The contractor is required to provide high value industrial and technological benefits.

Attestation of assurance

The Fairness Monitor hereby provides the unqualified assurance statement which follows concerning the competitive process monitored for the Fixed Wing Search and Rescue Aircraft Replacement project.

It is the professional opinion of the Fairness Monitor that the competitive procurement process for the Fixed Wing Search and Rescue Aircraft Replacement project was conducted in a fair, open and transparent manner.

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.

Original signed by
Roger Bridges
President
Knowles Consultancy Services Inc.
FM Contractor’s Representative

Original signed by
Peter Woods
FM Team Leader

Original signed by
Bruce Maynard P. Eng.
FM Specialist

Objectives of the fairness monitor assignment and methodology

The overall objective was to provide independent observation of the process and to submit fairness related comments to project officials for the procurement, as early as possible, so that appropriate action could be taken to address the comments before fairness was impacted. The Director of Fairness Monitoring would be advised of any fairness related concerns that were not addressed promptly. At the conclusion of the procurement process an assurance statement as to its fairness would be provided.

To accomplish the objective, we undertook the following activities and, where applicable, provided fairness related comments to the Contracting Authority:

Fairness monitor specific activities and findings

Fairness monitor activities and findings during the industry consultation phase

A substantial number of FWSAR background documents and draft RFP sections were made available to interested suppliers during the Industry Consultation Phase.  Attachment 1 is a list of most of them.

During the Industry Consultation Phase seven LOIs were issued which are identified below as LOI (1) to LOI (7).

Letter of interest (1)

After the initiation of FM activities on February 15, 2012, we reviewed a draft LOI that outlined the activity anticipated for the FWSAR project and invited industry to an Industry Day to receive more information. LOI (1) as posted (Document 1) was reviewed on March 9, 2012.  No fairness deficiencies were identified. On March 13 and 15, 2012, we reviewed the Report by the National Research Council on its “Review of the FWSAR Statement of Requirement” as well as other background documentation. No fairness deficiencies were identified.

On April 10, 2012 we observed the dry run for the Industry Day presentation and provided fairness related comments.  Appropriate action was taken by project officials. On April 16, 2012 we observed the Industry Day session and on June 8, 2012 we reviewed a summary of the industry feedback from the Industry Day. No fairness related deficiencies were identified.

Letter of interest (2)

On July 18, 2012 we reviewed LOI (2) (Document 2). During the period July 26, 2012 to December 14, 2012, we reviewed Amendments 1 to 7 to LOI (2) (Documents 3 to 9) and accompanying documentation. These amendments were the means by which the Project Office provided information to interested suppliers on the FWSAR requirement including, but not limited to, essential FWSAR operational requirements, minimum payload details, in-service support concept and industrial and regional benefits requirements.  No fairness deficiencies were identified.

It should be noted that at this time in the process the term “industrial regional benefits” or “IRB” was used.  Subsequently, the new Value Proposition policy was announced and the related term was revised to “industrial technological benefits” or “ITB” which has been used later in this report.

During the period October 17 to 19, 2012, we observed Industry Consultation Sessions including the Plenary Session and six one on one meetings with interested aircraft suppliers.

Amendment 7 to LOI (2) (Document 9) notified Industry that the FWSAR Project Office would continue to share information after the closing date of LOI (2). Subsequently, we observed eight one on one meetings with interested suppliers during the period January 16 to 23, 2013 and on February 8, 2013 we monitored a teleconference call with an interested supplier. The meetings provided an opportunity for interested suppliers to ask questions on the information provided through LOI (2). Fairness related comments were provided and appropriate action was taken by project officials.

Letter of interest (3)

On January 25, 2013 we reviewed LOI (3) (Document 10).  During the period January 31, 2013 to May 28, 2013, we reviewed Amendments 1 to 9 to LOI (3) (Documents 11 to 19) and accompanying documents.  No fairness deficiencies were identified.  LOI (3) and its amendments provided a means for the Project Office to provide draft portions of the Request for Proposal (RFP) and background documents to interested suppliers as well as to notify them of meetings and workshops.  Interested suppliers were encouraged to comment and ask questions on the draft RFP portions and documentation.  We also reviewed the draft RFP portions and background documents, provided fairness related comments and appropriate action was taken by project officials.

On May 28 and 29, 2013, we observed eight one on one meetings with interested suppliers.  No fairness deficiencies were identified.

Letter of interest (4)

On June 10, 2013 we reviewed LOI (4) (Document 20) which provided a background document on Industrial and Regional Benefits and requested comments. No fairness deficiencies were identified.

On July 3 and 4, 2013, we observed five one on one meetings between interested aircraft suppliers and a senior PWGSC executive to ensure an opportunity was provided for the suppliers to provide their views to senior management on any issues with the project.  Fairness related comments were provided and appropriate action was taken by project officials.

Letter of interest (5)

On August 29, 2013 we reviewed LOI (5) (Document 21) as posted and during the period September 12, 2013 to January 28, 2014, we reviewed Amendments 1 to 12 (Documents 22 to 31 and 33 to 35). No fairness deficiencies were identified. As with previous LOIs, amendments to LOI (5) notified interested suppliers of consultation sessions, site visits, and specialized training sessions and provided draft RFP portions to interested suppliers for comment and questions.

During the period October 1 to 13, 2013, we observed six (6) one on one meetings. On November 13, 2013 we observed a meeting between an interested supplier and the Acting Assistant Deputy Minister, Acquisitions, PWGSC (now PSPC). On November 29, 2013 we observed an Air Worthiness Seminar Meeting, to which interested aircraft suppliers had been invited, the purpose of which was to ensure an understanding of the aircraft airworthiness program requirement of the DND by interested suppliers. No fairness deficiencies were identified.

During the period December 3 to 5, 2013, we observed three one on one meetings and on December 19, 2013 we monitored a teleconference one on one meeting with one interested supplier.  Fairness related comments were provided and appropriate action was taken by project officials.

Letter of interest (6)

On December 20, 2013 we reviewed LOI (6) (Document 32) as posted having reviewed draft versions in the previous month.  The objective of this LOI was to develop a Source List by identifying interest in the project by any aircraft suppliers that could provide an aircraft that generally met requirements other than the six (6) aircraft suppliers that had participated in the industry consultation sessions prior to that date. No other company indicated interest and after LOI (6) closed on January 31, 2014, industry consultation activities were confined to the Source List of six (6).  Industry consultation information including LOI amendments were forwarded directly to the suppliers on the Source List by email. Fairness related comments were provided and appropriate action was taken by project officials.

Letter of interest (7)

On March 11, 2014 we reviewed LOI (7) (Document 36) and during the period March 18 to 31, 2014, we reviewed Amendments 1 to 3 to LOI (7) (Documents 37 to 39).  Subsequent to March 31, 2014 until March 13, 2015 we reviewed 19 emails to suppliers on the Source List (Documents 40 to 58).  The LOI, amendments and emails notified suppliers on the Source List of draft parts of the RFP as they became available. Suppliers were encouraged to review each part, provide written comments to the Project Office and, if desired, arrange for a one on one meeting to ask questions and provide comments. Revised RFP parts incorporating meaningful changes were also made available. No fairness related deficiencies were identified.

During the period May 1 to 27, 2014, we observed three one on one meetings with suppliers on the Source List.  Fairness related comments were provided and appropriate action was taken by project officials.

During the period July 10 to 27, 2014, we observed three one on one meetings with interested suppliers on Value Proposition matters.  On July 22, 2014 we observed a teleconference with a supplier. No fairness deficiencies were identified.

During the period October 16 to 22, 2014, we observed four one on one workshops on Aircraft Cabin Configurations that ensured an understanding by suppliers of the requirement for aircraft configurations, layouts and weights considerations and provided an opportunity for questions. A common agenda was used, the same basic information was passed on and the Workshops differed only by the questions posed by suppliers. Fairness related comments were provided and appropriate action was taken by project officials.

General

At least every few weeks and more often when needed throughout the Industry Consultation Phase we met with the Contracting Authority staff and other members of the Project Team to discuss fairness aspects of the project including various procurement plans, industry consultation rules, evaluation and selection strategy, RFP contents and the way ahead. Fairness related comments were provided during these meetings and appropriate action was taken by project officials. These routine meetings and discussions are not identified by date in this Report but would have been identified and comments provided if a fairness deficiency had been noted.

While we reviewed draft parts of the RFP throughout the Industry Consultation Phase and provided fairness related comments, we undertook final reviews of draft parts of the RFP commencing in October 2014 and conducted a final review of the draft RFP in February and March 2015.  No fairness deficiencies were identified in the draft parts and final version of the RFP.

Fairness monitor activities and findings during the request for proposal phase

Activities and findings related to the request for proposal prior to release of the preliminary submission analysis reports

On March 31, 2015 we reviewed a notice sent by email to suppliers on the Source List, referred to as Source List Recipients, advising them of the availability of the RFP in a DVD format through the Project Office and the RFP notice posted on Buy&sell.gc.ca (Document 59).  No fairness deficiencies were identified. We had reviewed the final version of RFP (Document 60) as part of the previous Industry Consultation Phase prior to its release and no fairness deficiencies were identified.

During the period May 1 to August 7, 2015, we reviewed Amendments 1 to 12 (Documents 61 to 72) to the RFP prior to, on, or immediately after, their release to the Source List Recipients on the dates listed in the Reference Documents Section at the end of this Report.  The amendments included Questions 1 to 70 submitted by the Source List Recipients and Answers 1 to 70 prepared by project officials. Fairness related comments were provided to project officials and appropriate action was taken.

On April 2, 2015 we reviewed an email that was sent to the Source List Recipients advising them of the availability of a Technical Data Package containing “as built” proprietary drawings and other technical information relevant to the existing facilities of the RCAF described in the FWSAR Aircraft RFP. No fairness deficiencies were identified.

During the period May 20 to 26, 2015 we reviewed a letter from a Source List Recipient requesting a closing date extension, observed project team meetings at which the request was discussed, reviewed the recommendations made to senior management, and reviewed the response provided to the Source List Recipient.  Fairness related comments were provided and appropriate action was taken by project officials. No fairness deficiencies were identified.

Activities and findings related to the bidders’ conference and site visits

On April 10, 2015 we reviewed an email that was sent to Source List Recipients advising them of the registration requirements for the upcoming Bidders’ Conference. On April 23, we reviewed an email sent to Source List Recipients reminding them of the upcoming Bidders’ Conference and which had the presentation deck for the Bidders’ Conference attached. On April 28, 2015 we observed the Bidders’ Conference.  No fairness deficiencies were identified.

On April 16, 2015 we reviewed an email that was sent to Source List Recipients advising them of the registration requirements for the upcoming optional Site Visits, and on April 24, 2015 we reviewed another email providing the rules and schedule for the Site Visits. No fairness concerns were identified.  We did not observe the actual site visits.

Activities and findings related to the preliminary submission analysis process

The RFP provided a process whereby a Source List Recipient could submit a Preliminary Submission in response to specific RFP requirements by a specified date and time prior to bid closing date. Canada would evaluate the responses and advise which, if any, did not meet the RFP requirements.  Each Source List Recipient that submitted a Preliminary Submission would be able to revise their responses at bid closing to comply with any requirements that had not been met in the Preliminary Submission step. Responses which were deemed compliant at the Preliminary Submission stage would be deemed compliant in the Final Proposal Submission step unless the Preliminary Submission was changed at bid closing.

On June 1 and 2, 2015, we reviewed a draft of the Internal Bid Evaluation Management Plan (IBEMP) and provided fairness related comments to the Contracting Authority.  This Plan was applicable to the evaluation of Preliminary Submissions submitted prior to bid closing as well as to final proposals received at bid closing. On June 9, 2015 we met with Project Team officials and elaborated on our fairness related comments submitted previously.  Appropriate action was taken by project officials to revise parts of the document to fully describe the consensus evaluation process. The revised Plan was consistent with the RFP and comprehensive. No fairness deficiencies were identified.

On July 13, 2015 we observed the Preliminary Submission evaluation kick-off meeting and orientation session for all evaluators.  Fairness related comments were provided to project officials in advance of the meeting and appropriate action was taken. Project contracting officials provided a detailed briefing to the evaluators that covered all important aspects of the evaluation process. No fairness deficiencies were identified.

During the period July 17 to 29, 2015, we observed consensus evaluation discussions during which consensus evaluation results were agreed upon by the evaluation teams for each Preliminary Submission response.  Fairness related comments were provided and appropriate action was taken by project officials.

During the period August 18 to 24, 2015, we reviewed drafts of the Preliminary Submission Analysis Reports prepared to provide each Source Listed Recipient feedback on the results of the evaluation of its Preliminary Submission. While each report was different, the information provided was in accordance with the provisions specified in the RFP and there was consistency in the depth of detail provided.  Fairness related comments were provided on the drafts and appropriate action were taken by project officials.  On August 24, 2015 we reviewed the final reports to be forwarded to each Source List Recipient. No fairness deficiencies were identified.

Activities and findings related to the request for proposal after the release of preliminary submission analysis reports

During the period August 24 to December 18, 2015, we reviewed Amendments 13 to 21 (Documents 73 and 74 and 76 to 82) to the RFP prior to, on, or immediately after their release to the Source List Recipients on the dates listed in the Reference Documents Section at the end of this Report.  Our reviews of the amendments included Questions 71 to 182 submitted by the Source List Recipients and Answers 71 to 182 prepared by project officials. Fairness related comments were provided to project officials and appropriate action was taken.

On September 9, 2015 we reviewed Amendment 1 to the RFP Notice (Document 75) that was posted on Buy&sell.gc.ca which provided public notice of an amendment to the Closing Date. The Source List Recipients had been informed five days earlier in an amendment to the RFP of the closing date extension.  No fairness deficiencies were identified

During the period October 8 to November 17, 2015, we observed discussions amongst Contracting Authority officials and reviewed drafts of proposed revisions to the RFP regarding “clarifications and corrections”.  The purpose of the discussions and drafts was to ensure the RFP was clear regarding definitions of clarifications, errors and omissions, when the processes for clarifications or corrections would be applied, and the steps that then would be taken to request clarifications or corrections of errors and omissions. Fairness related comments were provided throughout the period and appropriate action was taken by project officials.  No fairness deficiencies were identified in the final version that was incorporated into the RFP by an amendment.

We reviewed a Clarification to the Bid Cost Evaluation Tool (Document 83) on January 6, 2016. This document clarified a cell in the spreadsheet but required no action by potential bidders. No fairness deficiencies were identified.

Fairness monitor activities and findings during the evaluation phase

Evaluation plan and orientation

On January 10, 2016 we reviewed the updated Internal Bid Evaluation Management Plan (IBEMP).  This Plan had already been reviewed and had been used during the evaluation of Preliminary Submissions. While no substantial changes had been made, some minor clarifications had been incorporated.  Fairness related comments were provided and appropriate action was taken by project officials.

On January 15, 2016 we observed the evaluation orientation briefing provided to all evaluators by project team senior management.  The briefing was consistent with the RFP, IBEMP and best practice.  It included an outline of project requirements, a description of the evaluation process, and stressed evaluation “do’s and don’ts”. No fairness deficiencies were identified.

Requests for clarification and responses

Throughout the evaluation phase, we reviewed all Requests for Clarifications (RFCs) to bidders and the responses received from the bidders.  RFCs were reviewed on the following dates (more than one on some days): January 22, 27, 28 and 29; February 4, 9, 10, 18 and 22; March 3, 8, 9 and 10; and April 6. A process was used in which we reviewed RFCs proposed by project authorities before release to a bidder. Similarly, we reviewed the response to each RFC and, if applicable, the part that project authorities proposed to provide to the applicable evaluation team. Responses to RFCs were reviewed on the following dates (more than one on some days): January 25 and 28; February 3, 4, 10, 12, 15, 19, 23 and 24; March 3, 8, 11, 15 and 16; and April 12. Fairness related comments were provided to project officials and appropriate action was taken.

Consensus evaluations general

The evaluation was undertaken by 25 evaluation teams involving many evaluators, each of whom had extensive background in the evaluation areas in which they were involved.  Throughout the evaluation phase, we observed 150 hours of consensus meetings involving 75 different sessions. Each consensus meeting was conducted in accordance with best practices.  Each evaluator independently evaluated, recorded the results and subsequently met as a team, discussed responses and agreed on consensus results and supporting narratives. Evaluation results were based solely on the requirements of the RFP and the contents of the proposal being evaluated.  Fairness related comments were provided to project officials and appropriate action was taken.

One or more consensus evaluation meetings, covering all evaluation areas (Response Performance, Aircraft Requirements, In-Service Support, Contract Delivery Risk, Cost, and Industry Technology Benefits/ Value Proposition) were observed on the following dates during calendar year 2016 (more than one on some days):

Activities and findings for each of the main evaluation areas are described in the sections that follow.

Aircraft performance assessment tool evaluation

Consensus evaluation meetings involved validation of Aircraft Performance Assessment Tool (APAT) inputs and related response performance results provided by each bidder.  Bidders were required to provide inputs for APAT including aircraft performance data and airfield information which APAT used to calculate “time to scene” and “time on scene” for each of the SAR incident locations that occurred between 2005 and 2011 to determine a score. We observed the consensus validation of all input information for APAT and related manual response performance calculations agreed by evaluation teams.  Fairness related comments were provided and appropriate action was taken by officials.

Aircraft requirements and in-service support consensus evaluation

We observed consensus evaluation discussions on bidder responses to the Requirements Specification Workbook, Pilot/Co-pilot Station Anthropometric Accommodation Requirements and In-service Support Worksheets. We observed discussions on both mandatory requirements and rated requirements.  While there were a considerable number of requirements, time was taken in consensus to consider each response from each bidder in turn and discuss any concerns, no matter how minor, of each evaluator before agreeing on a consensus result.  Fairness related comments were provided and appropriate action was taken by the evaluation teams.

Proposal certifications evaluation

On February 8, 2016 we observed the consensus meeting for the evaluation of Proposal Certifications.  The Evaluation Team agreed unanimously the Certifications submitted by two bidders were compliant with the RFP but that the Certificate submitted by another bidder did not comply with the RFP. The bidder subsequently was informed by letter.  Fairness related comments were provided and appropriate action was taken by project officials.

Cost, financial and contractual proposal evaluation

On March 8, 2016 we observed the evaluation of the Cost, Financial and Contractual Proposals at which consensus was reached on compliancy of the Proposals including the Bid Cost Evaluation Tools (BCET) worksheets submitted by the bidders. Cost evaluation scores were agree following the process specified in the RFP.  Fairness related comments were provided and appropriate action was taken by project officials.

Value proposition requirements and industrial technological benefits evaluation

We observed the consensus meetings of the team evaluating Value Proposition and Industrial Technological Benefits Proposals. Fairness related comments were provided and appropriate action was taken by officials.

Ground and flight evaluation

On January 19, 2016 we observed a consensus meeting at which the suitability of a test aircraft proposed by a bidder was discussed by specialists.  It was agreed that the proposed test aircraft was suitable for the ground and flight evaluation tests specified in the RFP. Similar consensus meetings were held on January 27, 2016 and January 29, 2016 for the test aircraft proposed by the other two bidders and it was agreed that each proposed test aircraft was suitable. No fairness related deficiencies were identified.

On February 10, 2016 and February 11, 2016, we monitored teleconference calls with one bidder each day to discuss arrangements for the ground and flight evaluation of the test aircraft and to answer questions from the bidders that clarified the process and tests specified in the RFP.  No fairness deficiencies were identified.

A teleconference call to the third bidder was not arranged because it was determined that arrangements for ground and flight testing were not appropriate in light of the status of the bidder’s proposal. Subsequently, no ground and flight tests were conducted for the third bidder.  Fairness related comments were provided to project officials and appropriate action was taken.

On April 11, 2016 we observed a consensus meeting at which the ground and flight evaluation results for one bidder were agreed to, based on the results of the tests recorded by the professional fight test team and the scoring criteria in the RFP.  No fairness deficiencies were identified.

On May 20, 2016 we observed a consensus meeting at which the ground and flight evaluation results for the other bidder were agreed to, based on the results of the tests recorded by the professional fight test team and the scoring criteria in the RFP. No fairness deficiencies were identified.

Capability delivery risk evaluation

The RFP included a Capability Delivery Risk Evaluation (CDRE) evaluation area that described risks to delivery timelines of the FWSAR capability. The RFP specified the information required to be submitted with the proposals to assess the risks and the evaluation methodology that would be used. The RFP also allowed for on-site visits to verify a bidder’s assertions.

On March 22, 24, and 29, 2016, we observed one meeting each day of evaluation teams that discussed their evaluations of the three areas of risk. CDRE Phase 1 evaluation scores were identified by each evaluator with explanations along with risk factors that were candidates for on-site verification. The scoring regime in the RFP was strictly followed.

On April 14, 2016 we observed a meeting of the CDRE Advisory Board with the CDRE evaluation teams. The Advisory Board was made up of senior managers independent of the FWSAR Aircraft Replacement project who reviewed the initial evaluations of the CDRE evaluation teams and provided an opinion as to whether the narrative substantiated the Phase 1 scores and what, if any, additional evidence should be sought on site visits. The Panel did not suggest any scoring changes.  No fairness deficiencies were identified.

On April 20, 2016 we reviewed letters to each of the two bidders, confirming an on-site CDRE visit and specifying the areas of inquiry for validation.

On April 21, 2016 following the CDRE Advisory Board session, we observed follow on consensus meetings of each of the CDRE evaluation teams.  Some revisions to the scoring narratives were agreed to in order to better justify the scores. Two evaluators on one team and one evaluator on another team each made a revision to one of their scores. The scoring regime specified in the RFP was followed for each team. The teams also reviewed the areas of validation identified for the on-site visit. Fairness related comments were provided and appropriate action was taken by project officials.

On May 18, 2016 we reviewed separate letters forwarded by the Contracting Authority to each bidder confirming that there were no validation deficiencies identified during the CDRE visits and that no further action was required by the bidder. On May 25, 2016 we reviewed the reports prepared on the CDRE site visits each of which confirmed that there were no validation deficiencies identified during the site visits. On May 25, 2016 we were informed that, as the CDRE site visits had validated the required information, there was no reason to review the consensus scores agreed to on April 21, 2016 (see previous paragraph).  No fairness deficiencies were identified.

Final roll-up of scores

The RFP required that each bidder submit two proposals, main and alternate, differing by the number of proposed main operating bases and number of proposed aircraft.  The evaluation resulted in four compliant proposals, two submitted by each of two bidders.

On June 1, 2016 we observed a consensus meeting of three senior PSPC FWSAR Aircraft Replacement project contracting staff at which the Total Evaluation Scores for each compliant proposal were confirmed. Each official had received scores for Capability on four spreadsheets that had been forwarded from DND, scores for the Value Proposition (VP) evaluation in four spreadsheets received from Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada and Cost scores that the three contracting staff had reached consensus on earlier (see above). Each contracting official had independently developed a spreadsheet that added the scores and weighted them for each of the three areas (Capability, VP and Financial) to compute a combined total score.  There was consistency among the three senior officials on the total combined scores for each of the four compliant proposals. The compliant proposal with the highest weighted combined score of Capability, Cost and Industrial Technological Benefit and Value Proposition, the Winning Proposal” was identified. No fairness related deficiencies were identified.

It should be noted that the proposals were identified by number only and the cross reference between the proposal numbers and bidder proposals was specified in an encrypted email that was available only to the three members of the contracting staff.  We had no need to be, and were not, privy to the cross reference to identify the proposal or bidder that achieved the highest score.

Reference documents

The following documents are referenced by number in this report. Unless otherwise indicated, these documents are available through the FWSAR Aircraft Replacement Project Office.

Note: Seven Letters of interests were released.  For ease of reference in this report they are referred to as LOI (1) through to LOI (7). The Solicitation Numbers for each are as follows:

Letter of interest phase
No. Document Additional information
1 Letter of Interest (1) Posted on GETS March 9, 2012
2 Letter of Interest (LOI (2) Posted on GETS July 18, 2012
3 Amendment 1 to LOI (2) Posted on GETS July 26, 2012
4 Amendment 2 to LOI (2) Posted on GETS August 3, 2012
5 Amendment 3 to LOI (2) Posted on GETS September 13, 2012
6 Amendment 4 to LOI (2) Posted on GETS September 14, 2012
7 Amendment 5 to LOI (2) Posted on GETS September 21, 2012
8 Amendment 6 to LOI (2) Posted on GETS September 27, 2012
9 Amendment 7 to LOI (2) Posted on GETS December 14, 2012
10 Letter of Interest (LOI (3) Posted on GETS January 25, 2013
11 Amendment 1 to LOI (3) Posted on GETS January 31, 2013
12 Amendment 2 to LOI (3) Posted on GETS March 25, 2013
13 Amendment 3 to LOI (3) Posted on GETS March 28, 2013
14 Amendment 4 to LOI (3) Posted on GETS April 22, 2013
15 Amendment 5 to LOI (3) Posted on GETS May 2, 2013
16 Amendment 6 to LOI (3) Posted on GETS May 10, 2013
17 Amendment 7 to LOI (3) Posted on GETS May 21, 2013
18 Amendment 8 to LOI (3) Posted on GETS May 28, 2013
19 Amendment 9 to LOI (3) Posted on GETS May 28, 2013
20 Letter of Interest (LOI) (4) Posted on GETS June 10, 2013
21 Letter of Interest (LOI) (5) Posted on GETS August 29, 2013
22 Amendment 1 to LOI (5) Posted on GETS September 12, 2013
23 Amendment 2 to LOI (5) Posted on GETS September 13, 2013
24 Amendment 3 to LOI (5) Posted on GETS September 16, 2013
25 Amendment 4 to LOI (5) Posted on GETS September 20, 2013
26 Amendment 5 to LOI (5) Posted on GETS October 17, 2013
27 Amendment 6 to LOI (5) Posted on GETS October 21, 2013
28 Amendment 7 to LOI (5) Posted on GETS October 28, 2013
29 Amendment 8 to LOI (5) Posted on GETS November 6, 2013
30 Amendment 9 to LOI (5) Posted on GETS November 14, 2013
31 Amendment 10 to LOI (5) Posted on GETS November 29, 2013
32 Letter of Interest (LOI) (6) Posted on GETS December 19, 2013
33 Amendment 11 to LOI (5) Posted on GETS December 20, 2013
34 Amendment 12 to LOI (5) Posted on GETS January 28, 2014
35 Amendment 13 to LOI (5) Posted on GETS February 25, 2014
36 Letter of Interest (LOI) (7) Posted on GETS March 11, 2014
37 Amendment 1 to LOI (7) Posted on GETS March 18, 2014
38 Amendment 2 to LOI (7) Posted on GETS March 26, 2014
39 Amendment 3 to LOI (7) Posted on GETS March 31, 2014
40 Email to Source List Forwarded March 25, 2014
41 Email to Source List Forwarded March 28, 2014
42 Email to Source List Forwarded May 23, 2014
43 Email to Source List Forwarded July 3, 2014
44 Email to Source List Forwarded July 25, 2014
45 Email to Source List Forwarded August 22, 2014
46 Email to Source List Forwarded September 3, 2014
47 Email to Source List Forwarded September 10, 2014
48 Email to Source List Forwarded September 11, 2014
49 Email to Source List Forwarded September 12, 2014
50 Email to Source List Forwarded September 17, 2014
51 Email to Source List Forwarded October 24, 2014
52 Email to Source List Forwarded October 30, 2014
53 Email to Source List Forwarded December 12, 2014
54 Email to Source List Forwarded January 20, 2015
55 Email to Source List Forwarded February 9, 2015
56 Email to Source List Forwarded February 13, 2015
57 Email to Source List Forwarded February 20, 2015
58 Email to Source List Forwarded March 13, 2015
Request for proposal phase
No. Document Additional information
59 RFP Notice W847A-150179/A Posted on Buy&sell.gc.ca March 30, 2015
60 RFP W847A-150179/A Released to Source List March 31, 2015
61 RFP Amendment 1 Released to Source List May 1, 2015
62 RFP Amendment 2 Released to Source List May 8, 2015
63 RFP Amendment 3 Released to Source List May 20, 2015
64 RFP Amendment 4 Released to Source List June 1, 2015
65 RFP Amendment 5 Released to Source List June 16, 2015
66 RFP Amendment 6 Released to Source List June 25, 2015
67 RFP Amendment 7 Released to Source List June 30, 2015
68 RFP Amendment 8 Released to Source List July 2, 2015
69 RFP Amendment 9 Released to Source List July 10, 2015
70 RFP Amendment 10 Released to Source List July 21, 2015
71 RFP Amendment 11 Released to Source List July 29, 2015
72 RFP Amendment 12 Released to Source List August 7, 2015
73 RFP Amendment 13 Released to Source List August 24, 2015
74 RFP Amendment 14 Released to Source List September 4, 2015
75 RFP Amendment 1 to Notice Released to Buy&sell.gc.ca September 9, 2015
76 RFP Amendment 15 Released to Source List September 24, 2015
 77 RFP Amendment 16 Released to Source List October 20, 2015
78 RFP Amendment 17 Released to Source List October 22, 2015
79 RFP Amendment 18 Released to Source List November 6, 2015
80 RFP Amendment 19 Released to Source List November 19, 2015
81 RFP Amendment 20 Released to Source List December 7, 2015
82 RFP Amendment 21 Released to Source List December 18, 2015
83 Clarification with FWSAR Bid Cost Evaluation Tool Released to Source List January 6, 2016

Attachment 1 to Fixed wing search and rescue aircraft replacement fairness monitor contractor’s final report

Background documents

The following is a list of most, but not all, of the FWSAR Aircraft Replacement documents made available through amendments to various LOIs and emails to suppliers on the Source List during the Industry Consultation Phase:

Addendum to final report, April 17, 2017

Addendum to fairness monitor final report dated June 14, 2016, concerning the Fixed wing search and rescue aircraft replacement

This addendum to the fairness monitor final report covers the period following the conclusion of the evaluation phase.

On December 7, 2016 we reviewed the regret letters to be sent to the two unsuccessful bidders, one of which was compliant and the other non-compliant.

Compliant unsuccessful bidder

The regret letter to the compliant but unsuccessful bidder provided the total score achieved by the successful bid, the total scores achieved by the unsuccessful bidder’s main and alternate bids and the total value of the contract that was awarded to the successful bidder, and offered to provide a more detailed debriefing.  No fairness deficiencies were identified.

On December 19, 2016 we reviewed a detailed list of questions submitted by the unsuccessful bidder. The bidder requested that answers to these questions be provided during a verbal debriefing that had been scheduled for December 19, 2016.  We observed the verbal debriefing during which the bidder was provided with an overview of the evaluation process and an overview of the evaluation results achieved by each of the unsuccessful bidder’s two proposals. The debriefing included the scoring results achieved by the unsuccessful bidder in each of the main evaluation areas, including requirements for which less than full points were awarded. 

During the debriefing, Canada noted to the unsuccessful bidder that the detailed scores achieved by the other bidders would not be provided.  Later the same day we reviewed an email from the Contracting Authority to the unsuccessful bidder requesting that the unsuccessful bidder identify which questions had not been answered during the verbal debriefing, and offering to provide answers where possible. No fairness deficiencies were identified.

On December 23, 2016 we reviewed an email providing a Notice of Objection from the unsuccessful bidder regarding the evaluation of its proposal and the Contracting Authority’s acknowledgement of the receipt of the Notice.  On January 6, 2017 we were advised by the Contracting Authority that the unsuccessful bidder had applied on January 5, 2017 to the Federal Court of Canada for a judicial review.  As of the date of this Addendum, the judicial review is at a preliminary stage.

Non-compliant unsuccessful bidder

The non-compliant unsuccessful bidder had been informed during the evaluation process that its main and alternate proposals had been found to be non-compliant. The regret letter to the unsuccessful bidder reiterated the finding of non-compliance of its bids, provided specific instances of non-compliance, provided the total value of the contract that was awarded to the successful bidder, and offered to provide a more detailed debriefing. No fairness deficiencies were identified.

On January 27, 2017 we monitored a teleconference debriefing of the unsuccessful bidder. No fairness deficiencies were identified.

Successful bidder

The successful bidder did not request a debriefing. Fairness monitor attestation of assurance It is the professional opinion of the Fairness Monitor that the post evaluation activities, including the debriefings of the unsuccessful bidders were carried out in a fair, open and transparent manner. 

Fairness monitor attestation of assurance

It is the professional opinion of the Fairness Monitor that the post evaluation activities, including the debriefings of the unsuccessful bidders were carried out in a fair, open and transparent manner. 

Original signed by
Roger Bridges
President
Knowles Consultancy Services Inc.
FM Contractor’s Representative

Original signed by
Peter Woods
FM Team Leader

Original signed by
Bruce Maynard P. Eng.
FM Specialist

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