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Procurement Process for Government Cellular Services (GCS) Project For Government of Canada Bid Solicitation

Fairness Monitor Final Report

December 14, 2010

Submitted to: Kristine Stolarik, Chief Risk Officer, Office of the Chief Risk Officer (OCRO)

Submitted by: PPI Consulting Limited

Table of Contents


Preface

PPI Consulting Limited provided Fairness Monitor (FM) services for the Office of the Chief Risk Office (OCRO) within PWGSC, for Government Cellular Services Project.

This document, 'Fairness Monitor Final Report', contains a summary of the activities and observations from a fairness perspective for the duration of our engagement and in accordance with our Scope of Work for the aforementioned procurement.

PPI Consulting Limited greatly appreciates the diligence and cooperation of the procurement and evaluation team throughout the Fairness Monitor process and mandate to date.

1. Introduction

PPI Consulting Limited was engaged as a Fairness Monitor (FM) to observe the procurement process for Government Cellular Services (GCS), issued by Public Works and Government Services Canada. PPI Consulting Limited was engaged in August 2010 at the final Request for Proposal (RFP) development stage for the GCS bid solicitation. We were not involved in any prior stages.

PPI Consulting Limited is an independent third party with respect to this activity. We reviewed all of the information provided and observed all relevant activities as described below and in accordance with our mandate.

We hereby submit the Fairness Monitor Final Report, covering the activities and monitored observations of the Fairness Monitor, commencing with Request for Proposal (Bid Solicitation) to Final Selection including the Technical Evaluation and Financial Evaluation.

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. Project Requirement

Our fairness monitoring services and mandate involved the monitoring of the fairness, openness and transparency of the bid Solicitation for the procurement of the supply and delivery of GCS including associated accessories and devices, on an "as and when requested" basis to locations throughout Canada.

The current Government Cellular Services (GCS) are being obtained through the Mobile Wireless Products and Services (MWPS) series of contracts which expire on February 25, 2011. GCS is an umbrella contract brokered on behalf of all client departments/agencies. GCS will replace MWPS.

The GCS needs were identified and defined within the bid solicitation as:

Stream 1 - Mobile Phones, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), and Cellular Modem products and associated services in Canada, the USA, and internationally: representing the most commonly used devices and services across all of the GoC's user base.

Stream 2 - Push-to-Talk (PTT) Products and Services: includes the products for users who require walkie-talkie-type functionality that will allow single or group calling at the push of a button together with the associated services.

Stream 3 - Secure Global System for Mobile (GSM) Wireless Services: includes the services that allow for secure GSM circuit-switched data communications using secure voice and data transmission.

The resulting contract(s) are aimed at servicing the Government of Canada, including over 100 departments and agencies representing usage of 145,000 cellular devices such as phones, PDAs and modems.

While the procurement strategy involved a two phased approach, including a Request for Information (RFI) and Request for Proposal, PPI Consulting was engaged and monitored solely the Request for Proposal procurement process which includes post selection and award activities.

The Request for Proposal procurement involved a technical compliance evaluation, a financial evaluation, due diligence, bidder selection and contract award.

3. Attestation of Assurance

The FM hereby provides the following unqualified assurance statement concerning Government Services Cellular (GCS) for the Government of Canada Bid Solicitation.

It is our professional opinion that the procurement process we have observed, was carried out in a fair, open and transparent manner.


_______________________
Howard Grant
President, PPI Consulting Limited


_______________________
Patricia Tessier
FM Specialist


_______________________
Philip L Carr, PEng
FM Team Leader

4. Methodology

As Fairness Monitor, PPI Consulting Limited acts as an independent third party to monitor and ensure the integrity of the procurement process indicating whether the procurement was managed fairly, consistently, openly, competitively and with transparency.

In order to do so, and in accordance with our Scope of Work, we have familiarized ourselves with the relevant solicitation documents, reviewed bid solicitation documentation and observed bid solicitation activities (e.g. RFP drafts, the published RFP, Crown responses to vendor questions and resulting RFP addenda/amendments), reviewed all vendor questions and responses, reviewed the bid technical evaluation report, identified any fairness-related matters to the contracting authority, and ensured that, where necessary, responses were reasonable and appropriate.

5. FM Activities and Observations

5.1 RFP Development and Bidding Period

A review of the RFP/Bid solicitation documentation including all appendices and annexes was conducted. This included the review of the Basis for Payment spreadsheet used for the financial evaluation. Any fairness considerations identified were discussed and addressed prior to the issuance of the RFP and as part of the briefing to evaluators.

The RFP was posted on MERX September 3rd, 2010 and was scheduled to close initially on September 27th, 2010. In response to vendor requests, the closing date was subsequently amended to October 8th, 2010.

A total of 97 questions were received; responses were published in a series of four separate addenda issued between September 10th to September 30th, 2010. All questions were received by the deadline and all questions and answers were posted onMERX .

There were fairness considerations identified and discussed with the Contracting Authority. All were addressed satisfactorily prior to the RFP closing date.

A review was undertaken to substantiate the decision of the Crown to include all three streams in the competitive procurement and the associated selection and evaluation methodology. As a result, no fairness issue was observed.

Observation: Fairness considerations were addressed during the development, issuance and in the responses to vendor questions. The Crown provided responses in a succinct, clear and timely manner to all vendors. All bids were received by bid closing date and time.

5.2 Bid Close

PPI Consulting Limited was present at time of bid close to observe receipt of bids.

Observation: All submissions received met the deadline in accordance with the RFP.

5.3 Technical Evaluation

An evaluator package was prepared for the technical evaluation team. The package was reviewed and any fairness considerations were addressed by the Contracting Authority and reflected in the package. The Contracting Authority also conveyed and confirmed protocol related to document security and storage.

All team members completed and signed a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) and conflict of interest declaration form. We determined that there were no actual conflicts of interests.

In accordance with the RFP, the technical evaluation involved only mandatory requirements. There were no rated requirements and no scoring. The technical mandatory requirements were reviewed independently by each member of the technical evaluation team to determine compliance. All bids were declared compliant in accordance with the RFP.

5.3.1 Bid Clarifications

No bid clarifications were requested by the Technical Evaluation Team.

5.3.2 Consensus

Each member of the technical evaluation team reviewed all bids independently. Each evaluation team member independently declared bidders compliant in accordance with the RFP.

5.3.3 Final Report and Compliance Determination

A technical evaluation report was prepared by the Team Lead including the Compliance Declaration of each bidder. The report was signed by all technical evaluation team members.

Observation: The evaluator package was thorough and reflected standard Crown practices and fairness principles. The technical evaluation reflected the methodology defined in the RFP. No fairness considerations were raised.

5.4 Financial Evaluation and Overall Score/Ranking

5.4.1 Financial Evaluation

The financial evaluation was undertaken by Procurement with appropriate oversight. Following completion of the financial evaluation, the costing was validated by the technical team.

5.4.2 Overall Score/Ranking

Following the financial evaluation, a Financial Evaluation Report was prepared by Procurement identifying the ranking of Bidders based on Annex B: Basis for Payment Financial Submission form provided in the RFP and Total Evaluated Bid Points. The report included the recommendation for contract award per stream based on point based ranking in accordance with the RFP Annex B.

During this phase, a verification and validation of the required certifications was undertaken. A Certifications Evaluation Report was prepared and declared all bidders met the certifications requirements.

In accordance with the RFP, specifically Section 6.2 and its reference to the Standard Acquisitions Clauses and Conditions (SACC), a financial capacity assessment was undertaken in which corporate financial information and clarification was sought.

Observation: The financial submission and evaluation was undertaken only upon completion of technical evaluation and consensus on bidder compliance. As all bidders were deemed compliant, all financial submissions were evaluated in accordance with the RFP. All clarification correspondence with the bidders was monitored.

6. Reference Documents

The following documents are referenced in this report. Unless otherwise indicated, they are available through PWGSC.

# Document Document date/number
1 Request for Proposal Posted on MERX September 3rd, 2010
2 Amendment 1 to RFP (no content, technical error) Posted on MERX September 3rd, 2010
3 Amendment 2 to RFP Posted on MERX September 10th, 2010
4 Amendment 3 to RFP Posted on MERX September 15th, 2010
5 Amendment 4 to RFP Posted on MERX September 24th, 2010
6 Amendment 5 to RFP Posted on MERX September 30th, 2010
7 Evaluators Package Provided to Evaluation Team
8 Technical Evaluation Report Completed October 14th, 2010
9 Bidder Notification/Contract Award Letters Issued December 9th, 2010

Addendum to the Final Report
January 31, 2011

Addendum to Fairness Monitor Final Report dated December 14th, 2010 on Government Cellular Services of Government of Canada Bid solicitation.

This Addendum to the Fairness Monitor Final Report covers the period following the conclusion of the evaluation phase.

Contract Award, Communications and Debriefing

Contract award and debriefing letters were prepared and issued to all bidders on December 9th, 2010.

Observation: The process including evaluation and due diligence was undertaken in accordance with the RFP and PWGSC SACC's. The correspondence provided transparency and provided an opportunity for bidder debriefings. No debriefings were requested.

The Fairness Monitor hereby provides the following unqualified assurance statement concerning Government Services Cellular (GCS) for the Government of Canada Bid Solicitation.

It is our professional opinion that the procurement process we have observed, was carried out in a fair, open and transparent manner.


_______________________
Howard Grant
President, PPI Consulting Limited


_______________________
Patricia Tessier
FM Specialist


_______________________
Philip L Carr, PEng
FM Team Leader