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Procurement of Canadian Coast Guard Mid-Shore Patrol Vessels Re-issued Revised Bid Solicitation

Fairness Monitor Final Report

October 7, 2009

Submitted to: Kristine Stolarik, Chief Risk Officer

Prepared by: Knowles Consultancy Services Inc. and Hill International Inc. in Joint Venture

As Fairness Monitor, Knowles Consultancy Services Inc. and Hill International Inc. in Joint Venture (hereafter referred to as the Fairness Monitor) hereby submits its Final Report pertaining to the re-issued revised competitive bid solicitation for the Mid-Shore Patrol Vessels (MSPV), undertaken by Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) through Solicitation Number F7045-06001/C for the Canadian Coast Guard. This Final Report covers the activities of the Fairness Monitor chronologically commencing with a review of the draft revised Request for Proposal (RFP) through to the debriefing of the unsuccessful bidders.

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

The Fairness Monitor enjoyed the full co-operation of all concerned with the project. Our comments and suggestions offered during the process were carefully considered.

Fairness Monitor Attestation of Assurance

It is the opinion of the Fairness Monitor that the procurement process pertaining to the re-issued revised competitive bid solicitation for the Mid-Shore Patrol Vessels (MSPV) for the Canadian Coast Guard monitored by the Fairness Monitor, was carried out in a fair manner.

In this context, fairness is understood to encompass the elements of openness, competitiveness, transparency, integrity and accountability, including the extent to which the observed procurement process conforms with the approved procurement strategy and resulting solicitation within the framework of applicable legislation, regulations, and government and Departmental policies and procedures.

Scope and Objectives of the Fairness Monitor Assignment

The overall objective was to provide PWGSC with independent observation and fairness-related comments.

Our Fairness Monitor Services included:

  • the provision of fairness related comments on the RFP including draft versions and amendments to the final RFP posted on MERX, to improve competitiveness and transparency and to bring attention to possible fairness issues that might arise during the evaluation;
  • the observation of the evaluation of the responses received to the RFP and the contractor selection process; and
  • the observation of the debriefings of the unsuccessful bidders.

Fairness Monitor Methodologies, Activities and Findings

General

Fairness Monitor services for the re-issued revised bid solicitation were initiated on December 18, 2008. The "Provision of Draft Documents to Solicit Comments from Industry" solicitation (Document 1) was posted on MERX on February 20, 2009.

The RFP (Document 2) was posted on MERX on March 30, 2009 and closed on June 5, 2009. Four proposals were received. The award of the contract was announced on September 2, 2009. The unsuccessful bidders were debriefed on September 22, 23 and October 1, 2009.

FM Activities Prior to the Posting of the RFP

On January 5 & 6, 2009, the Procurement Specialist reviewed drafts of revised parts of the RFP including the Technical Statement of Requirements (TSOR) and provided fairness related comments to the Contracting Authority.

From January 12 to March 27, 2009, the Procurement Specialist observed meetings of the Contracting Authority and Project Manager to develop an evaluation and selection approach and criteria, reviewed versions of the evaluation and selection criteria, financial proposal requirements, and other draft parts of the RFP and provided fairness related comments to the Contracting Authority and appropriate action was taken.

FM Activities related to the RFP as posted on MERX and Amendments

The RFP was posted on MERX on March 30, 2009. During the period from the posting to bid closing on June 5, 2009, the Procurement Specialist reviewed the RFP and questions submitted by suppliers, answers prepared by the project team, and discussed fairness related aspects with the Contracting Authority.

During the same period the Procurement Specialist reviewed Amendments 1 to 17 to the RFP (Documents 3 to 19), in draft or final form. The Procurement Specialist provided fairness related comments concerning the amendments to the Contracting Authority and appropriate action was taken.

The RFP closed on June 5, 2009.

FM Activities related to the Evaluation of the Proposal

On June 10, 2009, the Fairness Monitor Procurement Specialist observed the Evaluation Orientation Session provided to the two Technical Evaluation Teams including discussions regarding the procedures that would be used by the Teams. There were two Technical Evaluation Teams: Hull and Mechanical. The Hull Team evaluated the requirements that were hull based and the Mechanical Team evaluated those that were mechanical based. Evaluation criteria were limited to mandatory requirements. There were no rated requirements.

During the period June 10 to June 12, 2009 the Fairness Monitor Procurement Specialist observed the consensus evaluation of the responses to the mandatory requirements of the four bids. The evaluations were conducted in separate rooms concurrently. The Fairness Monitor Procurement Specialist moved from one room to the other in order to observe whichever team was carrying out consensus discussions.

On June 24, 2009, the Fairness Monitor Procurement Specialist met with the Contracting Authority and reviewed the initial results of the evaluation of contractual requirements.

On July 14, 2009, the Fairness Monitor Procurement Specialist was advised by the Contracting Authority that all calculations used to obtain evaluation prices for the financial evaluation had been verified by individual members of the PWGSC MSPV Contracting Team as well as by a contracting specialist external to the Team.

On July 15, 2009, the Fairness Monitor Procurement Specialist reviewed the process followed and results of the evaluation of Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRB) Proposals with the IRB Evaluation Team Leader.

FM Activities Related to the Debriefing of the Unsuccessful Bidders

On September 22, 2009 and October 1, 2009, the Fairness Monitor Procurement Specialist observed the debriefing of two unsuccessful bidders. The debriefings were open and transparent. On September 23, 2009, the Procurement Specialist reviewed a written debriefing to a third unsuccessful bidder. The written debriefing was open and transparent.

Bruce Maynard
Fairness Monitor Team Leader

Roger Bridges
President
Knowles Consultancy Services Inc.

Reference Documents

The following documents are referenced by number in the attached report. Unless otherwise indicated, these documents are available through the MSPV project office.

No. Document Additional information
1 Provision of Draft Documents to Solicit Comments From Industry Solicitation Released on MERX February 20, 2009
2 RFP Released on MERX March 30, 2009
3 Amendment # 1 to RFP Released on MERX April 8, 2009
4 Amendment # 2 to RFP Released on MERX April 9, 2009
5 Amendment # 3 to RFP Released on MERX April 16, 2009
6 Amendment # 4 to RFP Released on MERX April 22, 2009
7 Amendment # 5 to RFP Released on MERX April 24, 2009
8 Amendment # 6 to RFP Released on MERX April 24, 2009
9 Amendment # 7 to RFP Released on MERX April 30, 2009
10 Amendment # 8 to RFP Released on MERX May 5, 2009
11 Amendment # 9 to RFP Released on MERX May 7, 2009
12 Amendment # 10 to RFP Released on MERX May 12, 2009
13 Amendment # 11 to RFP Released on MERX May 20, 2009
14 Amendment # 12 to RFP Released on MERX May 21, 2009
15 Amendment # 13 to RFP Released on MERX May 25, 2009
16 Amendment # 14 to RFP Released on MERX May 26, 2009
17 Amendment # 15 to RFP Released to MERX May 28, 2009
18 Amendment # 16 to RFP Released on MERX June 1, 2009
19 Amendment # 17 to RFP Released on MERX June 1, 2009