Mining Support Services for Giant Mine Remediation Project

Fairness Monitor Contractor's Final Report

June 4, 2013

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

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

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Table of Contents

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 processes required for long term contracts for  the Giant Mine Remediation Project undertaken by Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC).  Knowles Consultancy Services Inc. and Hill International Inc. in Joint Venture is an independent third party with respect to this activity.

The Giant Mine Remediation Project requires a number of consulting support service contracts. The subject of this report is the procurement of Mining Support Services undertaken through Solicitation Number EW702-13576/A.

We hereby submit the Final Report covering our activities commencing with a Site Visit and Industry Day held for industry covering all consulting support services required for the remediation project, reviews of a draft and final Request for Proposal (RFP), the evaluation of proposals 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 specific activities and relevant findings.

Project Requirement

After the owner of the Giant Mine located in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories went into receivership, the Government of Canada took on the responsibility for the existing environmental liabilities on the Giant Mine property.  Environmental liabilities include 237,000 long tons of arsenic trioxide dust produced during the gold roasting process stored in fourteen chambers underground, eight open pits, 35 openings, four tailing ponds, and 100 buildings including a roaster house complex that is highly contaminated with arsenic and fibrous asbestos.

The site is currently undergoing an Environmental Assessment as part of the Water Licensing process with the issuance of a Water License anticipated in 2016.  Remediation planning is underway through advancement of design, development of specifications as well as coordination of the overall remediation work.

Remediation planning involves several phases: care and maintenance contract activities currently underway; contracts specific to time critical site stabilization and supporting services some of which are underway with others imminent; and long term contracts for long term remediation.  Long term remediation includes contracts for environmental support services, mining support services, civil design services, general design services and construction management services.

The purpose of Mining Support Services is to support the mining (surface and underground) components of the advanced and overall remediation of the site including but not limited to backfilling and stabilization of high risk arsenic chambers, drifts and stopes adjacent to Baker Creek, backfilling and stabilization of non-arsenic stopes, drifts and underground workings, open pit remediation and openings to surface remediation.

Services will involve geotechnical investigations and assessments, geophysical investigations and assessments, hydrological investigations and assessments, underground surveying, mine workings assessments (access and ventilation), 3D modeling, risk assessment, preparation of performance based specifications, preparation of cost estimates, on-site supervision, quality control and assurance, commissioning witness and verification, and project close-out coordination.

The Work to be performed under the Contract will be on an “as and when required basis” using Task Authorizations.

Attestation of Assurance

The FM hereby provides the following unqualified assurance statement concerning the procurement process to select a company to provide Mining Support Services for the Giant Mine Remediation Project:

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

Roger Bridges
President, Knowles Consultancy Services Inc.
FM Contractor's Representative

Peter Woods
FM Specialist

Bruce Maynard P.Eng.
FM Team Leader

Objectives of the Fairness Monitor Assignment and Methodology

The overall objective was as follows: provide PWGSC with independent observation of project procurement activities; provide fairness related comments to project officials as early as possible so that appropriate action could be taken to resolve the concerns before fairness was impacted; bring any potential fairness concerns to the attention of the Operational Integrity Sector if there is no timely resolution with project officials; and attest to the fairness of the procurement process, including its execution.

To accomplish the objective we undertook the following activities:

  • became familiar with the project governance structure;
  • reviewed MERX Electronic Tendering Service (MERX) postings regarding the overall Giant Mine Remediation Project along with a Site Visit and Industry Day;
  • reviewed the Request for Proposal (RFP);
  • reviewed all amendments and addenda to the RFP including questions submitted by bidders and answers provided;
  • reviewed the procedures to be used for the evaluation of responses and the guidance provided to the evaluation team;
  • observed the evaluation of responses to the RFP to ensure that the specified evaluation and contractor selection procedures and departmental policy were followed and consistently applied during the evaluation and selection process; and
  • observed the debriefing of unsuccessful bidders. (This activity will be reported on in an addendum to this report after any debriefings.)

Fairness Monitor Specific Activities and Findings

Fairness Monitor Activities and Findings prior to the RFP Posting Period

On August 1, 2012 we observed a Site Visit and Industry Day held in Yellowknife that were held for industry for all services including mining support services that would be required for the Giant Mine Remediation Project.  Attendees were provided with background information on the project and an outline of the proposed procurement plan including the types of services that would be required.  The attendees were also provided a tour of the Giant Mine Site.  No fairness deficiencies were identified.

During the period March 24, 2013 to March 25, 2013, we reviewed a draft of the RFP for Mining Support Services.  Fairness related observations were provided to project officials and appropriate action was taken. 

Fairness Monitor Activities and Findings during the RFP Posting Period

On March 27, 2013, we reviewed the RFP for Mining Support Services (Document 1) as posted on RFP MERX and during the period April 1, 2013 to May 2, 2013 we reviewed Amendments 1 to 3 (Documents 2 to 4) including questions from interested firms and answers provided.  No fairness deficiencies were identified.

On April 16, 2013, we observed the optional Site Visit to the Giant Mine site including underground and Bidders’ Conference held in Yellowknife.  No fairness deficiencies were identified.

The RFP closed on May 10, 2013.

FM Activities and Findings during the Evaluation Phase

On May 16, 2013 we observed the consensus evaluation of the proposals received in response to the RFP and provided fairness related comments to the Contracting Authority.  Also, on May 16, 2013 we observed the opening of the Financial Proposal of the compliant proposal and the steps taken to ensure it was compliant.  Since there was only one compliant proposal, no basis of selection calculations were made.

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. 

Reference Documents

The following documents are referenced by number in this report. Unless otherwise indicated, these documents are available through the Giant Mine Remediation 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.

No. Document Additional information
1 Request for Proposal (RFP) Published on MERX on March 27, 2013
2 Amendment 1 to RFP Published on MERX on April 2, 2013
3 Amendment 2 to RFP Published on MERX on April 12, 2013
4 Amendment 3 to RFP Published on MERX on May 1, 2013

Addendum to the Final Report
September 30, 2013

Addendum to Fairness Monitor Contractor’s Final Report dated June 4, 2013 concerning Mining Support Services for the Giant Mine Remediation Project

This Addendum to the Fairness Monitor Contractor’s Final Report covers the period following the conclusion of the evaluation phase and includes debriefings of bidders.

A contract was awarded to the successful bidder on May 29, 2013 and we reviewed the individual letters forwarded to the unsuccessful bidders on the same day.Each letter provided full details of the evaluation results of the respective proposal. During the period June 21, 2013 to July 17, 2013 we reviewed the summaries of the verbal debriefings provided to the bidders that requested a verbal debriefing.  The debriefings provided information to assist each bidder in responding to new opportunities as well as explaining the evaluation results. The debriefing summaries were agreed to by the bidders as an accurate record of the debriefings.  No fairness deficiencies were identified.

Fairness Monitor Attestation of Assurance

It is the opinion of the Fairness Monitor that the post evaluation activities, including the debriefings, were carried out in a fair manner. In this context, fairness is defined as decisions made objectively, free from personal favouritism and political influence, and encompasses the elements of openness, competitiveness, transparency and compliance.

Roger Bridges
President, Knowles Consultancy Services Inc.
FM Contractor's Representative

Peter Woods
FM Specialist

Bruce Maynard P.Eng.
FM Team Leader