Canadian High Arctic Research Station – Construction Management (CHARS-CM)

Fairness Monitor Final Report

May 9, 2013

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

Submitted by: PPI Consulting Limited

PDF Version (349KB)
Help with Alternative Formats

Table of Contents

1. Background / Introduction

PPI Consulting Limited (PPI) was engaged as a Fairness Monitor (FM) to observe the procurement process for the CHARS-CM project which was issued by Public Works and Government Services Canada as a result of RFP # ET025-130917/A. PPI is an independent third party with respect to this activity.

We reviewed all of the information provided and observed all relevant activities.

The CHARS-CM project RFP was issued on October 1, 2012. The PPI Fairness Monitoring Team was assigned to the project on October 12, 2012. The original RFP was cancelled on November 8, 2012 and subsequently re-issued with changes on November 9, 2012. The final RFP close date was 19 December, 2012. The Evaluation Phase began on December 20, 2012 and was concluded with the Evaluation Board Meeting on January 3, 2013.

We hereby submit the Final Report covering the activities of the Fairness Monitor, commencing on October 12, 2012, and continuing through the completion of the solicitation period, the evaluation phase, and final ranking of proposals.

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

In the 2007 Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada committed to “building a world-class Arctic research station that will be on the cutting edge of Arctic issues, including environmental science and resource development.” This station will be “built by Canadians, in Canada's Arctic, and it will be there to serve the world.”

This supports the Government's Northern Strategy, which consists of four pillars:

  • Sovereignty
  • Economic & Social Development
  • Environmental Protection
  • Governance

All four pillars are underpinned by science and technology to support sound decision making.

The new Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) will provide the ability to:

  • Address pressing issues in Canada's Arctic by conducting world-class research and delivering excellent and relevant science and technology.
  • Complement the network of Arctic expertise and facilities across Canada's Arctic and the whole of the country.
  • Promote partnerships and collaboration among the private, Aboriginal, academic, and public sectors both domestically and internationally.
  • Work with Aboriginal peoples of Canada's Arctic and recognize the importance of traditional knowledge in advancing Arctic research.
  • Integrate across disciplines and across activities – from problem identification, through research and development, to solutions.
  • Ensure effective use of data, information, and technology through open and timely access and knowledge application.
  • Demonstrate leadership in sustainable technology applications for the Arctic.

Canada decided to use a Construction Management approach to complete the design and construction of the CHARS project in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. Under this project delivery approach, the services of a Construction Management Firm, in the capacity of a Construction Manager (CM) are required for the provision of Advisory and Support Services and the completion of Constructor (GC) Work for this Project.

The contract is expected to be awarded in June 2013 with all work expected to be completed by March 31, 2018.

On October 1, 2012, Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) issued a Request for Proposals via the MERX tendering management system. This original RFP was then cancelled on November 8, 2012 and re-issued on November 9, 2012. The final RFP close date was 19 December, 2012. The Evaluation Phase began on December 20, 2012 and was concluded with the Evaluation Board Meeting on January 3, 2013.

3. Attestation of Assurance

3.1 Conclusion and Attestation

In summary, it is our professional opinion that the CHARS-CM RFP process we observed was carried out in a fair, open and transparent manner.

_______________________________
Howard Grant, President
PPI Consulting Limited

_______________________________
Philip L. Carr, P.Eng
FM Team Leader

_______________________________
Robert Tibbo
FM Specialist

3.2 Summary of Fairness Observations

During the initial review of project documentation, the PPI FM Specialist provided feedback concerning these documents to the CHARS-CM project team. No fairness-related issues were observed.

No fairness-related issues were observed with respect to the email communications between Canada and Bidders.

No fairness-related issues were observed with respect to the termination of the original RFP and re-issuance of the modified RFP.

No fairness-related issues were observed with respect to the final RFP documents (updates, amendments), answers to questions and other documentation provided to Bidders.

The Technical evaluation was conducted in accordance with the process defined in the RFP. No fairness-related issues were observed.

The Financial Assessment was conducted in accordance with the process defined in the RFP. No fairness-related issues were observed.

The final ranking of proposals was completed in accordance with the process defined in the RFP. No fairness-related issues were observed.

4. Methodology

PPI Consulting Limited (PPI) was engaged as a Fairness Monitor (FM) to observe the procurement process for the CHARS-CM project 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 project documentation, reviewed communications between Canada and the Bidders that was provided to us, observed the two Bidders' Conferences and observed the Evaluation Committee meetings. Throughout these activities we have identified fairness-related matters to the Contracting Authority, and ensured that responses and actions were reasonable and appropriate.

The PPI Fairness Monitoring team became familiar with project documentation including the Request for Proposals (RFP) and the Evaluation Criteria for the RFP stages. The PPI FM Specialist assessed the fairness of all RFP documentation, provided feedback to the project team concerning any fairness issues and/or deficiencies with respect to the project documentation, and ensured that responses and actions were reasonable and appropriate.

The PPI FM Specialist attended the Bidders' Conference on October 30, 2012 at the PWGSC office in Winnipeg. The PPI FM Specialist monitored and provided feedback concerning the fairness of the process conducted and information provided to Bidders.

Following the cancellation of the original RFP and the issuance of the revised RFP, the PPI FM Specialist attended the Bidders' Conference on November 22, 2012 at the PWGSC office in Winnipeg. The PPI FM Specialist monitored and provided feedback concerning the fairness of the process conducted and information provided to Bidders.

The PPI FM Specialist monitored communications with Bidders such as, but not limited to, Bidders' questions and Canada's responses, requests for clarification, email exchanges and any other communication involving Bidders during the Solicitation Response Period. All fairness considerations were satisfactorily addressed.

The PPI FM Specialist attended the Evaluation Consensus meetings held on Thursday January 3, 2013 at the PWGSC office in Winnipeg. The PPI FM Specialist monitored activities by Board members, information gathered, documentation prepared and decisions reached. Appropriate actions were taken by project officials.

The PPI FM Specialist was not present to observe the Evaluation of Nunavut Settlement Area Criteria, Financial Proposal Assessment, and final ranking of proposals, but was apprised of the process that was followed by the project team concerning the processes followed, activities conducted, documentation prepared and decisions reached. Appropriate actions were taken by project officials.

5. Reference Documents

The following documents are referenced in this report and are available through PWGSC.

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.
# Document Document Details
1 Request for Proposals ET025-130917/A Posted on MERX on 1 October 2012
2 Solicitation Amendment 1 Posted on MERX on 18 October 2012
3 Solicitation Amendment 2 Posted on MERX on 24 October 2012
4 Solicitation Amendment 3 Posted on MERX on 31 October 2012
5 Solicitation Amendment 4 Posted on MERX on 5 November 2012
6 Cancellation of RFP ET025-130917/A Posted on MERX on 8 November 2012
7 Request for Proposals ET025-130917/B Posted on MERX on 9 November 2012
8 Solicitation Amendment 1 Posted on MERX on 14 November 2012
9 Solicitation Amendment 2 Posted on MERX on 19 November 2012
10 Solicitation Amendment 3 Posted on MERX on 20 November 2012
11 Solicitation Amendment 4 Posted on MERX on 3 December 2012
12 Solicitation Amendment 5 Posted on MERX on 10 December 2012
13 Solicitation Amendment 6 Posted on MERX on 12 December 2012
14 Solicitation Amendment 7 Posted on MERX on 14 December 2012
15 CHARS-CM Confidentiality Conflict of Interest Declaration Provided to Evaluation Team
16 CHARS-CM Consensus Evaluation Form Provided to Evaluation Team
17 CHARS-CM Guide to the Evaluation Board Provided to Evaluation Team
18 CHARS-CM Individual Evaluation Form Provided to Evaluation Team
19 CHARS-CM Nunavut Settlement Area Bid Criteria Evaluation Provided to Evaluation Team
20 CHARS-CM Submission Requirements And Evaluation Procedure Provided to Evaluation Team

Addendum to the Final Report
July 26, 2013

Addendum to Fairness Monitor Final Report dated July 26th, 2013

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

Contract Award, Communications and Debriefing

The successful bidder was selected and a contract awarded June 4, 2013. Debriefing letters were prepared and issued to the two unsuccessful bidders the week of June 17, 2013.

Debriefings were held for both unsuccessful bidders. The successful bidder also asked for a debriefing in written form, which was delivered.

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

_______________________________
Howard Grant, President
PPI Consulting Limited

_______________________________
Philip L. Carr, P.Eng
FM Team Leader

_______________________________
Robert Tibbo
FM Specialist