Polar epsilon 2

Public Works and Government Services Canada

Departmental Oversight Branch

Department of National Defence polar epsilon 2

Fairness monitor contractor's final report

January 6, 2015

Submitted to:
Director General
Operational Integrity Sector
Departmental Oversight Branch

Submitted by:
PPI Consulting Limited

PDF version (122KB)
Help with alternative formats and plug-in

Table of contents

1. Background

PPI Consulting Limited (PPI) was engaged by Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) on November 22, 2013, as the Fairness Monitor (FM) contractor to observe the procurement process being conducted on behalf of the Department of National Defence (DND) through solicitation number W8474-14PE02/A.

The Polar Epsilon 2 (PE2) project was established to develop a capability to exploit information obtained from the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) satellites. The RCM consists of three (3) satellites that are currently being designed by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) with a view to replacing Canada's RADARSAT-2 satellite. Under PE2, DND plans to develop its ground segment infrastructure to permit collection, processing, exploitation, and dissemination of RCM Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) data. PE2 will enhance maritime surveillance by providing detection, classification, and identification of seagoing surface vessels, with increased revisit frequencies over that currently provided by the RADARSAT-2 satellite. The PE2 ground segment infrastructure will include the data reception antennas, the SAR data processor, the AIS data processing service, telecommunications hardware, data exploitation software, and data links to other government departments.

We hereby submit our Final Report, covering the activities of the Fairness Monitor for this procurement.

1.1 Project requirement

The proposed acquisition strategy included an industry engagement phase using a Letter of Interest/Request for Information (LOI and RFI), followed by one-on-one consultations with interested vendors and a two-stage competitive bid solicitation phase. The procurement documents for the LOI were posted on the Government's Electronic Tendering System (GETS) on October 25, 2013. PPI's engagement began on November 22, 2013, after the issuance of the LOI but prior to the PE2 Industry Day on November 26, 2013.

At the conclusion of the industry engagement phase, the input received from vendors in respect of the intellectual property (IP) evaluation criteria prompted a re-examination by Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) and DND of the proposed competitive process. The conclusion drawn from that re-examination was that in the absence of IP licensing within industry to facilitate the successful integration of the PE2 System with RCM, as well as the successful integration of RCM furnished subsystems into PE2, only the owner of the IP was considered capable of performing the work.

A report summarizing the Feedback and Outcomes from the RFI Process Report (Findings Report) was posted on BuyandSell on July 10, 2014, indicating that the RFI process had not demonstrated that IP licensing among industry was feasible, commensurate with the mandatory criteria included in the draft documents. Consequently, it was decided to seek approval to sole source a contract for the Polar Epsilon 2 goods and services with the owner of the IP.

The participation of the Fairness Monitor in the process therefore ceased following the posting of the Findings Report and Amendment 001 to that report on BuyandSell on July 22, 2014. A sole source process was subsequently approved on November 25, 2014 and a non-competitive Request for Proposal was issued to the IP holder on December 1, 2014.

2. Attestation of assurance

The Fairness Monitor hereby provides the following unqualified assurance statement concerning the activities in which we participated, i.e. up to the posting of the Feedback and Outcomes from the RFI Process Report.  It is our professional opinion that the process for the Polar Epsilon 2 project that we observed, was carried out in a fair, open and transparent manner.

John Davis, CEO
PPI Consulting Limited

Ian Brennan, CSCMP
FM Team Leader

Mairi Curran,
FM Specialist

3. Methodology

PPI Consulting Limited was engaged as a Fairness Monitor (FM) to observe the procurement of Polar Epsilon 2 goods and services and to attest to the fairness, openness and transparency of this monitored activity.

Up to the posting of Amendment 001 to the Feedback and Outcomes from the RFI Process Report on July 22, 2014, in accordance with the terms of our engagement, we monitored activities and familiarized ourselves with the relevant documents provided to us for review, identifying fairness-related matters to the Contracting Authority and ensuring that responses and actions were reasonable and appropriate.

4. Reference documents

The following documents are referenced in this report and unless otherwise indicated, are available through PWGSC.

Table summary

The following table includes a list of documents referred to in the report such as the Request for Proposal (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 date/number
1 Letter of Interest, Solicitation # W8474 14PE02/A Published on BuyandSell October 24, 2013, Reference GETS PW-13-00510011
2 Amendment 001 Posted on BuyandSell October 25, 2013
3 Amendment 002 Posted on BuyandSell November 6, 2013
4 Amendment 003 Posted on BuyandSell November 7, 2013
5 Amendment 004 Posted on BuyandSell December 11, 2013
6 Amendment 005 Posted on BuyandSell December 16, 2013
7 Feedback and Outcomes from the RFI Process Report, Solicitation # W8474-14PE02/A1 Published on BuyandSell July 10, 2014
8 Amendment 001 to Feedback and Outcomes from the RFI Process Report, Solicitation # W8474-14PE02/A1

Published on BuyandSell July 22, 2014