Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering

Fairness monitor final report, February 10, 2016

Addendum to final report, June 17, 2016

Submitted to Director, Fairness Monitoring Program

Submitted by Samson & Associates

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1. Introduction

Samson & Associates was engaged as a Fairness Monitor (FM) on May 8, 2015 to observe the competitive selection process for Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering (CFSATE) issued by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) as a result of solicitation number W0113-14CS31. Samson & Associates is an independent third party with respect to this activity.

We reviewed all of the information provided and observed all relevant activities. We had full access to all aspects of the procurement process and co-operation from all stakeholders at the Department of National Defence (DND) and PSPC.

We hereby submit the final report, covering the activities of the FM, commencing with the Letter of Interest (LOI) and continuing through the evaluation phase of the request for proposal (RFP).

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

CFSATE is a DND establishment located at Canadian Forces Base Borden (CFB Borden) that is part of 16 Wing and is operationally responsible for the 2 Canadian Air Division. The role of CFSATE is to provide the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) with qualified aircraft maintenance personnel by developing and carrying out individual aerospace technical and engineering training in accordance with aviation and military approved doctrine and standards.

The school conducts apprentice level training for various trades, including Avionics Military Occupation Structure Identification Avionics (AVS) MOSID 00136, Aviation (AVN) MOSID 00135, Aircraft Structures (ACS) MOSID 00138 and Air Weapons (AWS) MOSID 00261 technicians as well as Aerospace Engineering Officers (AERE) MOSID 00185. CFSATE is bilingual as an institution, meaning that different facets of training, administration and operations involve the use of both official languages. CFSATE’s vision is tied to the evolving needs of the RCAF; its commitment to people, efficiency and responsiveness enables the creation and continuous operation of a dedicated, modern, bilingual training environment for all future aircraft technicians and aerospace engineers.

CFSATE has a requirement for the provision of professional services, on an ‘as and when requested’ basis, to provide course management and course delivery to military personnel, course review and design as well as administrative and technology support.

3. Attestation of assurance

The FM hereby provides the following unqualified assurance statement concerning the competitive selection process for Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering, commencing with the Letter of Interest and continuing through the evaluation phase of the request for proposal.

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

Original signed by
Mathieu Farley, CPA, CA, CIA, CISA
FM Team Leader
Partner, Audit & Advisory
Samson & Associates

Original signed by
Ted Pender
FM Specialist

4. Methodology

Samson & Associates was engaged as a FM to observe the competitive selection process for CFSATE 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 documents and observed procurement activities (e.g. LOI publication, Q&A process, Industry Day and related minutes and one-on-one session, RFP publication and related Q&A process), identified fairness-related matters to the contracting and technical authorities and ensured that responses and actions were reasonable and appropriate.

4.1 Fairness monitor activities and findings related to the letter of interest phase

The LOI was posted on buyandsell.gc.ca on June 1, 2015. The closing date was extended through amendments until July 13, 2015.

The LOI advised prospective proponents of an Industry Day, which was held on June 18, 2015. The minutes of the Industry Day advised bidders that one-on-one sessions could be requested.

Thirteen questions were submitted and responded to during the process. A total of six amendments were issued during the LOI Phase.

The FM attended the Industry Day and the sole one-on-one session held by PSPC, to ensure fairness-related considerations were satisfactorily addressed. The one-on-one session was held on July 28, 2015 and was the concluding event of the LOI Phase of the acquisition process. The FM reviewed the LOI, related amendments and all questions and answers provided during the period to ensure fairness-related considerations were satisfactorily addressed.

No fairness issues resulted from any of the noted observations.

Observation : The LOI document was written in a clear and understandable manner. All questions submitted were responded to in a clear and understandable fashion and responses were provided to all proponents through the amendments issued.

Fairness monitor summary of findings: It is the opinion of the FM that the LOI Phase for the CFSATE contract was conducted in a fair manner. In this context, fairness refers to decisions being made objectively, free from bias, favouritism or influence and conform to established rules.

4.2 Fairness monitor activities and findings related to the request for proposal phase

The RFP was posted on buyandsell.gc.ca on October 14, 2015. The initial closing date of December 3, 2015 was extended through amendments until December 11, 2015. There were eight amendments issued, the last of which was posted to buyandsell.gc.ca on December 7, 2015.

The responses to 13 questions submitted during the question period were provided through the amendment process. The FM reviewed the RFP, related amendments and all questions and answers provided during the bidding period to ensure fairness-related considerations were satisfactorily addressed.

No fairness issues resulted from any of the noted observations.

Observation: The RFP document was written in a clear and understandable manner. All questions submitted were responded to in a clear and understandable fashion through the amendment process.

FM Summary of Findings: It is the opinion of the FM that the RFP Phase for the CFSATE requirement was conducted in a fair manner. In this context, fairness refers to decisions being made objectively, free from bias, favouritism or influence and conformed to established rules.

4.3 Fairness monitor activities and findings related to the request for proposal evaluation phase

There was only one bid submitted in response to the RFP.

The bid was evaluated individually by the three evaluators, who met on January 13, 2016, to determine whether the bidder had met the mandatory and rated requirements. The FM and the contracting authority were also in attendance; the FM participation was via teleconference.

As a result of the evaluation consensus meeting, a successful proponent was selected based on the criteria and methodology stated in the RFP.

No fairness issues were identified.

Observation: The instructions and tools of the evaluators were complete, respected the terms of the RFP and were consistent with the principles and practices of fairness, and they were executed fairly. Evaluation criteria, weighting and points awarded complied fully with what had been established in the RFP. The evaluation was performed as described by the RFP and the scoring was performed in strict accordance with the criteria. Consensus discussions were open, all evaluators were present, and a consensus was reached for all the criteria.

Fairness monitor summary of findings: It is the opinion of the FM that the Evaluation Phase for the CFSATE requirement was conducted in a fair manner. In this context, fairness refers to decisions being made objectively, free from bias, favouritism or influence and conforming to established rules.

5. Reference documents

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

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.

No. Document Date
1 Letter of Interest Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on June 1, 2015
2 Amendment No. 001 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on June 16, 2015
3 Amendment No. 002 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on June 23, 2015
4 Amendment No. 003 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on June 29, 2015
5 Amendment No. 004 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on July 6, 2015
6 Amendment No. 005 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on July 8, 2015
7 Amendment No. 006 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on July 10, 2015
8 Request for proposals Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on October 14, 2015
9 Amendment No. 001 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on November 5, 2015
10 Amendment No. 002 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on November 9, 2015
11 Amendment No. 003 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on November 18, 2015
12 Amendment No. 004 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on November 24, 2015
13 Amendment No. 005 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on November 25, 2015
14 Amendment No. 006 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on December 2, 2015
15 Amendment No. 007 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on December 4, 2015
16 Amendment No. 008 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on December 7, 2015

6. Addendum to fairness monitor final report, February 10, 2016 on the competitive selection process for Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering

This addendum to the Fairness Monitoring (FM) final report covers the period following the conclusion of the evaluation phase.

Fairness monitor activities related to contract award and debriefings

There was one bid submitted in response to the RFP. The firm was deemed qualified and the successful bidder was announced on April 21, 2016.

The successful bidder requested information regarding their score on specific rated requirements to potentially improve areas of their proposed management and risk plans.

This information was provided by the contracting authority in writing on May 26, 2016.

Fairness monitor attestation of assurance

The Fairness Monitor hereby provides the following unqualified assurance statement concerning Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering commencing with the Request for Information continuing through contract award.

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

Original signed by
Mathieu Farley, CPA, CA, CIA, CISA
FM Team Leader
Partner, Audit & Advisory
Samson & Associates

Original signed by
Ted Pender
FM Specialist

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