Naval remote weapon station

Fairness monitor final report, January 8, 2016

Addendum to final report, April 20, 2016

Submitted to Director, Fairness Monitoring Program

Submitted by Hallux Consulting Limited

200-440 Laurier Ave W
Ottawa ON K1R 7X6

Telephone:
613-782-2484
Fax:
613-591-9428

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1. Introduction

Hallux Consulting Inc. was engaged effective February 4, 2015 as a Fairness Monitor (FM) to observe the procurement process for the Naval Remote Weapon Station (NRWS), issued by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) on behalf of the Department of National Defence (DND) as a result of Solicitation Number W8472-125389/B for the Industry Engagement portion of the procurement and Selection Number W8472-125389/C for the Request for Proposal (RFP).  Hallux Consulting Inc. is an independent third party with respect to this activity.

Information for the procurement had earlier been solicited through Solicitation Number W8472-125389/A. On September 27, 2011, Canada released a Letter of Interest for the NRWS system requirement in conjunction with an invitation to a non-mandatory Industry Day. The objectives of that process was to advise industry of the anticipated forthcoming requirement, receive information regarding existing NRWS technology, provide industry with a preliminary set of draft high level specifications for review and comment, and to receive detailed, indicative, non-binding cost information for project planning purposes. Hallux Consulting Inc. was not involved as a Fairness Monitor for this solicitation of information.

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

We hereby submit the final report, covering the activities of the FM, commencing February 9, 2015 following the release of the Letter of Interest/Request for Information (LOI/RFI) published December 24, 2014, continuing through to bid evaluation and the identification of the successful bidder January 4, 2016. 

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. Attestation of assurance

The FM hereby provides the following unqualified assurance statement concerning the NRWS contract procurement process: It is our professional opinion that the competitive procurement process we observed was carried out in a fair, open and transparent manner. 

Original signed by
Elizabeth Buckingham, CPA, CMA, CIA
FM Specialist

Original signed by
Howard DuBois, CIA
FM Team Leader and Contractor Representative

3. Project requirement

The Department of National Defence has identified a requirement to have 40 NRWS designed, built, delivered, installed and fully acceptance tested on ten Halifax Class ships and eight to be designed, built, factory acceptance tested, stored and maintained for Queenston Class ships. Eight NRWS may be required for Halifax Class ships and two trainer NRWS are required for two training facilities. Initial training and initial provisioning are also to be provided.

Ongoing repair and overhaul services for up to five years after acceptance of the First Article Harbor Acceptance Trial Results which is currently expected to be achieved during 2018, must also be provided. This will include providing correcting maintenance, spare parts, Technical Investigation and Engineering Study (TIES) services, and Field Service Representative (FSR) services.

The successful contractor must also support the long-term sustainability and growth of Canadian industry by enhancing the capability of Canadian companies to undertake work on NRWS, work on Remote Weapon Station platforms for land and naval application, and work for the defence sector.

4. Fairness monitor engagement and observations

Hallux Consulting Inc. was engaged as a FM to observe the competitive procurement process for the Naval Remote Weapon Station, 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, observed industry engagement, request for proposal and evaluation related activities identifying fairness-related matters to the appropriate parties, e.g., contracting and technical authorities, and ensuring that responses and actions were reasonable and appropriate.

4.1 Industry engagement phase

Key activities during this phase of the procurement included:

  • Review of the Letter of Interest/Request for Information published December 24, 2014 on buyandsell.gc.ca (Solicitation No. W8472-125389/B)
  • Review of amendments one to fourteen to the Letter of Interest (LOI)/Request for Information (RFI) which provided drafts of sections of the LOI/RFI which had not been released initially; provided responses to questions submitted; provided details on the one-on-one industry engagement; and which extended the consultation period. All of the amendments were published on buyandsell.gc.ca
  • Observation of one-on-one meetings with potential suppliers during the period March 30, 2015 to April 17, 2015 in Gatineau, Quebec. Fourteen separate meetings were held

The closing date for comment as set out in the RFI before amendments was January 30, 2015. The closing date was extended five times, with a final closing date of July 10, 2015. The intent of the amendments extending the date was to keep the RFI open for communication purposes with Industry until a formal NRWS RFP was released. Answers to 55 questions were also provided by way of amendments to the RFI.

All observations on potential fairness issues were properly addressed during the Industry Engagement phase.

4.2 Request for proposal phase

Key activities during this phase of the procurement included:

  • Review of the draft RFP
  • Review of the final RFP
  • Review of questions posed by potential bidders and the responses provided by the contracting authority through amendments to the RFP  
  • Observation of site visits by prospective bidders September 1-4, 2015 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Seven potential bidders participated
  • Walk through of the process utilized by the Department of National Defence to produce and distribute the technical data package provided to bidders

The bid process was open to all firms who participated in the mandatory site visit. The Notice of Proposed Procurement was published on buyandsell.gc.ca on August 3, 2015. The RFP had an initial closing date of October 14, 2015 which was extended four times with a final closing date of November 27, 2015. Ninety-four responses to questions during the RFP process were provided by way of amendments. Six bids were received in response to the RFP.

All observations on potential fairness issues were properly addressed during the RFP process.

4.3 Evaluation phase

Key activities during the evaluation phase included:

  • Observation of the training provided to bid evaluators from the Department of National Defence (DND), Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISEDC), Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED), Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, and Western Economic Diversification Canada on November 24, 2015
  • Review of the spreadsheets to be used by DND and ISEDC to record results from the bid evaluation
  • Observation of the opening of the bids by the Contracting Authority and the process used to verify that bids had been structured as outlined in the RFP
  • Observation of the consensus meetings held for the management, technical, industrial and technological benefits and value proposition sections of each bid over the period December 4-21, 2015
  • Review of letters sent to four bidders seeking clarification on information provided in their bids
  • Review of preliminary evaluation reports (PER) sent to all bidders on December 18, 2015 and revised PER sent to two bidders on December 21, 2015
  • Observation of the consensus meeting held December 29, 2015 to review the additional material submitted by bidders as a result of the PER
  • Review of the consensus evaluation spreadsheets used by each of the evaluation teams
  • Review of the spreadsheet used by the contracting authority to calculate the best value score for each bidder

The FM specialist observed that the evaluation processes and instructions published in the final RFP, the RFP amendments and the Evaluation Plan and Guidelines were followed during the evaluation phase. Comments were provided by the FM specialist as required throughout the evaluation process to the Technical Team and the Contracting Authority. All comments were addressed appropriately by project officials.

One of the six bids had to be disqualified because the mandatory requirements were not met.

No potential fairness issues were noted during the evaluation phase.

5. Reference documents

Documents related to the Industry Engagement portion of the procurement (Solicitation Number W8472-125389/B) are available on buyandsell.gc.ca and/or through the project office. 

No. Document Additional information
1

Letter of interest (LOI)/Request for information (RFI)

Notice of LOI/RFI released on buyandsell.gc.ca on December 24, 2014
2 Amendment No. 001 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on January 20, 2015
3 Amendment No. 002 Released on buyandsell.gc.caa on January 23, 2015
4 Amendment No. 003 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on February 2, 2015
5 Amendment No. 004 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on March 6, 2015
6 Amendment No. 005 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on March 13, 2015
7 Amendment No. 006 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on March 19, 2015
8 Amendment No. 007 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on March 27, 2015
9 Amendment No. 008 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on April 30, 2015
10 Amendment No. 009 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on May 12, 2015
11 Amendment No. 010 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on May 29, 2015
12 Amendment No. 011 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on June 16, 2015
13 Amendment No. 012 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on June 26, 2015
14 Amendment No. 013 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on June 29, 2015
15 Amendment No. 014 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on July 10, 2015

Documents related to the Request for proposal (Solicitation number W8472-125389/C) are available on buyandsell.gc.ca and/or through the project office. 

No. Document Additional information
1

Tender Notice and Request for Proposal

Tender notice and RFP released on buyandsell.gc.ca on August 3, 2015
2 Amendment No. 001 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on August 14, 2015
3 Amendment No. 002 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on September 17, 2015
4 Amendment No. 003 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on September 28, 2015
5 Amendment No. 004 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on October 2, 2015
6 Amendment No. 005 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on October 19, 2015
7 Amendment No. 006 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on October 26, 2015
8 Amendment No. 007 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on October 28, 2015
9 Amendment No. 008 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on October 29, 2015
10 Amendment No. 009 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on November 10, 2015
11 Amendment No. ;010 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on November 16, 2015
12 Amendment No. 011 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on November 17, 2015
13 Amendment No. 012 Released on buyandsell.gc.ca on November 19, 2015

6. Addendum to the final report
April 20, 2016

Addendum to the final report dated January 8, 2016, concerning the Naval Remote Weapon Station acquisition and ongoing repair and overhaul services.

This addendum to the fairness monitor final report covers the period following the conclusion of the evaluation phase including contract award and debriefings.

The successful bidder was selected and the contract awarded on January 14, 2016. Letters were sent to the unsuccessful bidders on March 15, 2016 advising of the result. Additional feedback was provided to all six of the bidders either through a teleconference or one-on-one meeting during the period April 5-18, 2016. Bidders were also provided with a detailed breakdown of their score by evaluation criteria in advance of the one-on-one debriefing meetings. The FM reviewed the correspondence sent to the successful and unsuccessful bidders and was present for the teleconferences and one-on-one debriefing meetings.

Fairness monitor attestation of assurance

The FM hereby provides the following unqualified assurance statement concerning the NRWS contract procurement process. It is our professional opinion that the competitive procurement process we observed was carried out in a fair, open and transparent manner. 

Original signed by
Elizabeth Buckingham, CPA, CMA, CIA
FM Specialist

Original signed by
Howard DuBois, CIA
FM Team Leader and Contractor Representative

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