Royal Canadian Mounted Police Operations communication centre relocation project—Prime consultant

Fairness monitor final report, January 23, 2017

Addendum to final report, April 18, 2017

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 June 14, 2016 to observe the competitive selection process for the services of a Prime Consultant for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Operations Communication Centre Relocation Project, issued by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) as a result of solicitation #M7594-170001/A. 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 RCMP and PSPC.

We hereby submit the Final Report, covering the activities of the FM, commencing with the issuance of the Phase One Request for Proposal (RFP) and continuing through the close of the RFP evaluation phase.

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 Fairness Monitor hereby provides the following unqualified assurance statement concerning the competitive selection process for the services of a Prime Consultant for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Operations Communication Centre Relocation Project, commencing with the issuance of the Phase One Request for Proposal and continuing through the close of the Phase Two Request for Proposal evaluation phase.

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 auditor, CA, CIA, CISA
FM Team Leader
Partner, Audit & Advisory
Samson & Associates

Original signed by
Christian Dugas, CPA, CA
FM Specialist

3. Project requirement

The project objective is to deliver a permanent asset to be utilized by the RCMP. The facility will be operated on a 24 hour, seven-day-per-week basis and must be designed to post-disaster standards to ensure business continuity.

The services of an Architectural firm, acting as Prime Consultant, are required to undertake the design, construction administration, and review services needed to construct a new secure special purpose operational facility in the National Capital Region for the RCMP.

The overall project will consist of construction of a new building to be located on an existing secure RCMP campus in the National Capital Region, of which the above services of the Prime Consultant is the initial stage. The new building will have an estimated functional area requirement of 1,415 of net usable space (2,024 gross area), to house all the functions of the RCMP. Site development will be required to provide site preparation, road access, parking areas, pedestrian access routes, support functions to the new facility and facilitate utility connections.

As Prime Consultant, the selected Architectural firm will provide a full consulting Team including the required expertise in civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, landscape architecture, interior design, systems furniture and equipment specialists, audio visual systems specialists, network infrastructure systems specialists, signage and way finding specialists, project costing, scheduling and commissioning Consultants.

The Procurement Process is structured in two phases. Phase One evaluated and rated the teams proposed consisting of the prime consultant and their key sub-consultants and specialists; Phase Two evaluated the bidders’ understanding of the project, the scope of the services, the management of the services, and the design philosophy and approach based on the requirements described in the Project Brief.

4. Methodology

Samson & Associates was engaged as a FM to observe the competitive selection process for the services of a Prime Consultant for the RCMP Operations Communication Centre Relocation 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 documents, and observed bid solicitation activities (e.g., RFP Phase one and two, related questions and responses, site visit, as well as the RFP evaluation), identified fairness-related matters to the contracting and technical authorities, and ensured that responses and actions were reasonable and appropriate.

4.1 Activities and observations: Request for proposal phase one

The RFP for Phase One was posted via buyandsell.gc.ca on September 2, 2016 and closed October 25, 2016.

Questions from the potential bidders were accepted and answers were addressed and distributed via buyandsell.gc.ca prior to the closing date. The FM reviewed the RFP documents as well as all questions and answers provided during the RFP period to ensure fairness-related considerations were satisfactorily addressed.

No site visits were held during this phase.

At the close of the Phase One RFP, six (6) amendments were communicated as a result of questions from potential proponents and requested clarifications. The FM reviewed all amendments issued prior to their publication.

Fifteen (15) submissions were received by interested bidders, however, one submission was disqualified as the bidder delivered the submission to an incorrect location.

Observation: Questions arising during the RFP Phase One were handled in accordance with the terms of the RFP and responses were clear and understandable and communicated to all vendors in a timely fashion. All fairness considerations were satisfactorily resolved. No fairness issues were identified.

Summary of Findings: The RFP activities were 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 Activities and observations: Request for proposal phase two

The results of the Phase One RFP were released on November 17, 2016 to all fourteen (14) successful bidders. The RFP documents for Phase Two, which formed part of the Phase One RFP, were not re-distributed to the bidders. Phase Two closed on December 14, 2016.

Questions from the potential bidders were accepted and answers were addressed and distributed via direct correspondence to the qualified respondents prior to the closing date. The FM reviewed the RFP documents as well as all questions and answers provided during the RFP period to ensure fairness-related considerations were satisfactorily addressed.

A site visit was held on November 30, 2016; the FM along with the CA and seven (7) interested bidders was present during this visit. The site visit was not mandatory for bidders.

At the close of the Phase Two RFP, one additional amendment was communicated as a result of questions from potential proponents and requested clarifications. A total of seven (7) amendments for both Phase One and Phase Two were issued. The FM reviewed all amendments issued prior to their publication.

Six (6) submissions were received by interested bidders at the close of the Phase Two.

Observation: Questions arising during the RFP Phase Two were handled in accordance with the terms of the RFP and responses were clear and understandable and communicated to all vendors in a timely fashion. All fairness considerations were satisfactorily resolved. No fairness issues were identified.

Summary of Findings: The RFP Phase Two activities were 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.

4.3 Activities and observations: Request for proposal evaluation phase

An evaluation kick-off meeting was held on December 19, 2016 with the evaluators to review roles and responsibilities. The CA and the FM were in attendance.

Only bids deemed to be responsive at the completion of Phase One were invited to submit a proposal under Phase Two; which consisted of a technical and financial evaluation of the responsive bids. Technical bids received in Phase Two were evaluated using rated criteria.

Bids were evaluated individually by the evaluators. The evaluators then met to arrive at consensus on the results of the evaluation. The FM and the Contracting Authority were in attendance for the consensus discussions.

As a result of the final evaluation consensus meetings, all six proponents were deemed to have met the minimum criteria stated in the RFP. The financial evaluation based on the criteria and methodology stated in the RFP determined the final ranking of the proponents and a successful proponent was identified on January 17, 2017. The FM reviewed the financial evaluation. One financial submission, however, was deemed non-compliant.

No fairness issues were identified.

Observation: The instructions and tools of the evaluators were complete, respected the terms of the RFP. Evaluation criteria, weighting and points awarded complied with what had been established in the RFP. Consensus discussions were open and a consensus was reached for all the criteria.

Summary of Findings: It is the opinion of the FM that the RFP Evaluation Phase 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 referenced by number in this report and unless otherwise indicated, are all available through PSPC.

  Document Tracking Distribution Date
1 RFP notification published
Solicitation # M7594-170001/A
Buy and Sell Canada September 2, 2016
4 Amendment 1
Solicitation # M7594-170001/A
Buy and Sell Canada September 8, 2016
5 Amendment 2
Solicitation # M7594-170001/A
Buy and Sell Canada September 19, 2016
7 Amendment 3
Solicitation # M7594-170001/A
Buy and Sell Canada September 22, 2016
8 Amendment 4
Solicitation # M7594-170001/A
Buy and Sell Canada October 4, 2016
9 Amendment 5
Solicitation # M7594-170001/A
Buy and Sell Canada October 7, 2016
10 Amendment 6
Solicitation # M7594-170001/A
Buy and Sell Canada October 12, 2016
11 Amendment 7
Solicitation # M7594-170001/A
Direct Notification December 8, 2016
12 RFP Bid Evaluation Plan and
Technical Evaluation Worksheet
Distributed internally by email December 19, 2016

6. Addendum to final report, April 17, 2017

Addendum to fairness monitor final report dated January 23, 2017 on the competitive selection process for the services of a Prime Consultant for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police operations communication centre relocation project issued by Public Services and Procurement Canada.

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

Fairness monitor activities related to contract award and debriefings

There were 15 bids submitted in response to the Phase One Request for Proposal. The Phase Two Request for Proposal was subsequently issued, for which six bids were received. The bidders were advised of the results and the contract award on January 28, 2017.

Debriefing letters, which provided information on the results of the evaluation, were reviewed by the FM and provided to the bidders on January 28, 2017. Meetings to discuss the results of the evaluation were requested by eight bidders and held during the week of April 3, 2017. The FM attended each debriefing meeting.

No FM issues were noted.

Fairness monitor attestation of assurance

The FM hereby provides the following unqualified assurance statement concerning the competitive selection process for the services of a Prime Consultant for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Operations Communication Centre Relocation Project.

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 auditor, CA, CIA, CISA
FM Team Leader
Partner, Audit & Advisory
Samson & Associates

Original signed by
Christian Dugas, CPA, CA
FM Specialist

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