Centre Block Rehabilitation—Project management services

Fairness monitor final report, December 19, 2016

Addendum to final report, April 20, 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 March 6, 2015 to observe the competitive selection process for Project Management Support Services (PMSS) with respect to the Centre Block Rehabilitation Project issued by Public Services Procurement Canada (PSPC) as a result of solicitation EP748-151921. 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.

We hereby submit the Final Report, covering the activities observed by the FM commencing with the issuance of the Request for Information (RFI) document and continuing through to the conclusion of 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 an unqualified assurance statement concerning the competitive selection process for Project Management Support Services with respect to the Centre Block Rehabilitation Project commencing with the issuance of the Request for Information documents and continuing through to the conclusion of RFP 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 Services
Samson & Associates

Original signed by
Jocelyne Lafrenière, CPA, CA
FM Specialist

3. Project requirement

The Centre Block is the core component within the Parliament Hill complex, occupying a central position between the East and West Block buildings, Library of Parliament and the emerging Visitor Welcome Centre. Both the Centre Block building and adjoining Peace Tower require significant rehabilitation in the very near-term as many of their major systems and components will be at risk of critical failure by 2019. 

The Project is complex and multi-faceted, with an aggressive schedule, defined budget and high quality standards. The project will be implemented in a fast tracked construction management delivery model.  Integrated and proactive delivery of project management support services from Contract Award to Project completion is essential to the Project’s ultimate success. 

The contractor is expected to provide the following services:

The PMSS contract is expected to be for a period of five years plus options to exercise two 4-year extensions, as well as options to exercise four 1-year extensions.

4. Methodology

Samson & Associates was engaged as a FM to observe the competitive selection process for PMSS with respect to the Centre Block Rehabilitation 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, observed bid solicitation activities (for example, reviewed the RFI and the RFP, reviewed questions and answers from suppliers and issued amendments), identified fairness-related matters to the contracting authority and technical authority, and ensured that responses and actions were reasonable and appropriate.

4.1 Request for information phase

A RFI was posted on the Government Electronic Tendering Service, buyandsell.gc.ca, on July 27, 2016. This RFI was an opportunity for Canada to determine supplier interest for this requirement and for suppliers to provide comments and recommendations on the proposed requirement. Two questions were submitted. Three amendments were issued with the last one being published on August 9, 2016. The RFI closed on August 12, 2016.

The FM reviewed the RFI, questions and answers submitted by respondents and issued amendments. Responses were submitted by eight respondents on the nine questions of interest to PSPC. No one-on-one sessions took place during the RFI phase. The FM reviewed all responses submitted for consideration in the RFP preparation.

Observation: The RFI document was written in a clear and understandable manner. All questions submitted were responded to in an understandable fashion.

Summary of findings: It is the opinion of the FM that the RFI activities for the PMSS were conducted in a fair, open and transparent manner. In this context, fairness refers to decisions being made objectively, free from bias, favouritism or influence and conform to established rules.

4.2 Request for proposal phase

A RFP was posted on the Government Electronic Tendering Service, buyandsell.gc.ca, on October 21, 2016. Proponents were requested to submit questions up to five working days before bid closing. There were a total of 45 questions submitted. Seven amendments were issued with the last one being published on December 1, 2016. The RFP was initially schedule to close on November 21, 2016, but it was extended to December 5, 2016.

The FM observed the activities connected with the procurement process until the close of the RFP. The FM reviewed the RFP as well as the communications related to the questions received and the answers provided by the contracting authority, including the published amendments.

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

Summary of findings: It is the opinion of the FM that the RFP activities for the PMSS were conducted in a fair, open and transparent manner. In this context, fairness refers to decisions being made objectively, free from bias, favouritism or influence and conform to established rules.

4.3 Request for proposal evaluation phase

A Guide to the Evaluation Board and a bid evaluation grid were developed and reviewed by the FM prior to distribution to the evaluators. The guide and grid were found to be consistent with the evaluation criteria as per the RFP.

The technical evaluation team was composed of three evaluators. Pre-evaluation meetings took place on December 2, 6 and 9, 2016, which the FM attended.

Four respondents submitted bids on the RFP closing date of December 5, 2016. A consensus evaluation meeting took place on December 12, 2016 with the three technical evaluators, the FM, the PSPC Centre Block Procurement Director and Supply Team Leader. Consensus discussions were open and a consensus was achieved on all mandatory and rated technical criteria. Three respondents were deemed to meet the mandatory requirements. One respondent was deemed non-compliant.

The FM examined the consensus mandatory and the technical score sheets. The price proposals were opened and the overall scoring was determined by the Supply Team Leader. The FM examined the financial bids and the overall score sheets to confirm the financial evaluation score and overall score.

An integrity check of the winning bidder will be completed once the contract requisition is approved in January 2017. 

Observation:  The Guide to the Evaluation Board and the bid evaluation grid were complete and aligned with the RFP terms. The scoring of the technical evaluation criteria was performed in strict adherence to the stated criteria. Consensus discussions were open, all evaluators were present and a consensus was achieved on all criteria.

Summary of findings: It is the opinion of the FM that the RFP evaluation activities were conducted in a fair, open and transparent manner. In this context, fairness refers to decisions being made objectively, free from bias, favouritism or influence and conform to established rules.

5. Reference documents

The following procurement process documents are available through PSPC.

No. Documents Document date
1 RFI: EP748-151921/A Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on July 27, 2016
2 RFI - Amendment no. 1 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on July 29 2016
3 RFI - Amendment no. 2 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on August 9 2016
4 RFP: EP748-151921/B Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on October 21 2016
5 RFP - Amendment no. 1 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on October 31 2016
6 RFP - Amendment no. 2 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on November 14 2016
7 RFP - Amendment no. 3 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on November 21 2016
8 RFP - Amendment no. 4 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on November 24 2016
9 RFP - Amendment no. 5 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on November 25 2016
10 RFP - Amendment no. 6 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on November 25 2016
11 RFP - Amendment no. 7 Published on buyandsell.gc.ca on December 1 2016

6. Addendum to final report, April 20, 2017

Addendum to the Fairness Monitor Final Report dated February 6, 2017 regarding the competitive selection process for Project Management Support Services with respect to the Centre Block Rehabilitation 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 and contract award.

Fairness monitor activities related to contract award and debriefings

Four respondents submitted bids in response to the Request for Proposal. Three respondents were deemed to meet the mandatory requirements. One respondent was deemed non-compliant. The successful bidder was advised of contract award on January 23, 2017.

Debriefing meetings were requested by all three qualified respondents. Meetings with two of the three respondents were held on February 6 and 9, 2017 in Ottawa, Ontario. They were attended by the Supply Specialist, the Chair of the Evaluation Board and the FM. Public Services and Procurement Canada contacted the third respondent who had requested a debrief to set up a time for a debriefing meeting but never received a response.

Fairness monitor attestation of assurance

The FM hereby provides the following unqualified assurance statement concerning the competitive selection process for Project Management Support Services with respect to the Centre Block Rehabilitation 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
Jocelyne Lafrenière, CPA, CA
FM Specialist

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