Randle reef sediment remediation project Randle reef stage 2—Dredging

Fairness monitor final report, July 11, 2017

Addendum to final report, August 14, 2017

Submitted to Director, Fairness Monitoring Program

Submitted by RFP Solutions Inc.

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1. Introduction

The Randle Reef Sedimentation Remediation Project is a multi-stage project with services being procured through up to five publicly tendered processes.

RFP Solutions Inc. was engaged on November 26, 2013 as a Fairness Monitor (FM) to observe all stages of the competitive procurement processes associated with the Randle Reef Sediment Remediation Project. Each competitive procurement process will be subject to individual reporting.

This document reports the observations of the Fairness Monitor to date with respect to the competitive procurement process for Stage 2—Dredging for Hamilton Harbour, Randle Reef Sediment Remediation, issued by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) through Solicitation Number EQ447-172597/C.

RFP Solutions Inc. is an independent third party with respect to this activity.

We hereby submit this Final Report, covering the activities of the Fairness Monitor, commencing with the draft Tender prior to posting on the Government Electronic Tendering System (buyandsell.gc.ca), continuing through the response to enquiries from potential bidders leading to the tender closing period. This report also addresses the evaluation of bids leading to the identification of the recommended Bidder for contract award.

The 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

The Randle Reef Sediment Remediation Project is a multi-stage project to dredge and contain 630,000 m3 of contaminated sediment to reduce the environmental impacts of contaminants including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heavy metals in Hamilton Harbour. The project will lead to the restoration and eventual delisting of the Hamilton Harbour as an Area of Concern.

Environment Canada (EC) is the lead agency for the funding partners involved in the project. The funding partners include the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Hamilton Port Authority, U.S Steel, City of Hamilton, City of Burlington and Region of Halton. EC has contracted PSPC to carry out the procurement and project management for the remediation.

The project will be completed in three distinct stages:

Project services are being procured through up to five publicly tendered processes:

3. Attestation of assurance

The FM hereby provides the following unqualified assurance statement concerning the Randle Reef Sediment Remediation Project.

It is our professional opinion that the Stage 2—Dredging—Invitation to Tender and evaluation processes we have observed, were carried out in a fair, open and transparent manner.

Original signed by
Steve Johnston
Fairness Monitor Specialist
Managing Director, RFP Solutions Inc.

Original signed by
Stephen Fleming, P.Eng.
Fairness Monitor Team Leader

4. Methodology

In accordance with the terms of our engagement, we familiarized ourselves with the relevant documents, reviewed the Invitation to Tender (ITT) documents prior to release, observed the ITT solicitation activities and the post solicitation period, including the evaluation of bids, identified fairness-related matters to the Contracting Authority, and verified that responses and actions were reasonable and appropriate. The following summarizes the specific activities and observation of the Fairness Monitor.

5. Fairness monitor activities and observations

5.1 Procurement planning/pre-issue stage

We were engaged to begin FM activities commencing with the development of the ITT. A review of the draft and final ITT documentation was conducted. This included a review of the:

We provided assurance as to the impartiality of the Requirements, the objectivity of evaluation criteria and process; and the clarity of the documentation to support understandability by bidders in preparing their Proposals, as well as to mitigate the potential for inconsistency or errors in the eventual application of evaluation criteria by the Evaluation Committee.

Observations

In reviewing the draft ITT documentation, no fairness considerations were identified by the Fairness Monitor.

5.2 Invitation to tender posting

The ITT (dated March 2, 2017) was issued to potential bidders via buyandsell.gc.ca on March 3, 2017 and the final closing date was on June 8, 2017 at 2 pm Eastern Daylight Time.

An optional site visit for potential bidders was conducted by the Contracting Authority on March 22, 2017 at 11 am at the site located at Hamilton Harbour, West side of Pier 15, Hamilton, Ontario. Prior to the site visit, the FM reviewed the protocol for the visit with the Contracting Authority. The protocol stipulated that the visit was to provide potential bidders with the opportunity to view and assess aspects of the work that could not be adequately described in the tender documents; however, it was not intended to be a question and answer period. If questions or clarification were raised, the potential bidders were to be instructed to submit all questions or clarification in writing to the Contracting Authority. Responses to questions or clarifications would then be issued as formal amendments as appropriate, as well as any resulting changes to the tender requirements. Representatives from a total of 25 firms participated in the optional site visit.

The FM was present during the site visit to observe if it was conducted in a fair and impartial manner.

A total of 259 questions were received and responses to the questions were provided to all potential proponents as amendments via buyandsell.gc.ca. A total of 25 revisions to the terms and conditions of the solicitation were issued as amendments via the buyandsell.gc.ca, including extensions of the closing date to June 8, 2017. Each question and revision was reviewed by the Fairness Monitor beforehand.

Observations

In observing the optional site visit, no fairness considerations were identified by the Fairness Monitor.

In reviewing the ITT and associated amendments, no fairness considerations were identified by the Fairness Monitor.

5.3 Invitation to tender close

The Fairness Monitor discussed the manner in which the proposal responses to the ITT were received and handled with the Contracting Authority.

Four bids were received and handled in accordance with the closing requirements and deadline stated in the ITT.

Observations

In reviewing the receipt and handling of the ITT responses, no fairness considerations were identified by the Fairness Monitor.

5.4 Evaluation instructions

Prior to bid evaluations, the Fairness Monitor reviewed the evaluation guidelines, including evaluator responsibilities, code of conduct, security, confidentiality and conflict of interest requirements, and evaluation methodology.

The Fairness Monitor provided assurance as to the impartiality of the evaluation methodology.

Observations

In reviewing the evaluation methodology and related requirements, the Fairness Monitor did not observe any fairness issues.

5.5 Administrative review

Following tender closing, a review of the mandatory submission requirements, including qualification and certification requirements, was undertaken by PSPC Contracting and Project Authorities of the four bids received. All four bids were deemed to be responsive to these requirements as stated in the ITT.

The FM independently confirmed this result by reviewing the appropriate sections of each tender and the PSPC summary of the results.

All four bidders were then invited to a public opening of the price envelopes.

Observation

In reviewing the results of the assessment of bidders’ compliance with the mandatory submission and qualification requirements, the Fairness Monitor did not observe any fairness issues.

5.6 Price evaluation, verification and bidder selection

The basis for award of the ITT is to the bidder submitting a responsive bid with the lowest price.

In accordance with the ITT, a total bid amount was provided by the bidders. The total bid amount was composed of a lump sum amount for the work plus an extended amount for unit prices not included in the lump sum amount. The price envelopes from each responsive bidder were opened publicly, via teleconference with three of the four bidders, on June 19, 2017. The Fairness Monitor participated in the teleconference.

Following the opening of the price envelopes, the Contracting Authority verified the prices and identified the lowest bidder. The Fairness Monitor independently verified the prices and confirmed these prices, including that of the lowest bidder.

Observation

In reviewing the results of the price evaluation, verification and bidder selection, the Fairness Monitor did not observe any fairness issues.

5.7 Communications and debriefing

This section will be completed as an Addendum to this report following completion of contract award and, as requested, debriefing of Bidders.

6. Reference documents

The following documents related to Solicitation Number EQ447-172597/C are available on buyandsell.gc.ca and/or through the project office.

No. Document Issue Date
1 Invitation to Tender - Randle Reef Stage 2—Dredging (EQ447-172597/C) March 3, 2017
2 Solicitation Amendment No. 001—Randle Reef Stage 2—Dredging (EQ447-172597/C) March 6, 2017
3 Solicitation Amendment No. 002—Randle Reef Stage 2—Dredging (EQ447-172597/C) March 16, 2017
4 Solicitation Amendment No. 003—Randle Reef Stage 2—Dredging (EQ447-172597/C) March 31, 2017
5 Solicitation Amendment No. 004—Randle Reef Stage 2—Dredging (EQ447-172597/C) April 10, 2017
6 Solicitation Amendment No. 005—Randle Reef Stage 2—Dredging (EQ447-172597/C) April 21, 2017
7 Solicitation Amendment No. 006—Randle Reef Stage 2—Dredging (EQ447-172597/C) May 1, 2017
8 Solicitation Amendment No. 007—Randle Reef Stage 2—Dredging (EQ447-172597/C) May 4, 2017
9 Solicitation Amendment No. 008—Randle Reef Stage 2—Dredging (EQ447-172597/C) May 15, 2017
10 Solicitation Amendment No. 009—Randle Reef Stage 2—Dredging (EQ447-172597/C) May 18, 2017
11 Solicitation Amendment No. 010—Randle Reef Stage 2—Dredging (EQ447-172597/C) May 31, 2017
12 Solicitation Amendment No. 011—Randle Reef Stage 2—Dredging (EQ447-172597/C) May 31, 2017
13 Solicitation Amendment No. 012—Randle Reef Stage 2—Dredging (EQ447-172597/C) June 1, 2017
14 Solicitation Amendment No. 013—Randle Reef Stage 2—Dredging (EQ447-172597/C) June 1, 2017
15 Solicitation Amendment No. 014—Randle Reef Stage 2—Dredging (EQ447-172597/C) June 2, 2017
16 Solicitation Amendment No. 015—Randle Reef Stage 2—Dredging (EQ447-172597/C) June 6, 2017

7. Addendum to final report, August 14, 2017

Addendum to the Fairness Monitor Final Report dated July 11, 2017 pertaining to the competitive procurement process for Randle Reef Sediment Remediation Project Stage 2—Dredging, issued by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) as a result of Solicitation Number EQ447-172597/C.

This Addendum to the Fairness Monitor Final Report covers the period following the conclusion of the evaluation phase and includes contract award and an allowance of time during which proponents could pose questions or request a debriefing. There were four bids received by PSPC in response to the Invitation to Tender. All four bids met the mandatory requirements and all four bidders were invited to a public opening of the price envelopes via teleconference on July 19, 2017; three of the four bidders chose to participate. The notification of contract award was posted on buyandsell.gc.ca on July 21, 2017.

There have been no requests for debriefings.

Attestation of assurance

The Fairness Monitor hereby provides the following unqualified assurance statement concerning the competitive procurement process for Randle Reef Sediment Remediation Project Stage 2—Dredging.

It is our professional opinion that the Stage 2—Dredging—Invitation to Tender evaluation and contract award processes we observed, were carried out in a fair, open and transparent manner.

Original signed by
Steve Johnston
Fairness Monitor Specialist
Managing Director, RFP Solutions Inc.

Original signed by
Stephen Fleming, P.Eng.
Fairness Monitor Team Leader

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