Centre Block Rehabilitation architectural & engineering services

Fairness monitor final report, May 18, 2017

Addendum to final report, June 19, 2017

Submitted to the Director, Fairness Monitoring Program

Submitted by PPI Consulting Limited

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1. Introduction

PPI Consulting Limited (PPI) was engaged as a Fairness Monitor (FM) on March 9, 2015 to observe the procurement process related to the Centre Block Rehabilitation initiative. This report relates to the request for qualification (RFQ) and subsequent request for proposals (RFP) for Architectural and Engineering (A&E) Services for the Centre Block Rehabilitation initiative.

The RFQ was issued by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) as Solicitation # EP748-151887/C, dated July 10, 2015. The RFP was subsequently issued by PSPC on September 7, 2016 to the three respondents who were qualified by the RFQ process (qualified Proponents).

PPI Consulting Limited is an independent third party with respect to this activity. We reviewed all of the information provided and observed all relevant activities.

We hereby submit our final report covering the activities of the Fairness Monitor up to the conclusion of the RFP evaluation process.  This report includes our attestation of assurance, a summary of the scope and objectives of our assignment, and relevant observations from the activities undertaken up to the contract award date.

2. Attestation of assurance

It is our professional opinion that the procurement process for Architectural and Engineering Services for the Centre Block Rehabilitation Project, that we observed, was carried out in a fair, open and transparent manner.

Original signed by
John Davis, CEO, PPI Consulting Limited

Original signed by
Ian Brennan, CSCMP, FM Team Leader

Original signed by
Mairi Curran, FM Specialis

3. Project requirement

PSPC conducted a multi-phase procurement process for the Centre Block Rehabilitation project located at 111 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario. The Centre Block Rehabilitation initiative is a complex, multi-faceted project comprising a series of sub-projects, all of which are interconnected and dependent upon each other. The principle focus involves one of the most prestigious federal buildings and sites in Canada, the Centre Block (CB) building. This building forms part of the Parliament Buildings National Historic Site of Canada and has been designated a classified heritage building that requires significant rehabilitation and conservation.

The Centre Block is the core building within the Parliament Hill complex, occupying a central position between the East Block, the West Block, the Library of Parliament and the emerging Visitor Welcome Centre. It is at the very heart of Canada's political and cultural landscape and contains many overlapping identities including as a place of governance, a forum for public engagement, a place of pilgrimage, a setting for national rituals and celebrations, and as a monument to Canadian achievements and sacrifices.

At almost a 100 years old, both the Centre Block and adjoining Peace Tower require significant rehabilitation in the very near-term as many of its major systems and components will be at risk of critical failure by 2019, with total failure predicted by 2025. The need for a modern Parliament within fully rehabilitated historic buildings and new infrastructure supporting the 21st century operations and security of the Senate of Canada (Senate), the House of Commons of Canada (HoC), and the Library of Parliament (LoP) was recognized.

The procurement process would select a consulting firm to provide Architectural and Engineering (A&E) services. The anticipated the scope of work may include but is not limited to the following elements (to the extent possible given the building's heritage designation):

  • restoration of the building envelope, including selective security mitigation measures
  • seismic upgrade
  • excavation of the basement subject to viability and cost benefit
  • new mechanical, electrical, and vertical transportation systems
  • new information technology, multimedia and security systems
  • parliamentary office suites and broadcast capable committee rooms
  • adjustment to allow additional seating to the Senate Chamber and the House of Commons Chamber
  • complete fit-up of the building, including special purpose space
  • restoration of designated heritage spaces
  • specialized art handling for the removal, storage and return of heritage assets and the main collection of the Library of Parliament
  • conservation of fixed and moveable heritage assets
  • significant conservation of exterior and interior masonry, wood, plaster, paint, art glass, fabric and metals

4. Fairness monitor engagement and observations

PPI Consulting Limited was engaged as a FM to observe the procurement process related to PSPC’s selection of A&E Services for 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 draft documents, observed activities up to the end of the request for proposal phase, identified fairness-related matters to the contracting authority and ensured that responses and actions were reasonable and appropriate.

The following is a summary of the FM’s activities over the course of the engagement and related observations.

5. Request for information process

A Letter of Interest (LOI) was published on buyandsell.gc.ca on March 2, 2015 with a closing date of March 18, 2015.

Subsequent to the issuance of the LOI, meetings were held with the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies (ACEC) on March 12, 2015 and with the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) on March 16, 2015.

PSPC provided a combined response on May 6, 2015, to entities who had provided feedback to the LOI with respect to the proposed approach for the Centre Block project.

The FM Specialist reviewed the LOI documents and attended the ACEC and CCA meetings as an observer.

6. Request for qualification process

6.1 Activity monitored

6.1.1 Documents reviewed

During the Request for Qualification (RFQ) phase, the FM specialist was provided with the following documents for review:

  • Draft and final RFQ documents
  • Notice of Proposed Procurement
  • Draft and final Evaluation Plan
  • Review of clarification questions and answers during the bid open period
  • Addenda
  • Correspondence with industry

6.1.2 Request for qualification bid open period

The Request for Qualification for Architectural and Engineering Services was issued as Solicitation # EP7648-151887/C, dated July 10, 2015 with an original closing date of September 9, 2015. During the Bid Open Period ten amendments were posted on buyandsell.gc.ca responding to 130 questions from industry. In amendment 010, dated September 10, 2015, the closing date was extended to September 29, 2015.

Seven responses were received by the submission closing date and time.

6.1.3 Request for qualification written response evaluation

The FM specialist attended the following meetings:

  • Evaluator briefings for written response evaluation held October 6 and 15, 2015
  • Evaluation consensus meetings for written responses held between October 29 and November 18, 2015
  • Final meeting with evaluators to verify and sign the consensus record held January 6, 2016

The following process was undertaken to evaluate the written responses to the RFQ:

  • Each evaluator conducted their own independent review and scoring of the response in their evaluator workbook
  • Once the independent reviews were completed, the evaluators participated in meetings to agree on the consensus assessment for both mandatory and rated requirements:
    • Mandatory requirements were reviewed for compliance with the information provided in both the compliance matrix and in the substantiating information in the response. A record of compliance or non-compliance was recorded in the master record along with the rationale
    • The scores for rated requirements and the rationale for the scores were recorded in the master record. The evaluators used consensus scoring to determine a score based on the scoring criteria that had been published in the RFQ
  • Evaluators recorded and initialled any changes agreed to during consensus in their individual workbooks
  • The FM confirmed with each member of the evaluation team that they were in agreement with the final consensus scores and rationale for non-compliant requirements
  • All evaluators confirmed their agreement to the recorded score

At the conclusion of the written response evaluation process, two of the seven responses received were deemed non-compliant with mandatory criteria.

The remaining five respondents were invited to participate in the presentation process.

6.1.4 Request for qualification presentation and case scenario evaluation

The RFQ presentation and case scenarios were held on December 10 through 18, 2015. The FM Specialist attended as follows:

  • Evaluator Briefing held on December 7, 2015
  • Respondent presentations and case scenarios held with each of the five respondents on December 10, 15, 16, 17 and 18, 2015

The following process was undertaken to evaluate the respondent presentations and case scenarios (presentations):

  • Two meeting rooms were used, one for the presentation and a second for the evaluation team for pre and post presentation discussions/consensus evaluation
  • Each respondent’s presentation was timed by the contracting authority. The respondents were not interrupted during their presentations. No clarification or additional questions were asked
  • Following the presentation, each evaluator completed their individual assessment based on the scoring criteria contained within the RFQ
  • Once all individual evaluations had been completed, the evaluators agreed to a consensus score and the score and the rationale for the score were recorded in the master record
  • The FM confirmed with each member of the evaluation team that they were in agreement with the final consensus scores
  • All evaluators confirmed their agreement to the recorded score

The FM’s review of documents and monitoring of activities in this phase considered the following principles of fairness, openness and transparency:

  • Evaluation plan was consistent with the published procurement documents
  • Evaluation team members were chosen and confirmed prior to the receipt of responses
  • Evaluation training was provided to all evaluators and observers. This included informing evaluators of the following as a minimum:
    • identity of the responses received and requesting evaluators to declare any conflict of interest
    • confidentiality protocols
    • document control
    • clarification process
    • overview of scoring workbooks and method for individual assessment
    • explanation of hidden criteria
    • explanation of fairness and the need for objectivity, consistency and equitable treatment of all responses
    • guidance with respect to only assessing the information that is in the response—not information from previous contracts, personal knowledge, etc.
  • The scoring criteria and assessment tools were established prior to the receipt of responses and were consistent with the RFQ, that is contained no hidden scoring criteria
  • The submissions were logged and recorded upon receipt, clearly identifying that these were submitted on time
  • The responses complied with the mandatory submission requirements
  • The process for establishing one score from a team of evaluators was established prior to the receipt of responses (consensus scoring)
  • The same team of evaluators evaluated all responses (or parts thereof)
  • The scoring assessment was applied consistently and equitably by the evaluation team with no evidence of bias
  • A secure location for the evaluation exercise was established for the period of the evaluation
  • Respondents received adequate advance notification of their presentation date and time
  • Respondents were provided with advance information on the meeting room dimensions and capacity in order to prepare for the presentation
  • Respondents and the evaluation team had separate meeting rooms for break-out periods, preparation, etc.
  • Respondents were not interrupted during a timed session
  • All documents related to the procurement and evaluation were physically secured within a secure location

6.2 Result of request for qualification process

The result of the RFQ process, an alphabetic list of the three shortlisted respondents, was posted on BuyandSell.gc.ca and a notification sent via email to both the successful and unsuccessful respondents.

6.3 Request for qualification fairness monitor specialist observations

Any requests for clarification by potential respondents during the bid clarification process were addressed by the PSPC contracting authority and issued as amendments. The same information was provided to all participants at the same time.

The FM witnessed the written response evaluation sessions and confirms that the process was conducted appropriately in accordance with the process established in the RFQ and in a fair, open and transparent manner.

The FM witnessed the respondent presentations and the subsequent evaluation sessions and confirms that the process was conducted appropriately in accordance with the process established in the RFQ and in a fair, open and transparent manner.

Any observations or request for clarification made by the FM specialist were addressed by the PSPC contracting authority. The PSPC contracting authority was responsive in providing clarification when requested by the FM specialist.

The evaluation team was knowledgeable and diligent in their evaluation of responses. All responses and all presentations were evaluated consistently and fairly and in accordance with the scoring criteria contained within the RFQ.

At the conclusion of the evaluation process, the three highest scoring respondents were identified as the shortlist of respondents to be invited to participate in the RFP process.

7. Request for proposals process

As a result of the RFQ, three respondents were identified as “qualified proponents” for the RFP process.

7.1 Activity monitored

7.1.1 Documents reviewed

During the RFP phase, the FM specialist was provided with the following documents for review:

  • Draft and final RFP documents
  • Notice of proposed procurement
  • Draft and final evaluation plan
  • Clarification questions and answers during bid open period
  • Addenda
  • Correspondence with industry

7.1.2 Site visit

A site visit and information session was provided to the three qualified proponent teams between 18 and 20 March, 2016. An overview of the Building Information Model (BIM) being developed by Carleton University was provided followed by a tour of Centre Block.

7.1.3 Commercially confidential meetings

Three rounds of commercially confidential meetings were held with qualified proponents as follows:

  • June 14 to 29, 2016: Commercially confidential meetings were held with each proponent to provide feedback and ask questions relating to the draft Project Brief
  • July 20 to 29, 2016: Commercially confidential meetings were held with each proponent to review the draft Request for Proposals and draft Basis of Payment
  • August 12, 2016: Commercially confidential meetings were held at Carleton University to provide proponents the opportunity to assess the quality of the BIM

7.1.4 Request for proposals bid open period

The Request for Proposals for Architectural and Engineering Services was issued to the three qualified proponents on September 7, 2016, as Solicitation # EP748-151887/E, with an original closing date of October 18, 2016. During the bid open period 04 amendments were provided to qualified proponents responding to 64 clarification questions. In amendment 02, dated October 5, 2016, the closing date was extended as follows:

  • Technical proposal submission date was extended to November 1, 2016
  • Price proposal submission date was extended to November 10, 2016

The RFP and associated amendments were distributed directly to the three qualified proponents whereas the Project Brief was posted on a file sharing website, “Buzzsaw”. This ensured that the three qualified proponents had access to the same information at the same time but from a restricted access website.

Additionally, a notice of proposed procurement was posted on buyandsell.gc.ca to inform industry that PSPC was proceeding with the RFP process.

Three responses were received by the submission closing date and time.

7.1.5 Request for proposals written proposal evaluation

The FM specialist attended the following meetings:

  • Evaluator briefings were held for the written proposal evaluation teams as follows:
    • Written proposal evaluation team briefing held November 1, 2016. Non-disclosure and conflict of interest declarations were signed by the evaluators
    • BIM evaluation team briefing held November 3, 2016. Non-disclosure and conflict of interest declarations were signed by the evaluators
  • Evaluation consensus meetings for the three written proposals were held between November 17 and 21, 2017

The following process was undertaken to evaluate the written responses to the RFP:

  • Each evaluator conducted their own independent review and scoring of the response in their evaluator workbook
  • Once the independent reviews were completed, the evaluators participated in meetings to agree on the consensus assessment for both mandatory and rated requirements:
    • Mandatory requirements were reviewed for compliance with the information provided in both the compliance matrix and in the substantiating information in the response. A record of compliance or non-compliance was recorded in the master record along with the rationale
    • The scores for rated requirements and the rationale for the scores were recorded in the master record. The evaluators used consensus scoring to determine a score based on the scoring criteria that had been published in the RFP
  • Evaluators recorded and initialled any changes agreed to during consensus in their individual workbooks
  • The FM confirmed with each member of the evaluation team that they were in agreement with the final consensus scores and rationale for non-compliant requirements
  • All evaluators confirmed their agreement to the recorded score

7.1.6 Request for proposals case scenario and presentation evaluation

The evaluator briefing for the case scenario/presentations (presentations) was held on November 3, 2016.

The following process was undertaken to evaluate each proponent’s presentation:

  • Two meeting rooms were used, one for the presentation and a second for the evaluation team for pre and post presentation discussions/consensus evaluation
  • Each proponent’s presentation was timed by the contracting authority. The proponents were not interrupted during their presentations
  • Each evaluator conducted their own independent review and scoring of the presentation in their evaluator workbook
  • Once the independent reviews were completed, the evaluators participated in meetings to agree on the consensus assessment of rated criteria:
    • The scores for rated requirements and the rationale for the scores were recorded in the master record. The evaluators used consensus scoring to determine a score based on the scoring criteria that had been published in the RFP
  • Evaluators recorded and initialled any changes agreed to during consensus in their individual workbooks
  • The FM confirmed with each member of the evaluation team that they were in agreement with the final consensus scores
  • All evaluators confirmed their agreement to the recorded score

7.1.7 Request for proposals price evaluation

Following the evaluation of the three written proposals and presentations, the contracting authority opened the price proposal envelopes. The FM witnessed the opening of the price envelopes, verification of pricing and the score assessment.

The scores for the three stages of the evaluation (written, presentation and price) were added and the proposals were ranked.

7.1.8 Fairness monitor observations of the request for proposals process

Any requests for clarification by proponents during the bid clarification process were addressed by the PSPC contracting authority and issued as amendments. The same information was provided to all participants at the same time.

Any observations or request for clarification made by the FM specialist were addressed by the PSPC contracting authority. The PSPC contracting authority was responsive in providing clarification when requested by the FM specialist.

The FM’s review of documents and monitoring of activities during the RFP evaluation phase considered the following principles of fairness, openness and transparency:

  • The evaluation plan was consistent with the published procurement documents
  • Evaluation team members were chosen and confirmed prior to the receipt of responses
  • Evaluation training was provided to all evaluators and observers. The contracting authority informed all evaluators of the following as a minimum:
    • identity of the responses received and requested evaluators to declare any conflict of interest
    • confidentiality protocols
    • document control
    • clarification process
    • overview of scoring workbooks and method for individual assessment
    • explanation of hidden criteria
    • explanation of fairness and the need for objectivity, consistency and equitable treatment of all responses
    • guidance with respect to only assessing the information that is in the response—not information from previous contracts, personal knowledge, etc.
  • The scoring criteria and assessment tools were established prior to the receipt of responses and were consistent with the RFP, that is contained no hidden scoring criteria
  • The submissions were logged and recorded upon receipt, clearly identifying that these were submitted on time
  • The responses complied with the mandatory submission requirements
  • The process for establishing one consensus score from each team of evaluators was established prior to the receipt of responses
  • Three teams evaluated the three components of the evaluation: written proposal, BIM proposal and the presentation. The members of the three evaluation teams were consistent for all three proposals
  • The scoring assessment was applied consistently and equitably by the evaluation team with no evidence of bias
  • A secure location for the evaluation exercise was established for the period of the evaluation
  • Proponents received adequate advance notification of their presentation date and time
  • Proponents were provided with advance information on the meeting room dimensions and capacity in order to prepare for the presentation
  • Proponents and the evaluation team had a separate meeting room for break-out periods during the presentation, preparation, etc.
  • Proponents were not interrupted during their timed session
  • All documents related to the procurement and evaluation were physically secured within a secure location

8. Reference documents

Documents pertaining to the RFQ process for Architectural and Engineering Services for the Centre Block Rehabilitation Project (Solicitation # EP748-151887) can be found on buyandsell.gc.ca.

The RFP document and amendments to the RFP were provided directly to qualified proponents via email, whereas the Project Brief was provided via a restricted access website, “Buzzsaw”.

9. Addendum to final report, June 19, 2017

Addendum to the fairness final report dated May 18, 2017, for Fairness Monitoring services to observe the procurement process related to the Centre Block Rehabilitation initiative for architectural and engineering services

This Addendum to the Fairness Monitor Final Report covers the period following the conclusion of the evaluation phase including contract award and the debriefing process.

The contract was awarded on April 7, 2017. Debriefings with the two unsuccessful proponents, qualified as a result of the Request for Qualification (RFQ) process, were conducted on May 3 and 4, 2017. Debriefings with the two unsuccessful RFQ respondents were conducted on June 15, 2017.

It is our professional opinion that the procurement to select a provider of Architectural and Engineering (A&E) Services for the Centre Block Rehabilitation initiative that we observed was carried out in a fair, open and transparent manner.

Original signed by
John Davis, CEO, PPI Consulting Limited

Original signed by
Ian Brennan, CSCMP, FM Team Leader

Original signed by
Mairi Curran, FM Specialis

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