Maintenance dredging—North Traverse, Cap-Santé Traverse, Bécancour and St-Pierre Lake (2019 to 2025)

Fairness monitor final report, March 17, 2017

Addendum to final report, June 5, 2017

Submitted to Knowles Consultancy Services Inc. and Hills International Inc. in joint venture

Submitted by Samson & Associates

On this page

Background and introduction

As Fairness Monitor (FM), Knowles Consultancy Services Inc. and Hill International Inc.  in Joint Venture (hereafter referred to as the Fairness Monitor) hereby submits its Fairness Monitor Contractor’s Final Report pertaining to the competitive procurement process for the Maintenance Dredging—North Traverse, Cap-Santé Traverse, Bécancour and St-Pierre Lake (2019 to 2025). This procurement process was undertaken by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) through Invitation to Tender (IT) No. EE517-170476/B.

Knowles Consultancy Services Inc. and Hill International Inc. in Joint Venture is an independent third party with respect to this activity.

This Final Report covers our activities from the beginning of our involvement at the IT phase on November 17, 2016 through the evaluation of the offer received.

A Letter of Interest was published from August 12 to September 28, 2016 before the beginning of the services of the FM.

This report includes our attestation of assurance, a summary of the scope and objectives of our assignment, the methodologies applied, and details of our activities including any relevant findings from the activities undertaken.

Project requirement

The St. Lawrence /Great Lakes waterway is a 3,700-km international shipping route that links the Atlantic Ocean to Quebec ports the whole of its length and to 65 ports on the Great Lakes, the industrial and agricultural heartland of North America. The St. Lawrence waterway is Canada’s main shipping route and is therefore vital from an economic standpoint. The St. Lawrence River is also recognized world-wide for the variety and abundance of its wildlife habitats.

The Canadian Coast Guard is responsible for annual maintenance of the waterway’s Canadian section to ensure the safety of mariners and the protection of the environment. The objective of this dredging work is to restore the depth shown on marine charts by removing accumulated sediment caused by the phenomenon of sedimentation.

At approximately 60,000 cubic metres per year, the maintenance dredging contract for the North Traverse is the largest in the area from Montréal to Île-aux-Coudres.

The approximately 30 kilometre section of the North Traverse between Saint-Jean, Île d’Orléans and Cap Gribane has several distinguishing features that must be considered by the Contractor carrying out this dredging work. This section of the river experiences the most severe weather conditions between Montréal and Île-aux-Coudres.  The wind storms are frequent, the currents produced by tidal action and the meeting of fresh and salt waters are strong and unpredictable. One also has to face daily variations of the water level of more than 6 metres resulting from the effect of the tide.

The dredging work in this contract also consists of annually removing approximately 2,000 m3 in the Cap-Santé Traverse sector, and 21,000 m3 of sediment in the Bécancour sector. The dredging work in the Lake St-Pierre sector consists of removing approximately 5,000 m³ of sediment every two years.

Attestation of assurance

The Fairness Monitor hereby provides the unqualified assurance statement which follows concerning the competitive procurement process for the Maintenance Dredging—North Traverse, Cap-Santé Traverse, Bécancour and St-Pierre Lake (2019 to 2025).

It is the professional opinion of the Fairness Monitor that the competitive procurement process for the Maintenance Dredging Traverse, Cap Santé Traverse, Bécancour and St-Pierre Lake (2019 to 2025) was conducted in a fair, open and transparent manner.

Note: For references in this report concerning fairness related comments being provided to project officials, it is confirmed that, as necessary, project officials provided clarification to the Fairness Monitor or took appropriate action to address the comments and as a result, no fairness deficiencies were recorded.

Original signed by
Roger Bridges
President
Knowles Consultancy Services Inc.
FM Contractor’s Representative

Original signed by
Bruce Maynard, P. Eng.
FM Team Leader

Original signed by
Jean Montplaisir
FM Specialist

Original signed by
Geneviève Arcand
Back-up FM Specialist

Objectives of the fairness monitor assignment and methodology

The overall objective was to provide independent observation of the procurement process and to submit fairness related comments to project officials as early as possible, so that appropriate action could be taken to address the comments before fairness was impacted. The Director Fairness Monitoring would be advised of any fairness related concerns that were not addressed promptly. At the conclusion of the procurement process, an assurance statement as to its fairness would be provided.

To accomplish the objective, we undertook the following activities and, where applicable, provided fairness related comments to the Contracting Authority:

Fairness monitor specific activities and findings

Fairness monitor activities and findings prior to and during the invitation to tender phase

From November 18, 2016 to January 18, 2017, we reviewed draft and final versions of the Invitation to Tender which was posted on Buyandsell.gc.ca on December 1, 2016 (Document 1). Based on our reviews, we provided comments to the Contracting Authority. Appropriate actions were taken by the project officials. During the period January 11 to February 7, 2017, we reviewed the questions and answers, the amendments 1 to 5 to the Invitation to Tender (Documents 2 to 6) which had been posted on Buyandsell.gc.ca during the period January 17 to February 7, 2017. No fairness deficiencies were identified.

On December 20, 2016 we attended meetings of bidders in PSPC’s offices in Quebec City. No fairness related deficiencies were identified.

The Invitation to Tender closed on February 9, 2017.

Fairness monitor activities and findings on the evaluation phase

On February 9, 2017 we observed the evaluation of the mandatory technical criteria of the only offer received and no fairness deficiencies were identified. We were advised that the pricing of the offer was compared to the pricing provided in the prior Invitation to Tender for the same work and the pricing of the offer was considered to be reasonable.

Reference documents

The following documents are referenced by number in this report. These documents are available on buyandsell.ca or through the PSPC’s office in Quebec City.
No. Documents Date
1 Invitation to Tender Posted on buyandsell.gc.ca December 1, 2016
2 Amendment no.1 to the IT Posted on buyandsell.gc.ca January 17, 2017
3 Amendment no.2 to the IT Posted on buyandsell.gc.ca January 20, 2017
4 Amendment no.3 to the IT Posted on buyandsell.gc.ca February 3, 2017
5 Amendment no.4 to the IT Posted on buyandsell.gc.ca February 7, 2017
6 Amendment no.5 to the IT Posted on buyandsell.gc.ca February 7, 2017

Addendum to final report, June 5, 2017

Addendum to fairness monitor final report dated March 17, 2017 concerning the Maintenance dredging—North Traverse, Cap-Santé Traverse, Bécancour and St-Pierre Lake (2019 to 2025).

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

On May 5, 2017 we were advised that the contract had been awarded on May 4, 2017 to the only bidder that responded to the bid solicitation and that the bidder did not request a debriefing.

Fairness monitor attestation of assurance

It is the professional opinion of the Fairness Monitor that the post evaluation activities were carried out in a fair, open and transparent manner. 

Original signed by
Roger Bridges
President
Knowles Consultancy Services Inc.
FM Contractor’s Representative

Original signed by
Bruce Maynard, P. Eng.
FM Team Leader

Original signed by
Jean Montplaisir
FM Specialist

Original signed by
Geneviève Arcand
Back-up FM Specialist

Date modified: