Military Personnel Management Capability Transformation Systems Integrator for Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces

Fairness monitor final report, March 10, 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 on October 7, 2010 as a Fairness Monitor (FM) to observe the procurement process to select a Systems Integrator for the Department of Defence’ (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) Military Personnel Management Capability Transformation (MPMCT) project.

An initial Request For Information (RFI) No. W8474-11MP01/A was published in September 2010 seeking feedback from industry to assist in the pre-development of the MPMCT requirement. A second Request for Information (RFI) No. W8474-11MP01/A was published in August 2013. This was followed by an Invitation to Qualify (ITQ) #W8474-11MP01/M, published January 26, 2016, which resulted in the identification of three ITQ Responsive Suppliers. The procurement strategy included the plan that these three suppliers would be invited to participate in the Review and Refine Requirements (RRR) phase and the Request for Proposal (RFP) phase of the Military Personnel Management Capability (MPMCT) Systems Integrator (SI) procurement process. A notice cancelling the process due to an internal review was posted on on March 6, 2017.

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 report covering the activities of the Fairness Monitor from the commencement of our engagement on October 7, 2010 up to the cancellation of the process on March 6, 2017 and debriefings on March 9, 2017.

This report includes our attestation of assurance, a summary of the scope and objectives of our assignment, and relevant observations from the activities undertaken. 

2. Attestation of assurance

It is our professional opinion that the RFI and ITQ, the subsequent cancellation of the procurement process and the debriefings provided to the two ITQ responsive suppliers for the intended selection of a Military Personnel Management Capability Transformation Systems Integrator for the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces, 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 Specialist

3. Project requirement

DND and the CAF had a requirement for a modern, flexible and integrated Military Personnel Management (MPM) capability, encompassing Human Resources (HR) and Payroll for the CAF. The MPMCT Project was a business process renewal project enabled by the modernization of DND’s aging HR and pay Information Technology (IT) applications using the Government of Canada (GOC) standard.

The technology platform was to be based on Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) software, including Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. The combined business and technology solution, known as Guardian, would change how the DND/CAF carried out its business with respect to military personnel records, pay, and access to benefits and services.

The scope of MPMCT work involved the implementation and integration of Guardian, which included the delivery of the following key components:

  • transforming CAF business that supports the delivery of HR and Payroll services, including: policy transformation; business process re-engineering and training
  • configuring, implementing and integrating Oracle PeopleSoft that will replace legacy CAF HR and Payroll applications (in conjunction with the Department of Public Service and Procurement Canada (PSPC)’s Pay Modernization project)
  • modernizing the supporting IT infrastructure (in conjunction with Shared Services Canada (SSC))
  • migrating data from legacy DND applications into Guardian
  • developing and integrating interfaces between Guardian and other DND applications/systems, as well as other Canadian Government Departments and external partners that require CAF HR and payroll information
  • transitioning Guardian into an in-service state

The phases of the procurement process for the MPMCT SI requirement were anticipated to be conducted as follows:

  • request for Information: seeking feedback from industry to assist in the pre-development of the MPMCT requirement
  • invitation to Qualify Phase: The purpose of the ITQ was to invite all suppliers who had the required experience and capabilities to deliver the required SI services to submit a response to qualify as an ITQ responsive supplier
  • review and Refine Requirements Phase: During the RRR Phase, Canada was to provide ITQ responsive suppliers with access to relevant system information, the draft Statement of Work (SOW), draft Evaluation Criteria and other preliminary RFP documents. Canada was to consider the feedback provided by ITQ responsive suppliers when refining the requirements and preparing its procurement documents for the MPMCT SI RFP phase
  • bid Solicitation Phase: During the bid solicitation phase, Canada anticipated releasing an RFP directly to the ITQ responsive suppliers who had not withdrawn from the procurement process and who remained responsive at the time the RFP was to be released

4. Request for information process

PPI Consulting Limited was engaged as a Fairness Monitor (FM) to observe the procurement process including the RFI issued by Public Works and Government Services Canada, the industry feedback meetings, and, to attest to the fairness, openness and transparency of this monitored activity.

In accordance with the terms of our engagement, we:

  • reviewed the content of RFI-1 posted to in September 2010 and the subsequent feedback from industry
  • reviewed the content of the RFI-2 posted to in August 2013 and the subsequent feedback from industry
  • reviewed amendments to the RFIs prior to posting the amendments on
  • attended planning discussions to structure the industry meetings and to review comments to be made by Canada as an introduction to each industry meeting
  • reviewed invitations and instructions sent to proponents who had indicated a desire to participate in the one-on-one meetings
  • attended and monitored the industry meetings with each of the four respondents to the August 2013 RFI-2
    • meetings were held with four suppliers during the period October 9, 2013 to October 17, 2013
  • reviewed materials provided by the industry participants to supplement responses made by them at the meeting, and, in subsequent communications between the participants and Canada

In all cases, our activities were related to identifying fairness-related matters to the Contracting and Technical Authorities and ensuring that responses and actions were fair, open and transparent.

4.1 Fairness monitor specialist observations

Proponent participation and general appreciation for the RFI process was extremely positive. Proponents expressed satisfaction that there was a process to air concerns and issues, and to discuss the responses to questions posed by Canada in the RFI process.

All proponents were advised to restrict their content in the one-on-one meetings to the questions asked, in writing by Canada and not to engage is generic marketing presentations. One participant did not follow the clear directive and, in the interests of fairness and equality of treatment, the proponent was advised by the Fairness Monitor to amend their content to address specifically the material requested. They were willing and able to accommodate this instruction and were able to present their responses in a fashion consistent with all other proponents.

5. Requirements definition and procurement strategy phase

During the requirements definition and procurement strategy phase, the FM Specialist attended Initial Requirements Definition Workshops with PSPC, Shared Services Canada, DND, CAF and the Guardian Service Provider. These workshops, although not in scope of the MPMCT SI procurement process, are related, and the findings of the workshops were to be reviewed in the Review and Refine Requirements phase with the ITQ responsive suppliers.

6. Invitation to qualify process

During the ITQ process, the FM Specialist was provided with the following documents for review:

  • draft and final ITQ documents #W8474-11MP01/M, published on between January 26, 2016 and March 30, 2016
  • draft and final Evaluation Plan
  • clarification questions and answers during the bid open period
  • correspondence with industry
  • monthly updates to the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC)

During the ITQ process, the FM Specialist attended the following meetings:

  • initial Requirements Definition Workshops with PSPC, Shared Services Canada, DND, CAF and the Guardian Service Provider
  • evaluator kick-off meeting held April 5, 2016
  • evaluator consensus meetings held April 13, 2016 and April 19, 2016

The documents and activities completed in this phase complied with the fairness principles below:

  • ITQ documents and the evaluation process were clear and allowed for a competitive process
  • the Contracting Authority and MPMCT team provided clear and timely responses to potential respondent requests for clarification
  • each evaluator conducted their own independent review and evaluation of the responses in their evaluator workbook
  • once the independent reviews were completed, the evaluators met to complete the mandatory compliance verification. Mandatory requirements were reviewed for compliance with the information provided in the response
  • the ITQ required respondents to demonstrate compliance with similar size and scope criteria only (i.e. there was no rated evaluation criteria at the ITQ stage). A record of compliance or non-compliance was recorded in the master record along with the rationale
  • evaluators recorded and initialled any changes agreed to during consensus in their individual workbooks
  • respondents were provided sufficient time to respond to clarification questions

The FM’s review of documents and monitoring of activities in this phase confirmed compliance with the principles of fairness, openness and transparency. This included the following:

  • the evaluation plan was consistent with the published procurement documents
  • the evaluation team members were chosen and confirmed prior to the receipt of responses
  • evaluation training was provided on April 5, 2016 to all evaluators and observers. This included informing evaluators of the following:
    • 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 fairness and the need for objectivity, consistency and equitable treatment of all bids
  • the evaluation criteria and assessment tools were established prior to the receipt of responses and were consistent with the ITQ
  • the submissions were logged and recorded upon receipt, clearly identifying that these were submitted on time
  • the responses complied with the mandatory submission requirements. If a requirement was deemed non-compliant during consensus, the respondent was provided the opportunity to identify where within its proposal the mandatory requirement had been met. The respondent was provided a reasonable time to provide its response (48 hours)
  • the same team of evaluators evaluated all responses (or parts thereof)
  • the 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
  • response documents were physically secured within a secure location

6.1 Fairness monitor specialist observations

The FM Specialist reviewed draft and final ITQ documents which were published on on January 26, 2016.

Any requests for clarification by prospective respondents during the solicitation open period were addressed by addendum/amendment. Ten amendments were posted on between February 5, 2016 and March 18, 2016. On February 26, 2016, amendment 06 extended the closing date from March 7, 2016 to March 30, 2016.

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

Any observations or requests for clarification made by the FM Specialist during the ITQ process were addressed by the MPMCT team and by the Contracting Authority. The MPMCT team and the Contracting Authority were responsive in providing clarification when requested by the FM Specialist. 

The FM witnessed the consensus meetings and confirms that the process was conducted appropriately, in accordance with the process established in the ITQ, and in a fair, open and transparent manner.

The four evaluation team members were knowledgeable and diligent in their evaluation of responses.

During consensus, one of the four respondents failed to meet two mandatory requirements. Clarification questions were sent to the respondent with a 48 hour response time. The evaluation team reconvened to review the response and determined that the clarifications received did not satisfy the two mandatory requirements. The respondent was therefore deemed non-compliant. The three remaining respondents met all mandatory requirements and were qualified as ITQ responsive suppliers.

The unsuccessful respondent was provided written information with respect to the evaluation of its proposal and provided a debriefing on June 2, 2016.

The three ITQ responsive suppliers were to be invited to participate in the Review and Refine Requirements phase and were to be invited to submit proposals in the subsequent Bid Solicitation phase of this initiative.

7. Review and refine requirements phase

A kick off meeting was held between the ITQ responsive suppliers, DND and PSPC on November 29, 2016. Just prior to this meeting one of the three ITQ suppliers notified PSPC that it was withdrawing as a potential prime contractor for the project and had partnered as a subcontractor with one of the other two ITQ responsive suppliers. The other RRR meetings were scheduled but did not take place.

7.1 Fairness monitor specialist observations

The RRR meetings were postponed and subsequently cancelled before any meetings took place other than the kick-off meeting. Both ITQ responsive suppliers were provided with the same information at the same time and were provided regular updates by the CA regarding the postponed RRR meetings. The FM Specialist reviewed draft documents and communications with the two ITQ responsive suppliers and attended the kick-off meeting.

8. Cancellation and debriefing

On March 6, 2016, a notification was posted on advising that DND had completed a strategic review of the MPMCT requirement, and in accordance with sub-article 6.1.4 of the Terms of Engagement with ITQ Responsive Suppliers, Invitation to Qualify (ITQ) W8474-11MP01/M, Canada notified the ITQ responsive suppliers that it would not continue with the RRR phase of this procurement process nor would Canada be proceeding with the release of a Request for Proposal (RFP).

A debriefing for the two ITQ responsive suppliers was held on March 9, 2016. DND and the CA provided an explanation of the rationale behind the decision to cancel the process. Both ITQ responsive suppliers were provided the opportunity to ask questions which were addressed to the extent possible. Both DND and the CA expressed their appreciation for the ITQ responsive suppliers’ participation in the process. 

The FM attended the debriefing and reviewed the correspondence with the two ITQ responsive suppliers prior to publication, and transmission.

9. Reference documents

Consult Systems Integrator (W8474-11MP01/M) for more information.

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