Author Topic: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)  (Read 127818 times)

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Offline edadian

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Re: Sun Column on Procurement
« Reply #50 on: September 25, 2005, 15:13:38 »
Are we finally getting AN-124s? If so this will be a great boost in capability and we won't have to wait for the US to have a plane available.

But why only 2? Four would be much better and we could loan them out to smaller allies.

I agree the Conservatives are no better then Liberals on defence. They suggesting buying a Garibaldi class aircraft carrier for the navy. Just what every Admiral wants strip his air cover so it can unload vehicles on a potentially hostile shore using his flag ship.
Ed

Offline Old Sweat

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Re: Sun Column on Procurement
« Reply #51 on: September 25, 2005, 15:28:10 »
ArmyRick,

Take a look at the New Guns for 1 RCHA on the artillery forum. In the meantime, the short answer is yes.

As for barring generals from working from defence contractors, as I understand the military procurement process, the actual selection and contracting is handled by the ADM (Mat) world with all sorts of input from other government departments and the political world. Thus, the army staff does not have the final say.

In my opinion, the equipment procurement process is meant to keep lots of people busy for a very long time, not necessariy to get kit to the troops. If I was a cynic, I would say it was to justify ljobs when there isn't any money to buy stuff.

Offline RECON-MAN

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Re: Sun Column on Procurement
« Reply #52 on: September 28, 2005, 18:15:24 »
There is no drought this procedure must change.One way would have the defence committee authorize to buy it.
Nobody respect's a country with a poor army, but everbody respect's a country with a good army.I raise my toast to the Finnish army.
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Offline blergblergblerg123

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Re: Sun Column on Procurement
« Reply #53 on: October 25, 2005, 03:24:32 »
Probably a stupid question, but I am going to ask it anyway...

Why are we purchasing M777's instead of using our existing LG 1 Mark II's (from what I understand the LG's are lighter, have comparible range, and a faster rate of fire)? Of course I understand 155mm has a lot bigger punch than 105, but would not 105 suffice, allowing this money to be better used for other things (such as more, working, Sperwar's so that we can actually track the Taliban and kill them?)

Just a thought...

Offline ArmyRick

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Re: Sun Column on Procurement
« Reply #54 on: October 25, 2005, 14:37:27 »
Stick to the couch, commander.

M777 and LG1 are WORLDS apart, my friend. 155mm and 105mm have different effects on target and the ranges with extended range ammo is alot different. Plus a few of my RCHA friends have told me there are numerous problems with the LG1.

Several arty rounds have been fired in A-stan for your info. If they are going to use it, then give the troops the best kit. M777 was the choice for US army, marines and UK army.
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Offline blergblergblerg123

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Re: Sun Column on Procurement
« Reply #55 on: October 25, 2005, 15:29:09 »
Hey ArmyRick,

Thanks for your response. I was not aware that the LG1 mk II's had problems (I was under the impression they were an effective weapon). Of course I would not want our armed forces going into battle with anything that is not going to fit the bill (I was confused, as it seemed, on paper, that the two systems were similar in capability, minus the extended range ammunition, but I was, once again, under the false impression we would not be using it, as we don't really (to my knowledge) have people trained to use it, and furthermore accuracy at 25+ km is really not that good).

This however brings out another (probably stupid) question, why then are we only buying 12 of them and not 28 to replace all of our LG's (is there a reason other than the one glaring me in the face, that being money)?

Thanks,

Offline gnplummer421

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Re: Sun Column on Procurement
« Reply #56 on: January 26, 2006, 21:52:59 »
I got stuck working in a "project" in the Canadian Building on Laurier st, after spending much of my time with line units, man...I've never seen so many cubicles in my life...I witnessed first hand why so little of our Defence money makes it out of Ottawa. I will not go into details, because it would probably embarass the brass, but frig, what a waste. As soon as FRP became available in '95 I jumped ship...not that I didn't love the Army, just that I didn't want to go through the embarassement of working downtown. Some folks enjoy it there, mostly place to go to get ready for retirement, but I didn't have the stomach for it.

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Offline 3rd Horseman

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Re: Sun Column on Procurement
« Reply #57 on: January 28, 2006, 03:49:38 »
There is a procurement system that works, it could use our current system tailored to industry. The approach is effective, inexpensive and fast for the buyer and allowes for modifications and best bid price without compromise of capability. It is fast and will develop a well oiled industrial military materials industry like we used to have. Problem is the CF Log system cant get there head out of there arses log enough to see it for fear that they may lose control of a sand castle.

The approach works like this:

  The user drafts the requirement not the LOG/PWGS rats, the requirement goes to Industry as a Request For Proposals (RFP). Industry provides the prototypes and RD to develop them and arrives on contract day to show off the goodies. The user then selects the best design and price combinations of kit from all designs and then goes away to evaluate the bids or re-offer the contract with mods selected from a combination of all prototypes. For example if the bid is for a truck then lets say three bidders show up with vehs the user may like one or different parts of each. Since each manufacturer brings to the table there own unique approaches many ideas can be brought to the forefront that the user never thought of thus provide special extra capabilities without the cost of mods after the buy. The user may select features from all the bidders and then re-tender the RFP with a specific design spec thus incorporating all the mods they want that they saw from all the prototypes. Industry goes away with a set requirement and they all rejigg thier vehs to conform to the change in contract and return with the final product. The best final product with most competitive price wins and then we buy. Using this system insures a better price as the 3 companies bidding are all playing off the same sheet of music in the second stage of the procurement and thus the final product of each will be very similar. This ensures that price and delivery becomes the issue on final tender and the user gets everything they wanted without compromising lost capabilities found on the losing bidders veh.

This system will take time for industry to retool their minds but once in the swing they will easily fall in line. Defense industry has gotten very fat, dumb and happy with the way we procure. It does not have to be this way, we created it, we can change it. This is how civi industry does it so can we, problem is that the staff in NDHQ don't understand business and industry thus they leave it to Log/PWGSC who have a vested interest in leaving the system the way it is.

 The RFP followed by tender was trialled a few years ago and resulted in a reduction of 50% on the contract price a better product with all mods completed before delivery at manufactures expense. Delivery was fast as they were already tooled and keen after the prototype was created to blast on and finish the run. The manufactured even brought to the table ideas that would improve the product that the military user had not thought of. End result was a very good product at a lower price then anticipated.

Change is good donkey!

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Offline gnplummer421

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Re: Sun Column on Procurement
« Reply #58 on: January 28, 2006, 18:48:42 »
Thought I'd try to get "letter of the day" in tomorrow's Sun. I hope it will stir up conversation.. :brickwall:
*Note - I've never tried attaching anything on a post so here it goes....
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Offline Koenigsegg

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Re: Sun Column on Procurement
« Reply #59 on: January 29, 2006, 00:49:20 »
What was the author of the original piece in the Sun trying to get at about the Cormorant?
At the same time, the Liberals?
From what I know, the Cormorant is one of, if not the best helicopter out there for the job we use it for.  It has the computers for anything, and a three-engine safety margin.
Sure it is more expensive, but when it comes to getting the job done right, and saving lives, why would you go for anything less?

The EH helicopter is also very versatile, so in the case of a war, we could get a few and use them as our potentially better equivelent to the Blackhawk, in the case that we need more than the Griffon, but I am rambling on...
My country, may she ever be right, but right or wrong, my country.

Offline Colin P

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Re: Sun Column on Procurement
« Reply #60 on: February 15, 2006, 15:20:26 »
I certainly agree with tacking onto existing purchases, you may not get exactly what you want, but you will get it and have money left for other things. I think the US is now building RG31’s or similar and other countries have started purchasing small armoured vehicle from various manufactures. We have to wean the politicians off of the concept that DND is a trough for gouging and feeding. If it can be properly built in Canada and also sold overseas, that’s great, but it should not be the most significant factor in a purchase.


In the Coastguard we adopted the US designed 47’, a excellent design with lots of R&D poured into it, unfortunately they gave the build contract to a company in Kingston who had never built a boat before (Directly from the mouth of the yard manger) They were really bad, luckily even the government realized the goof and transferred the rest of the program to a reputable yard on the Coast.  We could have done the same for with our subs and tacked onto the German U 212 & 214 series and received the latest in sub tech from a yard with lots of experience.

I am a firm believer in keeping both the 105mm and the 155mm, both do an excellent job and the 105 C3 is the perfect gun for the reserves, robust and simple, do you know that the design first came out in 1919? With riveted trails and a different sight.

I would like to see also the 81mm go back to the Infantry and the RCA also adopt the mounted 120mm mortar. This would also make a good weapon for the reserves and having such a mix will allow us to tailor forces for the different missions we will be sent on over the next 10 years.

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Globe Article on Procurement
« Reply #61 on: February 19, 2006, 16:38:23 »
This is from the Globe and Mail, it is reproduced under the fair dealing provisions of the Copyright Act.

I have emphasized some comments by Doug Bland (Queens) regarding the broken defence procurement system.  Too many people – bureaucrats and politicians, alike, from too many government departments and agencies, with too many clients - all of whom want a fair share of every defence procurement dollar have too many finger in the pie.  Neither operational requirements nor fiscal sense are high priorities in this system – way too many cooks, etc.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20060218.wmilitary0218/BNStory 
Quote
[size-15pt]Defence plan big in scope, short on funds: analysts[/size]

JOHN WARD
Canadian Press

Ottawa — Conservative election promises to bolster the military with new ships, soldiers and an Arctic force are long on ambition but may have come up short on money, say defence analysts.

The Tories promised to recruit 13,000 new, full-time soldiers and another 10,000 reservists; to build three heavy, armed icebreakers, an Arctic deep-sea port and a surveillance system to keep watch over the North; and to buy new ships and planes.

They pledged to add $5.3-billion to the defence budget over five years.

Details remain sketchy, with Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor expected to start fleshing out the policy skeleton later this year. That process may begin in the new government's first budget, expected shortly after Parliament resumes in April.

But analysts say the promises already look far more costly than the Tories have suggested.

“I think the Conservatives did low-ball their spending estimates,” says Steve Staples of the Polaris Institute.

In promising the three icebreakers, the northern port and the surveillance system, Prime Minister Stephen Harper estimated the cost at about $2-billion.

Dan Middlemiss, director of the Centre for Foreign Policy Studies at Halifax's Dalhousie University, says that seems very low.

“I've heard $2-billion to $3-billion for the icebreakers.”

In 1985, the Mulroney government promised to build a heavy icebreaker at a cost of $500-million. Inflation since then would push that cost over $800-million.

The Canadian American Security Review, published at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, is also doubtful about the Conservative accounting.

“A cost of $2-billion for both ships and deepwater port seems doubtful,” the publication said. “Election promises are more convincing when better fleshed-out.”

The community of Iqaluit on Frobisher Bay has produced a plan of its own for a small deepwater berth facility — big enough to take a modest cruise ship — which it says would cost $50-million.

“A true deepwater port would be lots more than $50-million,” says Mr. Middlemiss. “Everybody that has mentioned that prospect said it would not be cheap.”

He also said that while the coast guard needs new icebreakers, there's no need for them in the navy.

“We're not planning to arm other icebreakers, so why should we put three in the Arctic? It's purely symbolic.”

Mr. Staples said the surveillance system — which would spread sensors across the Arctic to listen for submarines or other foreign vessels — is a pricey option by itself.

“My understanding is that this proposal has been around for a while and it was shelved because it was too expensive.”

He says a modern weapons system for the icebreakers “would cost a fortune.”

The Tories would like to build other vessels for the navy, including amphibious support ships and perhaps replacements for the tired Tribal-class destroyers.

These building plans would likely strain the country's shipbuilding capacity, says Ray Szeto, a research associate in the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary.

“With the demise of the Saint John (N.B.) shipyard, there aren't many shipyards left that have had experience with building naval vessels.”

He said the ship orders can't be filled within five years, as O'Connor promised during the campaign. It would take 10 years.

Part of the delay is because of the Byzantine procurement system within the Defence Department, says Doug Bland, chair of defence management studies at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont.

Mr. Bland said the new minister, a retired general, may be able to change the system because he knows how it works.

“Things look difficult perhaps if you think of things as ‘business as usual',” Mr. Bland said. “Procurement takes a long time partly because of the demands from Treasury Board for tonnes of paper to describe even the simplest thing.

“What would happen if we just decided to move ahead on deals without all the stuff of Ottawa?

“We bought the CF-18 in three years. Under present procedures we can buy icebreakers in 15 years or five years if we change things.”


Other parts of the Tory platform are also likely to cause headaches, analysts say.

The plan to recruit 13,000 new troops, for example, is ambitious.

“There's a lot of people rolling their eyes at that,” says Mr. Middlemiss. “They're facing really tough demographic issues in attracting folks right now.”

The military feeds on the shrinking pool of 18- to 24-year-olds in the population. Over the last three years, recruiters have signed up 10,000 people a year, regulars and reservists, just to keep the ranks static. The Tory plan to more than double the Liberal promise of 5,000 regulars will strain recruiting and training capabilities.

Mr. Szeto said the military is having trouble keeping the soldiers it has, much less trying to find more during economic good times.

“Let's face it: economic prosperity will make the employment landscape even more competitive, with the Canadian Forces being unable to be as appealing an employer.”

This recruiting drive comes at a time when the military is offering bonuses of up to $10,000 to civilians or former soldiers with certain needed skills. Doctors and dentists willing to sign up for four years can get bonuses of up to $250,000.

And the new bodies will add to the overall bill. Just paying 13,000 privates will cost $377 million a year, before they are outfitted, equipped or trained.

The Tory platform calls for placing new, fast-reaction battalions — say, 650 soldiers each — in Comox, B.C., Trenton, Ont., and Goose Bay, NL. That alone will likely cost hundreds of millions for new infrastructure, including housing and other facilities.

Add new medium-lift helicopters and strategic air transports and the bills climb even higher.

“All of these promises were politically motivated,” says Mr. Staples. “They weren't based on any objective study of what the threats are to Canada and what is needed to address them — and certainly not on the cost.”


It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
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Offline HDE

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Re: Sun Column on Procurement
« Reply #62 on: February 19, 2006, 23:37:47 »
I'm not sure Mr. Staples is a great choice for a thoughtful analysis on the cost of anything!  He claims Canada is already spending far more than is reasonable on the military, although all evidence suggests his claims are rather dodgy.   

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Canadian Military/Defence procurement
« Reply #63 on: May 26, 2012, 06:11:34 »
‘Overly confident’ DND failed to properly assess F-35 costs: auditor
daniel leblanc OTTAWA— Globe and Mail Update Tuesday, Apr. 03, 2012
Article Link
 
National Defence gambled on the F-35 fighter jet without running a fair competition, all the while lacking any cost certainty or any guarantee the plane could replace the current fleet of CF-18s by the end of the decade, the Auditor-General says.

The $16-billion plan to purchase a fleet of Lockheed-Martin F-35 jets could cost $25-billion over the project’s lifespan, yet it was done in unco-ordinated fashion among federal departments, with key data hidden from decision-makers and parliamentarians.

The scathing report by the Auditor-General will fuel a political headache for the Harper government, which has ignored years of opposition attacks on the matter and which was fully committed to the F-35 until a few weeks ago. The Conservatives have put together a plan to review the process and could ultimately select another fighter, but the report raises a number of questions about the 2010 announcement to skip a tendering process and directly buy a fleet of 65 stealth F-35s, which are still in development.

Michael Ferguson, who is launching his 10-year tenure as Auditor-General with this report, is particularly harsh on DND’s handling of the purchase, going back to the 2006 decision to formally sign on to the U.S.-led project.

“National Defence did not exercise the diligence that would be expected in managing a $25-billion commitment,” Mr. Ferguson said in a news release. “It is important that a purchase of this size be managed rigorously and transparently.”

Given cost increases and production delays in the F-35 program, the Auditor-General is raising concerns about DND’s plans to phase out its CF-18s by the end of the decade.

“Briefing material did not inform senior decision makers, central agencies, and the Minister of the problems and associated risks of relying on the F-35 to replace the CF-18. Nor did National Defence provide complete cost information to parliamentarians,” the report said.

The report added the $16-billion estimate for the cost of the project was “likely underestimated,” given it was established “without the aid of complete cost and other information.”

A major element in major military purchases in Canada is the potential for regional industrial benefits. However, in this case, the government was only told of “the most optimistic scenario,” leaving doubts about the actual benefits that will flow to Canadian companies.

“We are concerned, because these projections were used to support key decisions related to Canada’s participation in the [Joint Strike Fighter] Program and the purchase of the F-35 aircraft,” the report said.

Ottawa embarked on a sole-sourced process in 2006 to purchase the F-35, ignoring four other existing aircraft that might have proven to be safer choices. However, the Public Works department – which is responsible for the actual acquisition – was only fully involved in the process by late 2009.

“[Public Works] did not demonstrate due diligence in its role as the government’s procurement authority,” the report said.

In fact, Public Works only received the “statement of operational requirement” for the new fighters in August 2010, while the government had already signaled its intention to buy the F-35s the previous month.

“Practically speaking, by 2010, Canada was too involved in the JSF Program and the F-35 to run a fair competition,” the report said.

In his news release, Mr. Ferguson added: “[DND] did not acknowledge that the decision to purchase the F-35 was well underway four years before it was officially announced.”

Overall, the Auditor-General said that DND has been “overly confident” in its strategy to buy new fighter jets.

The report comes as the department is struggling to complete other major military procurements, including its 2004 decision to purchase Sikorsky helicopters, which were also still being developed, to replace the current fleet of Sea Kings. The new helicopters have yet to be delivered.

Civil aviation, border controls and debt

Other chapters in the report included the following findings:

» On federal oversight of civil aviation, Transport Canada received praise for implementing a new surveillance system. However concern was expressed that the department is not collecting important risk factors such as the financial health of an aviation company. Concerns were also raised about the level of documentation produced by inspectors.

The Auditor-General’s report states that “we also found that many fewer inspections are done than planned. This is significant considering that only the companies and the operations areas considered to be of higher risk are selected for inspection in any given year.”

» On border controls on commercial imports, the audit’s findings are largely favourable. The report notes that there is a need for a clearer agreement between Canada Border Services Agency and Health Canada on how to handle health-related products at the border.

» On the federal government’s management of interest-bearing debt, the report says the Department of Finance uses “a sound process.” However the Auditor-General says Ottawa needs to do a better job of clearly explaining how much of the federal debt is related to its pension obligations to public servants.

The federal debt for 2010-11 stood at $801.8-billion, of which $146.1-billion is obligations to public sector pension plans. This debt is largely because prior to 2000, the federal government did not set aside money in a separate fund to cover its pension obligations. The C.D. Howe Institute has argued that Ottawa should use a different accounting method, which would then value its unfunded pension liabilities at about $227-billion. The Auditor-General’s report does not weigh into that debate.
end


And now this bit of speculation, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Globe and Mail:

Quote
F-35 debacle spurs Tories to consider new agency for military purchases

STEVEN CHASE AND DANIEL LEBLANC

OTTAWA— From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, May. 26, 2012

The Conservative government is exploring handing responsibility for military procurement to a standalone agency as it tries to build a less dysfunctional process for buying defence equipment in the wake of stumbles such as the F-35 fighter project.

There is persistent unease in the Harper government over how badly defence procurement has been handled and the Conservatives have made it clear to senior civil servants, officials say, that they have tremendous interest “in doing this better.”

Staff at the Department of National Defence and Public Works are researching the merits of creating a separate purchasing agency as one way of creating a more efficient means of buying defence hardware.

“This is one idea that’s being kicked around,” one official said. “PMO hasn’t decided what PMO wants on this yet,” they said of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office.

A separate military procurement agency has not always proved to be a sure-fire winner for other countries and critics have raised concerns about how such an entity would be independent yet sufficiently accountable to elected officials.

The search for a fix, though, is evidence of the Harper government’s concern for the disturbing record of military procurement snafus that have piled up over the years.

The Conservatives tried to bring more order to military procurement last year when Mr. Harper appointed Julian Fantino as minister responsible for the portfolio. But the Auditor-General’s damning April report on mishandling of the F-35 jet purchase, and other purchasing troubles, have focused more attention on the problem.

The Defence Department is expected to resist setting up an arms-length agency that would effectively reduce its power and influence over billions of dollars in military purchasing, and will likely argue it’s more practical to merely tinker with the status quo.

DND has taken flak for decades of controversial purchases, from second-hand submarines that failed to meet basic expectations to new top-of-the-line maritime helicopters that are four years late, with no firm delivery date in sight.

The Conservative government has succeeded in buying two fleets of tactical and strategic transport planes in recent years, relying on sole-source purchases of off-the-shelves aircraft instead of buying products that were still in developmental stages.

But other procurements are bogged down in problems. Plans to buy a new fleet of transport helicopters as well as search-and-rescue planes have yet to get off the ground, as government officials struggle with budgetary and technical challenges.

In many cases, DND tries to “Canadianize” its purchases, seeking complex and expensive modifications to suit its unique needs.

At other times, technical requirements prove too complex. Last month, the government told manufacturers that it had to start anew on a $2-billion Close Combat Vehicle program because none of their proposals were fully compliant.

The Auditor-General has been particularly harsh about military purchases over the years, criticizing a number of big-ticket purchases that were conducted without a full and open competition.

Canada is not the only country struggling with military procurement. In 2005, Australia granted more autonomy to its Defence Materiel Organization in a bid to improve the efficiency of the agency that oversees military purchases.

However, the Australian entity found itself under attack last year after a series of procurement bungles including delays and cost overruns for artillery and warship acquisitions.


I, personally, favour a separate, "arms length" procurement agency ~ even as I do understand the political and bureaucratic opposition. Prime Minister Harper has demonstrated an inclination to letting experts (relatively disinterested bureaucrats) decide on e.g. shipbuilding and, now, the F-35, so a separate, from DND and PWGSC, procurement agency seems possible.

Maybe we can cal it The Department of Munitions and Supply, it worked well for ...


CD Howe, the Minister of Munitions and Supply and, arguably,
the last guy to have a good grip on defence procurement

It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
« Reply #64 on: May 26, 2012, 10:13:47 »
A little background for those slightly younger than the Trojan Horse.....

Quote
About C.D. Howe:


C.D. Howe was a cabinet minister for 22 years, first in the government of Mackenzie King, and then in the government of Louis St. Laurent. Nicknamed the "Minister of Everything," C.D. Howe was forthright and forceful, and more interested in getting things done than in policy. He mobilized Canada for World War II, turning the Canadian economy from one based primarily on agriculture to one based on industry, and after the war turned it into a consumer economy spurred by veterans.


Arguably a personality that would endear him to bureaucrats, the opposition and the press.  >:D

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Offline Colin P

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Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
« Reply #65 on: May 29, 2012, 15:47:17 »
Just a thought, how about the companies compete to build stuff for the military, without specifing the equipment in the process. The choices will be air, sea, armour, vehicles, weapons. The companies submit bids showing which contracts they have with which designers they have connections with. What their performace has been, what capacities they have. basically the companies get to prove they are competent, financially stable and have the necessary equipment and expertise to build the equipment the military requires. Once they win they get sole source for equipment in that range for X number of years, then we start the process over?

We sort of did the above with the shipbuilding contracts.

Offline LineJumper

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Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
« Reply #66 on: May 29, 2012, 15:55:14 »
Kinda smells like LSVW.
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Offline MCG

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Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
« Reply #67 on: May 31, 2012, 11:58:43 »
Movement on this:

Quote
Tories aim to reform procurement process
Ambrose outlines federal government's frustration over military purchasing

Lee Berthiaume
Ottawa Citizen
31 May 12

The minister responsible for overseeing billions of dollars in federal government purchases says she is "tired" of the problems that have plagued an increasing number of military procurement projects.

Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose went on to say she was aware of "internal obstacles to change," but warned the Conservative government is planning to move ahead with plans to reform the system.

"Things have to change," Ambrose said during a keynote speech in Ottawa on Wednesday. "They must continue to change. Because the status quo is not an option."

The past month has seen a harsh spotlight cast on the federal government's efforts to buy military hardware, starting with Auditor General Michael Ferguson's scathing report on the $25-billion F-35 stealth fighter program.

Since then, problems have emerged with the government's plan to buy armoured vehicles, armed Arctic patrol ships and search-and-rescue aircraft.

Some of the projects have been delayed by years, while others have fallen off the rails entirely.

National Defence has been blamed for many of the problems and, as a result, the government has taken a number of the projects out of the Defence Department's hands and given them to Public Works.

Much of Ambrose's speech focused on the importance of leveraging the billions of taxpayer dollars spent on military procurement to encourage economic growth and innovation.

But the minister's most pointed comments were reserved for the end, when she appeared to be warning federal bureaucrats and others she was "a little tired of being told that something can't be done."

"And I've become tired of all the duplication and the competing agendas," she added.

And in a surprising acknowledgment of the problems the F-35 project has caused the Conservative government, Ambrose said: "We accept that public and parliamentary confidence in this process to date is low, and that's not acceptable."

Liberal MP Gerry Byrne said Ambrose's comments about the state of procurement "described a federal government in chaos when it comes to how billions of dollar of taxpayers money is spent on military hardware."

But Ambrose also noted the positive assessments of the hands-off approach the government took when awarding $33 billion in contracts to Irving Shipyards in Halifax and Seaspan Marine in Vancouver as part of the national shipbuilding procurement strategy. 
A similar process, involving the establishment of a group of senior bureaucrats to manage the competition outside political circles and a third-party "fairness monitor," has been set up to aid the government's eight-year effort to replace Canada's fleet of search-and-rescue aircraft, she said.

Offline Wolseleydog

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Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
« Reply #68 on: June 24, 2012, 17:14:23 »
My two cents worth, from the perspective of the F-35 imbroglio:

This whole boondoggle is clear evidence of just how completely broken our major procurement process is.

First of all -- just what does everyone expect from a so-called "open competition"? The various options for a new fighter were studied for years. Book shelves groan under the weight of the reports they generated, considering options, examining various angles: aircraft performance, strategic utility, industrial offsets etc. Recommendations based upon all of that went up to cabinet. The duly elected cabinet of this nation made a decision based upon all of that. And the word I hear is that cabinet didn't agonize over this decision over-much -- they rather straightforwardly endorsed the recommendation without any particular hand-wringing. (Perhaps they regret that now.)

So why, then, was this "sole sourced" rather than subject to an "open competition"? Because the politicians know that so-called "open competitions" do not work. Pop quiz: how many major military procurements have been successfully concluded by open competition, and how many by sole sourcing? By my count the answer is: in the current era, open competition has failed to successfully procure a single major acquisition (fixed wing SAR anyone?), whereas every major acquisition that has been successfully fielded was by direct sole sourcing (C-17, J model Hercs, Leopard IIs, the LAV-IIIs before that...). Even the much ballyhooed new ship building contracts were accomplished by a "special" political process rather than via the formal rules for an "open competition". The one possible exception I can think of is the Cyclone helicopter that will replace the Sea King, but it is arguably a rather special politically fixed case, and at any rate, it is still not fielded yet.

Indeed, the cynic in me would suggest that politicians game the system: when there is political will to purchase something, it is "sole sourced." When there is not the political will to purchase something, it is sent out to formal tender, since the politicos can rest assured that doing so will leave it languishing indefinitely. This is why the critics of the F-35 purchase are correct on one specific point -- of course the statement of requirement (SOR) was "fixed." It was written after all of the study and subsequent cabinet decision I described in the first para above. In point of fact, the SOR was written after the real decision (cabinet level decision I have to point out) had been taken, precisely *BECAUSE* the choice had been made. Therefore, since they actually did want to make the purchase, they proceeded with what one might call the "real" procurement mechanism -- that is, sole sourcing. Had cabinet not made a choice and a firm decision to procure, it would have been sent back for more study, and/or "open competition."

I would suggest that what people should really be asking is: is the above any way to run a railroad?

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
« Reply #69 on: June 24, 2012, 23:01:32 »
What we actually have here is not so much a boondoggle on the part of DND, the CF or the Government; but more of a journalist (or two.....or more) sticking their noses into something that they know nothing about and then inciting the Public into a frenzy.  Technology is not cheap.  Military Technology is even more expensive.  Look at this video:

JSF F-35

This is an expensive piece of technology.  Now look at this:


F-35 JSF Distributed Aperture System (EO DAS)


This is not a Biplane from WW I.  This is a fighter of the future.

In the end, when journalists and the Public become involved in the secretive portions of National Defence, the nation's defence is compromised.
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Offline WingsofFury

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Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
« Reply #70 on: July 19, 2012, 11:05:00 »
Hot off the press...

Quote
Ottawa eyes plan to loosen DND’s grip on military procurement

STEVEN CHASE
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jul. 19 2012, 6:00 AM EDT
Last updated Thursday, Jul. 19 2012, 6:48 AM EDT

The Harper government, eager to fix Canada’s chronically dysfunctional system for buying military equipment, is considering changes that would strip the Department of National Defence of significant responsibility in steering major purchases.

Stephen Harper and staff in the Prime Minister’s Office are determined to reform the way Canada buys military equipment after a string of troubled purchases, from F-35 fighter jets to supply ships to combat vehicles, have left the impression the Conservatives are failing to effectively manage this spending.

One option under serious study is the creation of a permanent secretariat, reporting to the Department of Public Works, that would take responsibility for all major military procurements above a certain dollar value, a Department of National Defence source said.

Such a shift would signal the Harper government has lost faith in National Defence’s ability to safeguard the public purse. It would also represent an important reduction in DND’s traditional role in drawing up specifications for big expenditures: in effect, the designing and selecting of the options for purchase.

More at the link ->  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-eyes-plan-to-loosen-dnds-grip-on-military-procurement/article4426707/

Offline Teeps74

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Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
« Reply #71 on: July 19, 2012, 12:02:48 »
Hmmm, I would argue that the issue with procurrement is not within DND, but all the external pressures applied to the DND. This article (above) has a plan which would NOT fix the issues... It would just give us more TacVests and LSVWs.
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Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
« Reply #72 on: July 19, 2012, 12:04:59 »
Hmmm, I would argue that the issue with procurrement is not within DND,

You would be wrong. Issues may also lie elsewhere in government, but nonetheless, DND itself, is a source of significant problems.

Offline Teeps74

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Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
« Reply #73 on: July 19, 2012, 14:20:05 »
Fair enough (I did say LSVW after all)... The process as it stands is problematic and I can accept that. Perhaps it is time to actually start from scratch.
"... to fight and conquer in all your battles
    is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists
    in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."
- Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Offline Petard

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Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
« Reply #74 on: July 19, 2012, 21:25:23 »
There's no doubt Canadians endure a very convoluted procurement methodology
But the discussion to steamline it is certainly not new
I see even these dated recommendations as a good start pt, but very unlikely to occur given the tone/intent of the recent announcement
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/HOC/Committee/371/NDVA/GovResponse/RP142237/NDVAPR1/Scondva-e.pdf


After all is said and done...
« Last Edit: July 19, 2012, 21:30:41 by Petard »