Public Works and Government Services Canada

Public Works and Government Services Canada

March 25, 2011 14:29 ET

Letter to the Editor: Response from the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy Secretariat

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 25, 2011) - The following clarification is provided in response to questions that have been recently raised regarding a perceived last-minute change to the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS) Request for Proposal (RFP).

There were no "last-minute changes" to the RFP that excluded any of the five short-listed respondents. On February 7, the NSPS RFP was issued to the five short-listed shipyards with a number of articles left blank. Those articles dealt with requirements which bidders must meet including at what point in time a bidder must demonstrate that they are solvent. The areas were left blank because the Government's proposed wording was being disputed by one of the short-listed shipyards. The shipyard had asked the Government to significantly change these sections of the RFP.

The government position that all bidders must be solvent at time of bid closing had been discussed with the shipyards in various meetings since December and the proposed wording had been provided to the shipyards in a draft version of the RFP in late January. Following a thorough review of the requested changes Canada decided to maintain its position and proceed with the original wording. As a result of this decision the qualified shipyards were provided with the original wording of the RFP on February 14.

The requirement to submit a change of ownership in advance of bid closing was known by all shipyards since the beginning of the NSPS process. The only change from earlier discussions was that the number of days for the notice was increased from 30 to 50 before bid closing, and the RFP bid period was also increased from 100 to 150 days. There were no comments or requests for change by the shipyards regarding this application timing at the time the draft RFP was shared with the shipyards in late January or since the RFP was formally released in early February.

Decisions regarding requirements or the process itself are reviewed by independent third parties whom we have contracted to ensure that the process is fair, open and transparent.

This procurement process is of the utmost importance to Canada's shipbuilding industry, the Navy, the Canadian Coast Guard and thousands of workers in our national naval industry who will enjoy long-term employment because of it.

In light of that fact, it is entirely reasonable for the Government of Canada to want to ensure that companies submitting bids in this process be financially viable.

We conduct our procurement processes according to sound business principles. Among the essential factors we take into consideration are capacity, financial stability, certainty and security.

Additional information on this initiative may be found on the NSPS Secretariat's Web site at http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/app-acq/sam-mps/navals-shipyards0309-eng.html.

Scott Leslie
Director General, Marine Sector
Public Works and Government Services Canada

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