Public Works and Government Services Canada

Public Works and Government Services Canada

October 25, 2010 21:02 ET

Letter to the Editor: Rehabilitation of Parliament Buildings

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 25, 2010) - This letter intends to clarify a number of points regarding recent media stories relating to the rehabilitation of the West Block of the Parliament buildings.

First, let's be clear that PWGSC is committed to ensuring that its procurement processes are open, fair and transparent, and provide best value for money.

And, as with all PWGSC procurement processes, the contract awarded to LM Sauvé for work on the West Block was the result of a competitive, open and transparent process.

For the restoration of the Parliament Buildings, all major construction contracts have been awarded through a competitive process. In fact, most contracts have been awarded through a two-stage competitive process, which is used for technically complex projects such as the restoration of the Parliament Buildings.

The first step, a pre-qualification stage is open to the entire industry. This ensures, as mentioned above, that the companies have the required expertise and experience to deal with specialized work.

The second step invites those who pre-qualified to submit their bids.

The technical criteria are developed by architectural and engineering specialists from the public service and the evaluation conducted by a separate and independent committee of technical experts based on objective, pre-determined and transparent criteria – leveraging expertise from both the private sector and the public service. All technical, financial and contractual decisions were made by public servants.

In the case of the contract for the West Block North Tower, seven companies applied to the pre-qualification process. Five met the criteria for pre-qualification and each one of these submitted a bid. All tenders submitted are strictly controlled and are then opened publicly to promote transparency. LM Sauvé had the lowest bid. Everyone who has worked on the North Tower has been security cleared, including all employees of LM Sauvé. 

It is also important to note that it is quite common for the Government to amend criteria in its solicitations to industry. PWGSC does not want to unreasonably limit competition. Therefore, when reasonable requests are made by industry to improve or further clarify without affecting the project objectives, PWGSC has a responsibility to listen and make reasonable adjustments. This is standard practice and this precisely what was done in the case of the West Block North Towers rehabilitation contract. No contract amendment benefited any particular contractor.

In April 2009, the work was removed from LM Sauvé, due to non-performance. As for the issues regarding sub-contractors hired by the bonding company, PWGSC has no contractual engagement with any of them. The bonding company is responsible for managing relationships with sub-contractors and for resolving any disputes that may arise.

In turn, PWGSC holds the bonding company accountable for completing the projects under the original contractual terms.

Once again, PWGSC is committed to preserving Canada's parliamentary heritage and to do it in a way that is fair, open and transparent.

To that end, all documentation related to this particular procurement process is available at: 

Rehabilitation Procurement Documents: 

Modernization of the Buildings: 

François Guimont

Contact Information

  • Public Works and Government Services Canada
    Media Relations