An excerpt from the Auditor Generals report: [emphasis mine] ... "National Defence and Industry Canada recognized that Canada’s participation in the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program provided opportunities for industrial benefits to Canada, and they took appropriate steps to help Canadian industry take advantage of those opportunities.
In contrast, National Defence did not recognize early enough that its involvement in the program had procurement implications. Consequently, it did not engage Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) early enough to establish a suitable process, consistent with procurement rules and including appropriate safeguards, to manage a project of this nature and magnitude.
When National Defence decided to recommend the acquisition of the F-35, it was too involved with the aircraft and the JSF Program to run a fair competition. It applied the rules for standard procurement projects but prepared key documents and took key steps out of proper sequence.
As a result, the process was inefficient and not managed well. Key decisions were made without required approvals or supporting documentation. Information provided to decision makers was incomplete, and no plan was developed for extending the life of the CF-18 fleet in the event of prolonged delays in the delivery of a jet that is still being developed.
For its part, PWGSC, in its role as the government’s procurement authority, did not do enough to ensure the integrity—the fairness and transparency—of the procurement process.
National Defence did not follow the basics of good management that would be expected for a $25 billion commitment by the government. It is important that a purchase of this magnitude follow a rigorous, transparent process.
Message from the Auditor General—Spring 2012:
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