30 novembre 2018 | Local, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

Why can't Ottawa get military procurement right?

Murray Brewster · CBC News

The last couple of weeks may go down in the Trudeau government's public record as the point when the desires of deliverology met the drawbacks of defence procurement.

Remember 'deliverology'?

That lofty concept — measuring a government's progress in delivering on its promises — was the vogue in policy circles at the beginning of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's administration.

While it's sometimes derided as an empty concept, deliverology must have seemed tailor-made for a new government inheriting a troubled defence procurement system.

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal's decision Tuesday to step into the brawl over which multinational consortium will design and support the construction of the navy's new frigates is another lesson in how (apologies to Robert Burns) the best laid plans of mice and men go awry.

The tribunal's decision to order Ottawa to put the frigate project on hold pending the completion of their probe into a complaint by a failed bidder comes at a politically awkward time for the Liberals.

One week ago, Auditor General Michael Ferguson delivered an ugly report on the Liberals' handling of fighter jet procurement — specifically, the plan to buy interim warplanes to cover the gap until the current CF-18 fleet can be replaced with new aircraft.

Self-inflicted wounds

A cynic's reflex (given the checkered history of defence purchasing over the last decade) might be to consider these two events as just another day at the office for the troubled government procurement system.

That might not be entirely fair. Still, experts were saying Wednesday that the government is suffering from numerous self-inflicted political and administrative wounds on this file.

With a federal election on the horizon, and in a climate of growing geopolitical instability, the question of what the government has actually managed to deliver on military procurement is an important one to ask, said Rob Huebert, an analyst in strategic studies at the University of Calgary.

While the system, as the Trudeau Liberals and previous governments have constructed it, seems to be the perfect model of the "evidence based" policy making promised by the champions of deliverology, it's also not built for speed.

Some would suggest the deliverology model was followed to the letter in the design competition now tied up before the trade tribunal and in Federal Court.

What seemed like endless consultations with the bidders took two years. The government made up to 88 amendments to the tender. And in the end, the preferred bid was challenged by a competitor that claims not all of the navy's criteria were met.

Alion Science and Technology Corp. and its subsidiary, Alion Canada, argue the warship Lockheed Martin Canada and BAE System Inc. want to sell to Ottawa cannot meet the speed requirements set by the tender without a substantial overhaul.

It does not, the company claims, meet the government's demand for a proven, largely off-the-shelf design.

Michael Armstrong, who teaches at Brock University and holds a doctorate in management science, said the government could have avoided the challenges and accompanying slowdowns had it been more precise in its language.

"They could have been more clear and firm when they use the words 'proven design'," he said. "Did they literally mean we won't buy ships unless they're floating in the water? Or did they mean that British one that doesn't quite exist yet is close enough?

"If they would have been more firm and said, 'We want a ship that actually exists,' that might have simplified things at this stage."

Huebert described the auditor general's report on the purchase of interim fighters as an all-out assault on evidence-based policy making.

"It is just so damning," he said.

A break with reality

The Conservatives have accused the Liberals of avoiding the purchase of the F-35 stealth jet through manufacturing a crisis by claiming the air force doesn't have enough fighters to meet its international commitments. The auditor found that the military could not meet the government's new policy commitment and even ignored advice that one of its proposed solutions — buying brand-new Super Hornets to fill the capability gap —would actually make their problems worse, not better.

That statement, said Huebert, suggested a jaw-dropping break with reality on the government's part.

"They [the Liberals] were just making things up," he said.

It might have been too optimistic to expect the Liberals to fix the system, said Armstrong, given the short four years between elections.

But Huebert said Ottawa can't carry on with business as usual — that the government now must deliver on procurement, instead of doubling down on rhetoric.

The problem, he said, is that governments haven't really paid a price in the past for botched military procurement projects. There was "no political pain for the agony of the Sea King replacement, as an example," he said, referring to the two-decade long process to retire the air force's maritime helicopters.

"The thing that makes me so concerned, even outraged, is that we are heading into a so much more dangerous international environment," said Huebert, citing last weekend's clash between Russia and Ukraine over the Kerch Strait and ongoing tension with Beijing in the South China Sea.

"When things get nasty, we have to be ready."

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/why-can-t-ottawa-get-military-procurement-right-1.4924800

Sur le même sujet

  • High cost of living dragging down Armed Forces morale, chaplain general warns | CBC News

    8 octobre 2023 | Local, Terrestre, C4ISR

    High cost of living dragging down Armed Forces morale, chaplain general warns | CBC News

    Military chaplains are seeing an increasing number of soldiers, sailors and aircrew who — squeezed by the soaring cost of living and stuck in a system that forces them to relocate — are in financial distress and seeking assistance.

  • Canadian military to get new sniper rifles

    13 mai 2020 | Local, Terrestre

    Canadian military to get new sniper rifles

    David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen, Postmedia News (dpugliese@ottawacitizen.com) Published: 23 hours ago Updated: 6 hours ago Canadian military sniper teams will be getting new rifles with the first expected to be delivered in the fall. The Liberal government is spending $8.5 million on purchasing the 272 rifles and spare parts. The C20 will replace the C8 as the personal defence weapon for Canadian Forces sniper teams, confirmed Department of National Defence spokeswoman Andrée-Anne Poulin. The government will also launch a competition sometime this month to buy 229 bolt action sniper rifles. That rifle, designated as the C21, will be used for long-range shooting and will come in two different calibres. The Canadian Forces says the new C20, which will be in 7.62 calibre, will be more accurate and an improvement over the current C8 used by sniper teams. The federal government initially awarded a $2-million contact to Colt Canada in Kitchener on February 28 to establish the production line to produce the C20 weapon. That contract also includes an initial delivery of 10 of the C20 rifles. That early production run is to ensure Colt has the technical proficiency to deliver the new weapon, added Poulin. The federal government then awarded a $6.5-million contract to Colt Canada on April 17 to produce 262 additional C20 rifles, associated equipment and spare parts. No announcement was made of the deal, in contrast to the announcement by defence minister Harjit Sajjan on Jan. 24 that the government was purchasing 3,600 machine guns from Colt. DND said an announcement wasn't made about the sniper rifles because the government is focused on its efforts to send out information about the novel coronavirus. Defence officials, however, privately say the deal wasn't publicized because there was concern about the political optics of such an announcement coming just before the Liberal government banned assault rifles, including those made by Colt Canada, from being owned by private citizens. Sajjan's office and the Prime Minister's Office are now carefully reviewing all communications the department sends to the news media, even on non-COVID-19 issues. DND didn't have a per-unit cost for the new C20 rifles. But officials acknowledge that taxpayers are paying a premium to have the guns manufactured in Canada under what is called the Munitions Supply Program, which sees such work directed to Colt Canada. For instance, the machine guns that Sajjan announced in January cost about double what other militaries pay for similar weapons. The Canadian Forces expects deliveries of the new C20 to begin in November. The last deliveries are expected in March 2021, Poulin noted. It was decided to forgo a competition for the new C21 rifle because an analysis under the Munitions Supply Program showed that having Colt create a new production line for just 229 rifles would be too expensive, according to DND. There are many manufacturers of such bolt action rifles throughout the world. Colt was also given another contract under the Munitions Supply Program to refurbish 75 C15 rifles at a cost of $281,000. Those rifles are in .50 calibre. The Canadian Forces expects delivery of those refurbished rifles to be completed by March 31, 2021, according to Poulin. The Canadian Forces has a program to outfit its sniper teams with modern equipment ranging from optical sights, new body armour, night vision equipment, ballistic calculators and “concealment kits.” Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020 https://www.thechronicleherald.ca/news/canada/canadian-military-to-get-new-sniper-rifles-448930/

  • AchatsCanada est ici! Fournisseurs inscrivez-vous aujourd’hui!

    6 juillet 2021 | Local, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    AchatsCanada est ici! Fournisseurs inscrivez-vous aujourd’hui!

    AchatsCanada est une nouvelle gamme de services d'approvisionnement en ligne lancée par Services publics et Approvisionnement Canada (SPAC). Elle offre une panoplie intéressante d'occasions de faire affaire avec le gouvernement. Services publics et Approvisionnement Canada (SPAC) utilise SAP Ariba, un outil en ligne permettant aux entreprises de consulter les occasions de marché du gouvernement du Canada ainsi que de soumissionner. AchatsCanada remplacera éventuellement le service d'appels d'offres sur le site Achatsetventes. Si vous êtes habitué à Achatsetventes, ne vous inquiétez pas! Le passage à AchatsCanada se fera par étapes, au fil du temps. Pour l'instant, SPAC continuera d'afficher les occasions de marché sur Achatsetventes. La seule différence sera que certaines occasions de marché ouvriront dans SAP Ariba. Afin de visionner ces occasions de marché en détail et de soumissionner, les entreprises seront invitées à créer un compte. Inscrivez-vous à l'avance, et remplissez le profil de votre entreprise pour gagner du temps et vous permettre de vous concentrer entièrement sur la préparation de votre soumission, le moment venu. Inscrivez-vous sur AchatsCanada aujourd'hui afin de joindre plus de 3 000 fournisseurs déjà enregistrés! AchatsCanada est là pour vous aider durant la transition. Pour obtenir de l'aide, appelez-nous, envoyez‑nous un courriel ou clavardez avec notre centre de service.

Toutes les nouvelles