Fairness Monitor Contractor's Final Report

September 23, 2010

Prepared by: PSC The Public Sector Company Limited

Long Term Accommodation Project (LTAP) Design Build Finance Maintain (DBFM)

As Fairness Monitor, PSC The Public Sector Company Limited (hereafter referred to as the Fairness Monitor) hereby submits its Final Report (FM Final Report ) pertaining to the competitive procurement process for the design, build, finance and maintenance of a Communications Security Establishment Canada headquarters facility undertaken by Defence Construction Canada (DCC) through DCC Project #0000001598.

This FM Final Report covers the activities of the Fairness Monitor chronologically throughout the complete process commencing with a review of the Request for Qualification (RFQ) posted on MERX to the conclusion of the evaluation of the Technical and Financial Proposals and the selection of the Preferred Proponent.

Fairness Monitor Attestation of Assurance

It is the opinion of the Fairness Monitor that the competitive procurement process for the design, build, finance and maintenance of a Communications Security Establishment Canada headquarters facility undertaken by Defence Construction Canada (DCC) was conducted in a fair manner. In this context, fairness is defined as decisions made objectively, free from personal favouritism and political influence, and encompasses the elements of openness, competitiveness, integrity, transparency and compliance.

Scope and Objectives of the Fairness Monitor Assignment

The overall objective was to provide DCC with independent observation and fairness related comments.

Our Fairness Monitor Services included:

  • the provision of fairness related comments on the Request for Qualification document including addenda and to bring attention to possible fairness issues that might arise during the RFQ evaluation process;
  • the observation of the evaluation of responses received to the RFQ to ensure the RFQ specified evaluation and selection procedures and departmental policy were followed and consistently applied during the evaluation and selection process;
  • the observation of the debriefings provided to the respondents to the RFQ to ensure transparency and a level playing field for the Request for Proposal (RFP) phase;
  • the provision of fairness related comments on the RFP including drafts of addenda to be forwarded to the qualified Proponents, to improve clarity, transparency and competitiveness, and to bring attention to possible fairness issues that might arise during the evaluation process;
  • the observation of all One-on-One Collaboration Meetings; and
  • the observation of the evaluation of the responses received to the RFP and the preferred Proponent selection process to ensure consistency with the procedures and requirements specified in the RFP.

Our services include observing the debriefings provided to the unsuccessful Proponents to be provided at a later date which will be covered in an addendum to this Report.

Fairness Monitor Activities and Specific Findings

FM Activities Related to the RFQ Phase

The RFQ was posted on MERX on September 11, 2009 and closed on November 12, 2009. Four responses were received.

FM Activities related to the Period up to RFQ Closing

During the period September 11, 2009 to November 11, 2009, the Fairness Monitor Specialist (FM Specialist) reviewed the RFQ as posted on MERX and Addenda 1 and 2 to the RFQ as posted on MERX. Fairness-related observations were provided to the Contracting Authority. All observations were dealt with appropriately.

On September 30, 2009, the FM Specialist observed the Information Session provided to interested potential respondents.

On October 15 and 16, 2009, the FM Specialist reviewed correspondence concerning a relationship matter raised by a potential Respondent in accordance with the RFQ and observed a meeting of the Project Relationship Review Committee on the matter. The matter was given due consideration.

No fairness issues were identified.

FM Activities related to the Evaluation of Responses to the RFQ

On October 30, 2009, the FM Specialist observed the Evaluators Orientation Session during which all evaluators were provided with a written evaluation plan and were briefed on their responsibilities and the procedures to be used for the evaluation of responses to the RFQ. The procedures and plan were consistent with the RFQ and good practice.

On November 19, 2009, the FM Specialist observed a meeting of the Project Relationship Review Committee at which relationship-type information submitted by Respondents on completed Relationship Disclosure Forms in accordance with the RFQ were reviewed. In addition, the Committee reviewed the completed Conflict of Interest Disclosure Forms from each evaluator. Due consideration was given to each disclosure. No fairness issues were indentified.

During the period November 23, 2009 to November 27, 2009, the FM Specialist observed consensus discussions on the assignment of a score for each evaluation criterion specified in the RFQ for each respondent submission. Consensus scores were assigned after a thorough discussion in accordance with the criteria and guidelines specified in the RFQ. No fairness issues were identified.

On December 7, 2009, the FM Specialist observed the meeting of the Evaluation Committee during which the results of the evaluation of RFQ responses were briefed to the Committee and the Committee conducted a due diligence review of the evaluation process and results. The review was comprehensive and consistent with due diligence. The Committee endorsed the award recommendation. No fairness issues were identified.

On December 14, 2009, the FM Specialist observed the meeting of the Award Committee during which the results of the evaluation were briefed and the Committee conducted its due diligent review. The Committee agreed with the award recommendation. No fairness issues were identified.

FM Activities Related to RFQ Debriefings

On January 5, 2010, the FM Specialist observed the debriefing of the unsuccessful Proponent that responded to the RFQ. On January 11, 19 and 21, 2010, he observed the debriefings provided to the three successful Proponents on the evaluation findings of their submissions in response to the RFQ. No fairness issues were identified.

FM Activities Related to the RFP Phase

FM Activities Related to the RFP Document

During the period February 8, 2010 to February11, 2010, the FM Specialist reviewed the RFP, including Appendices, provided to the three qualified Proponents. A limited review was conducted of Appendix E "Initial Project Agreement" during this period, and subsequently it was reviewed in more depth during the course of the One-on-One Collaborative Meetings as new versions were issued.

On February 20, May 21, June 9 and 25, 2010, the FM Specialist reviewed Amendments 1 to 4 to the RFP. On April 7, 2010, he reviewed the process used to record, process and respond to Requests for Information (RFIs) and during the period March 2010 through June 2010, he reviewed RFIs and responses.

No fairness issues were identified.

FM Activities Related to Advance Relationship Rulings

On March 8, 2010, the FM Specialist reviewed information provided by a Proponent concerning a request for an advance ruling on a relationship question. On March 9, 2010, he monitored a conference call of the Project Relationship Committee during which the issue was discussed and a decision agreed.

On March 23, 2010, the FM Specialist discussed with the Contracting Authority another request for an advance ruling and the decision of the Project Relationship Committee.

In both cases, due consideration was given to the requests and no fairness issues were identified.

FM Activities Related to the One-on-One Collaborative Meetings

On February 11, 2010, the FM Specialist reviewed with the Contracting Authority, who was the Chairperson for the One-on-One Collaborative Meetings, the fairness-related rules that would govern the meetings. The rules which were included in the RFP were outlined to each Proponent at the start of the first meeting with each Proponent and remained in place and were followed throughout all meetings.

During the period February 17 to June 24, 2010, the FM Specialist observed 39 One-on-One Collaborative Meetings – thirteen with each Proponent. He also observed most DCC/CSEC mid day and post One-on-One meetings that were often called to agree on responses to be provided to the Proponent, as well as any follow-up action that was appropriate.

On June 12 and13, 2010, the FM Specialist monitored a one-on-one conference call with a Proponent during which changes to the Project Agreement were discussed. One June 13, 2010, he monitored a similar one-on-one conference call with another Proponent. The remaining Proponent declined a similar conference call with the knowledge that the other two Proponents were going ahead with their respective calls.

All One-on-One Collaborative Meetings and conference calls were conducted in accordance with the rules specified in the RFP. No fairness issues were identified.

FM Activities Related to Preparation for Evaluation

On June 15, 2010, the FM Specialist reviewed a document entitled "Evaluation Guidelines" which outlined the governance, structure, rules, plans and other aspects for the LTAP proposal evaluation activity.

On August 3, 2010, the FM Specialist observed an orientation session for some of the evaluators during which evaluators were provided with a written evaluation plan and were briefed on their responsibilities and the procedures to be used for the evaluation of responses to the RFP. The procedures and plan were consistent with the RFP and good practice. A similar session was held at a later time for the remaining evaluators.

On August 5, 2010, he monitored a teleconference meeting of the Project Relationship Committee that discussed a request submitted by one Proponent. The matter was given due consideration.

No fairness deficiencies were noted.

FM Activities Related to the Evaluation

On August 10, 2010, August 11, 2010 and August 12, 2010, the FM Specialist observed the Proposal Presentations provided by each Proponent to the evaluators. Each Proponent followed the rules which were provided in advance.

During the period August 16, 2010 to August 27, 2010, he observed, on a random sample basis, meetings of each of the technical proposal evaluation teams during which a consensus finding was reached on each Technical Proposal Requirement and on each Technical Evaluation Criterion. Each evaluation finding was consistent with the RFP and applicable proposal. He also observed interim reports of each Evaluation Team to the Evaluation Committee in which preliminary findings were described.

On August 30, 2010, the FM Specialist observed a meeting of the Evaluation Committee during which the Information Technology (IT) Team reported and justified its evaluation findings and the Committee by consensus agreed on an IT score for each Proposal.

On August 31, 2010, he observed a meeting of the Evaluation Committee during which the Facility Management (FM) Team reported and justified its evaluation findings and the Committee by consensus agreed on a FM score for each Proposal.

On September 1 and 2, 2010, he observed a meeting of the Evaluation Committee during which the Design and Construction (D&C) Team reported and justified its evaluation findings and the Committee by consensus agreed on a D & C score for each Proposal.

On September 14 and 15, he observed meetings of the Commercial and Financial Team during which evaluation findings on the Financial Proposals were discussed and agreed.

On September 17, 2010, he observed a meeting of the Evaluation Committee during which the Commercial and Financial Team reported and justified its evaluation findings and the Committee by consensus agreed on a Financial and Commercial score for each Proposal.

On September 22, 2010, the FM Specialist observed a meeting of the Award Committee at which the Evaluation Committee presented its evaluation results and the Award Committee performed its due diligence review of the evaluation results. The Award Committee unanimously agreed on a recommendation for a Preferred Proponent.

The Evaluation Teams, the Evaluation Committee and the Award Committee carried out their work in a fair manner, ensuring at each level that each evaluation finding, ranking and score was based on the requirements and criteria contained in the RFP and the applicable proposal.

Peter Woods, Fairness Monitor Specialist

Bruce Maynard, Fairness Monitor Team Leader