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The Parade Square => The Canadian Military => Topic started by: sdimock on February 10, 2005, 15:59:51

Title: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: sdimock on February 10, 2005, 15:59:51
I wasn't completely sure where this should go as it applies to all arms of the armed forces.
( moderator feel free to move it)

Here is the link to the article

http://www.canada.com/trail/story.html?id=40daf4f3-f771-46e6-966b-72798ef9feed


Politics contributed to poor shape of sub
  
Stephen Thorne
Canadian Press

Thursday, February 10, 2005
 
OTTAWA (CP) -- The ill-fated Chicoutimi and three sister submarines might have been in better shape if Canada's protracted and politicized procurement process had not left them rotting for years at British docks, a Commons committee heard Thursday.

"We're all fed up with how long it takes to buy major equipment around here,'' Pat O'Brien, chairman of the Commons defence committee, said after witnesses suggested politics contributed to the deterioration of the subs.

"It is ridiculously slow to get military equipment purchased in this country.''

The all-party committee is studying acquisition of the used diesel-electric submarines from Britain after a sailor died as a result of a fire aboard Chicoutimi during her first transatlantic voyage under Canadian command last fall.

Politicization of the procurement process is emerging as the major issue surrounding the $800-million lease-to-purchase plan cabinet first approved in 1995.

MPs have been told the boats were in bad shape when Canada finally bought them in 1998. Witnesses have described leaks, electrical problems and equipment malfunctions, largely, they said, attributable to years of neglect.

In December, former defence minister David Collenette said the subs corroded for three years after the purchase was approved because then-prime minister Jean Chretien considered the idea politically unpalatable.

Prof. Martin Shadwick, an expert in military procurement from York University, told the panel Thursday the British might have better cared for the vessels if they had known how long it would take Canada to take possession of them.

He also said the lag time between decommissioning Canada's old subs and bringing the new ones into service eroded the navy's undersea expertise and training regimen.

If Canada had begun looking for a new army jeep in September 1939 at the rate it moves today, Shadwick said it would not have taken delivery of the vehicles before the war ended in May 1945.

"Sadly, it seems in many cases we've concluded that the quickest way to speed up procurement in this country is not to buy anything at all,'' said Shadwick.

During the tender process for the 1980s purchase of CF-18 fighter jets, only 25 per cent of the specifications focused on the military's technical and operational requirements for the aircraft, Shadwick said.

The other three-quarters of the data the government released to bidders related to industrial benefits, offsets, job creation and technology transfer, he said.

"Right there in a nutshell is the problem,'' Shadwick said. "We've overly politicized this.''

While constitutionally the country can never take politics completely out of defence procurement, Canada has "pushed this further than, perhaps, most countries,'' he said.

"At a time when our defence dollars are even more tightly rationed, the fact that we take a decade, a decade-and-a-half to purchase very simple equipment is cause for sheer disbelief, if nothing else.''

Alberta Conservative MP Rick Casson said all agree the procurement process is "unbelievably long'' and the submarine procurement took too much time.

New Democrat Bill Blaikie, who called for the hearings in the first place, described Canada's military procurement practices as "embarrassing.'' He asked Shadwick for advice on how the country could depoliticize the process.

Shadwick said it's tough to fix because the issue goes to the very core of Canadian values and principles.

Canadians tend not to think about the military's strategic requirements and the need to make "prompt, efficient decisions'' on purchases.

"Instead we turn them into job-creation projects of one sort or another.

"The underlying problem is the strategic culture of the country, we don't have a strategic culture of the country,'' he said.

Shadwick said military procurement is not hampered only by politics: It could be speeded by cutting paperwork, "interminable'' meetings and other bureaucratic processes.

"I would aim for a multi-layered attack on the problem dealing within DND and the Forces, the other government departments, and the political level.''

© Canadian Press 2005
Title: Re: Equipment Procurement Process
Post by: Sheep Dog AT on February 10, 2005, 16:03:29
Well its about time and I hope this article gets the widest publication.  Not that it will make a lick of difference.
Title: Re: Equipment Procurement Process
Post by: Cloud Cover on February 10, 2005, 21:45:19
While constitutionally the country can never take politics completely out of defence procurement, Canada has "pushed this further than, perhaps, most countries,'' he said.
"

WTF? The c-doc doesn't say anything about that. What the heck is he talking about?
Title: Re: Equipment Procurement Process
Post by: GENOM Soldier on February 10, 2005, 22:13:22
This article, like the ones before it on different issues, shows that we need somebody in Ottawa to slap them in the face and tell them to wake up. Our newly appionted  Chief of the Defence Staff, General Rick Hillier, did a good job laying it to them in his appiontment speech............Now all we need is some to listen..........
Title: Re: Equipment Procurement Process
Post by: RECON-MAN on February 11, 2005, 01:51:19
The Treasury board is the biggest culprit. if it's not made in Canada, or to be made from scratch in Canada at astronomically prices. An yes politics plays a big part of it
Title: Re: Equipment Procurement Process
Post by: Chris Pook on February 11, 2005, 02:45:43
Quote
Quote from: sdimock on Yesterday at 14:59:51
While constitutionally the country can never take politics completely out of defence procurement, Canada has "pushed this further than, perhaps, most countries,'' he said.
"

WTF? The c-doc doesn't say anything about that. What the heck is he talking about?

Whiskey 601:  Clarify please.  What is a c-doc and what is your concern? You've got me beat here.  It seems like a reasonable statement to me.  ???
Title: Re: Equipment Procurement Process
Post by: Cloud Cover on February 11, 2005, 13:24:48
c-doc: Constitution.

It does not say a single word about defence procurement. It just says that defence militia's etc. are within the jurisdiction of Parliament. There is absolutely no constitutional imperative operating within the sphere of defence procurement.   
Title: Re: Equipment Procurement Process
Post by: Chris Pook on February 11, 2005, 16:53:03
Thanks whiskey, now I have your drift.
Title: Taking the politics out of military procurement?
Post by: Island Ryhno on April 06, 2005, 15:25:09
 Canada - Canadian Press
 
 
Minister wants to speed up military's unwieldy procurement process

1 hour, 13 minutes ago  

STEPHEN THORNE

OTTAWA (CP) - Defence Minister Bill Graham says he wants to speed up and slim down the military's unwieldy purchasing process, just as a Commons committee finishes a report slamming procurement as inefficient and politicized.
"Speeding up and improving the overall efficiency of the procurement process needs to be a top priority," Graham told a defence industry conference Wednesday. "It is a priority I plan to devote a lot of my time to in the coming months."
The Commons defence committee is to review its draft report next week in which it makes sweeping recommendations aimed at taking politics out of military procurement.
The report, the panel's second focusing on military procurement in five years, comes after hearings on the 1990s acquisition of ill-fated HMCS Chicoutimi and her three sister submarines. One man died after a fire aboard Chicoutimi in the North Atlantic.
"There's no doubt about it - it was a very political process," the committee chairman, Liberal Pat O'Brien, said in a recent interview.
"We're going to have specific recommendations in the report on how we think things can be improved in terms of major procurements in general."
Graham acknowledged procurement headaches don't end with submarines. One recent study concluded the average time for the acquisition of major military systems exceeds 15 years.
He referred specifically to the "12-year quest" to acquire the right military backpack.
"While unusual, it certainly was not one of our finer moments," he told a Queen's University conference on transforming defence administration.
"With the rapid pace of technological change in military equipment, and our need to try to keep abreast of that change, we simply cannot accept that as the standard."
The issue is of particular concern as the government sets out to restock the military with billions of dollars in new helicopters, airplanes, vehicles and ships over the next 20 years.
Graham said the government has to balance the need for speed with the oversight of multibillion-dollar spending projects.
"Some see the existing procurement system, involving both DND and Public Works, as duplicative and inefficient, but others recognize there may be legitimate reasons for this degree of oversight," he said.
"After all, this system was set up deliberately by previous governments to provide that degree of oversight. I believe that we must take a broad and balanced view that recognizes that procurement must accommodate government priorities wider than the purchase of equipment in and of itself."
He said the government has already identified some areas where it can achieve savings.
For one, he suggested strictly military procurements, as opposed to those of desktop computers or office furniture, should be managed exclusively by Defence, with larger projects subject to Treasury Board approval.
In hearings spanning months, the Commons defence committee heard former prime minister Jean Chretien delayed the $800-million lease-to-purchase of used British subs for four years after cabinet approved it because he thought it politically unpalatable amid government cost-cutting.
MPs were told the boats were in bad shape when Canada finally bought them in 1998. Witnesses described leaks, electrical problems and equipment malfunctions - largely, they said, attributable to years of neglect.
It was also told military purchasing is perpetually tied up in requirements for industrial benefits, offsets, job creation and technology transfers.
The same panel filed a report on procurement in 2000, saying the process must be reformed. It said Defence needed a management overhaul and "a stable and predictable budget" in order to effectively plan equipment purchasing.
 

OOH, maybe now there will be some shiny new gear on the way and fast hmmm?
 
Title: Re: Taking the politics out of military procurement?
Post by: medicineman on April 06, 2005, 15:40:02
Two words come immediately to mind:  WISHFUL THINKING.

MM
Title: Re: Taking the politics out of military procurement?
Post by: crazyleggs on April 06, 2005, 15:53:28
Kind of hard to take politics out of the procurement process when the final stamp of approval currently comes from the Prime Minister's office.
Title: Re: Taking the politics out of military procurement?
Post by: ex royal now flyer on April 06, 2005, 16:06:20
Politics will never be taken out of procurement practices.  It is impossible when it is the government conducting the procurement.  Military procurement has always been problematic simply due to the type of procurements and generally how quickly things are needed.  Look at the Ross Rifle in 1902, or the Inglis washing machine - oops I mean machine gun in the 1930's.  Nothing has changed, just different people doing it. 
Title: Re: Taking the politics out of military procurement?
Post by: jmacleod on April 06, 2005, 17:33:52
Agreed, there will always be a political connection to military equipment purchases - nature of the
beast, but the system (DND PW&GS IC etc., etc.,) would never be tolerated in a profit driven
private sector company. We wonder how the MHP is going - what is the current status? who
is getting what from whom? and when? Has funding been actually approved for the purchase?
Normally we would consult our resident fortune teller, but she took a day job with Fox News.
MacLeod
Title: Re: Taking the politics out of military procurement?
Post by: Glorified Ape on April 06, 2005, 19:17:02
But such lengthy procurment processes give you something to look forward to and a reason to stay in the CF!! Wouldn't want to quit before you got to try out that new system/vehicle/rucksack/etc, would you? ;D
Title: Re: Taking the politics out of military procurement?
Post by: Thucydides on April 06, 2005, 20:19:43
What is really amazing is how long it takes even when contracts are steered towards Liberal Friendly contractors...
Title: Re: Taking the politics out of military procurement?
Post by: Infanteer on April 06, 2005, 21:11:34
Is that another thing we can blame on the Treasury Board?
Title: Re: Taking the politics out of military procurement?
Post by: TCBF on April 06, 2005, 21:19:05
You know all of that election, census, commercial and Govt polling, and Stats Can data that has been building up for decades?

That makes a big, thick, file for each Riding in Canada. 

Tom

Title: Re: Taking the politics out of military procurement?
Post by: ex royal now flyer on April 07, 2005, 09:34:34
What is really amazing is how long it takes even when contracts are steered towards Liberal Friendly contractors...

Why do you find it amazing?  The longer the contract takes the more time and money there is to milk out of the taxpayer.  Do you really think contractors care about the end product?  Perhaps, but I have a feeling it is the money that drives the motivation.  One word comes to mind "Sponsorship".

It doesn't matter what party is governing, our tax dollars are wasted on lining the pocekts of the patronage monster.

In medevil times the peasantry owed the King 30 days tax per year.  Usually in the form of military service (if the King chose to campaign that year) or harvesting the fields.  Today, we owe the "King" 6 months.  The peasantry would have revolted by now.
Title: Re: Taking the politics out of military procurement?
Post by: E.R. Campbell on April 07, 2005, 10:11:33
I think this should be combined with the EH-101 court case thread in Politics.

As others have said it is, practically, impossible to remove politics from defence procurement.  The Americans gave up trying about 75 years ago.  The British underwent a major depoliticizing exercise in the '70s which resulted in the consolidation of defence procurement activities in a single, so-called arms length Procurement Executive.  That helped to reduce (not eliminate) the internal bureaucratic politics and to reduce (not eliminate) some of the barely legal 'back scratching' and 'favouritism' between bureaucrats and marketers but it did nothing to reduce real, elected, partisan political interference.

A couple of points:

"¢   The responsibility for the defence of the realm* rests, exclusively, on elected politicians so they are, surely, entitled to some say in how it gets done; and

"¢   Defence procurement spends billions of taxpayers' dollars.  As Auditor General Sheila Fraser keeps reminding us, ministers are responsible so, surely again, they must have some say.

The government began to muck up a fairly good defence procurement infrastructure in the '50s when common procurement was centralized in an amalgam of the Department of Defence Supply and  the Department of Public Buildings and Works (a.k.a. Department of Public Blunders and Wonders).  Public Works was, traditionally - from the '30s, a pork barrel portfolio, equally traditionally managed and staffed by Québecers.  Québecers are neither more nor less corruptible than anyone else but nepotism is bound to take hold in such an organization and its effects are corrosive.

There is no doubt that we do not need a separate defence procurement agency to buy stationary, general purpose computer software, and commercial vehicles.  A common services agency should make good sense in many circumstances.  There are good and valid reasons why we should have a separate agency to buy e.g. warships, fighter/bombers, mortars and NBC suits.

One of the major failures in Canadian defence procurement has been offsets and regional industrial benefits.  Canada pioneered this nonsense in the early '70s - when we negotiated the CP-140 Aurora contract.  It looked fine, in theory, Lockheed agreed to buy $___ million in Canada in exchange for the work.  Lockheed, probably, would have procured $__ million in Canada anyway, the other $___ million got added to/hidden in the annexes to the contract.  I will say, without fear of contradiction, that we have paid at least[/b] 100% of every dollar in offsets and benefits through each contract.  Sometimes other government departments - Industry Canada, now, through an alphabet soup of regional development 'agencies' - reimburses DND for some (but never all) of the costs but, normally, Canadian equipment costs too much, usually 10-35% too much.

Defence production is a mugs' game.  No one ever got rich by investing in e.g. Grumman or Plessey.  As a general rule companies know that they will get costs + profits + bonuses from defence procurement agencies, no matter how poor a product they deliver, late.  But companies know that iPods make real money for shareholders, unlike ISTARS.

We do need to reform the entire government procurement system.  We need to create separate, competing procurement agencies for, especially, defence, including, maybe all ship and aircraft procurement.  More important, we need to wring the nepotism and corruption out of the entire procurement system.

----------

* As opposed to the administration and discipline of the armed forces and the conduct of operations which are. Essentially the responsibility of the CDS and his uniformed minions.
Title: Re: Taking the politics out of military procurement?
Post by: E.R. Campbell on April 16, 2005, 09:06:49
The article below, from the Globe and Mail (at: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20050415.wairc0415/BNStory/National/ ) is interesting.

First readers should remember that the Conference of Defence Associations (see: http://www.cda-cdai.ca/english-frame.htm  )is a lobby group - a government (DND) supported lobby group, but a lobby group, all the same, so its conclusions are hardly unbiased.

Quote
Military report raps inefficient purchasing, lack of expertise

Friday, April 15, 2005 Updated at 3:17 PM EST
Canadian Press

Ottawa - Two-thirds of the Canadian military's Hercules aircraft are effectively grounded and the expanding reserve force cannot fly aboard the rest because of soaring liability costs, a defence think-tank says.

Yet replacing the Hercules, the backbone of the air transport fleet, and other badly needed equipment is years off because the military lacks expertise and efficient procurement practices, the Conference of Defence Associations says.

"At present, the department has inadequate numbers and expertise ... to execute the existing capital acquisition plan," the association said in a report to the Commons defence committee.

"Existing approaches to military acquisitions and a dearth of project expertise lead to the troubling conclusion that transformation of the Canadian Forces ... would not be possible before the year 2020."

The conclusions come as the all-party committee prepares to release a report on military procurement Monday. The panel is expected to say defence purchasing is weighed down in politics and inefficiency.

On Tuesday, the government is to release its international policy review, including a major defence policy statement that says Ottawa must "assure" access to long- and mid-range air transport.

The Hercules is the military's workhorse, its primary means of heavy air transport, but 19 of 32 were built in the 1960s, the defence association notes.

"For all intents and purposes, DND has grounded two-thirds of the Hercules tactical airlift fleet," the report says. "The remaining aircraft are not allowed to transport reservists, given that the dangers and liability costs are unacceptably high."

Air Canada has decided to sell its passenger- and freight-configured 747B Combi aircraft, the association says, so "the government has virtually no credible air transport capability at its disposal."

The report alludes to "the pressures a politician would endure during a national disaster as the armed forces tender a contract for airlift or wait for allied assistance."

February's federal budget set aside money for trucks, medium-lift helicopters and Arctic airplanes, while new mobile-gun systems are also on the way.

But the bulk of military purchasing for ships, transport aircraft and other equipment is yet to come. The policy statement to be released on Tuesday promises a document in coming months detailing a major spending program.

The conference report says the Defence Department has to pull up its socks if it is going to see the program to its effective conclusion.

"In the last six months, those responsible for advancing capital acquisition projects have missed 90 per cent of their milestones," the report says.

"When that staff was twice its current size, it took 15 years to process major acquisitions."

The Commons panel is expected to conclude that four years of political delays imposed by ex-prime minister Jean Chrétien contributed to deterioration of the used submarine fleet Canada acquired from Britain in the 1990s.

An October fire aboard one of those boats, HMCS Chicoutimi, claimed the life of a navy lieutenant.

Many of the purchasing problems lie in government procurement rules.

During the tender process for the 1980s purchase of CF-18 fighter jets, only 25 per cent of the specifications focused on the military's technical and operational requirements for the aircraft.

Three-quarters of the data the government released to bidders related to industrial benefits, offsets, job creation and technology transfer.

The conference warns that if existing public administration practices at DND do not change, "a long period of dormancy awaits many military capabilities.

"As a consequence, some of these capabilities may be lost."

In a recent speech, Defence Minister Bill Graham agreed on the need to streamline military purchasing, saying it must be made a priority.

I have highlighted a few points:

"¢   Those (and there are several here in army.ca) who are most adamant about cutting the headquarters need to understand that before any meaningful expansion can occur we need to expand the headquarters - the parts (military) responsible for recruiting and training people and (civilian) for force structure and equipment procurement.  (That is not to say that there is not plenty of room for cuts in e.g. affirmative action and official languages but they will not, indeed cannot be cut because they have regulatory fiat and politically powerful (much, much more powerful than the minister and CDS) cheering sections on their sides);

"¢   There are incredible wastes of time, effort and money spent in the industrial benefits domain.  I, personally, am not surprised  at the notion that  ¾ of defence procurement efforts are directed at these wastes of time/money.  As I mentioned I am 100% certain, no shadow iof a doubt, that we, Canadian taxpayers, paid, at a bare minimum, 110% for each and every benefit received after the CP-140 contract back in the '70s.  (That one, when Canada pioneered this rubbish, may have had some freebies); and

"¢   We also spend huge amount on Canadianization.  We insist of jobs! Jobs! JOBS! in Canada even when it is clear that the marginal costs of creating those jobs is, as it usually is, substantially (maybe 50% in some cases) greater than the benefits in salaries, taxes, etc (including saved EI, etc, too).  Another form of expensive Canadianization are locally designed modifications (improvements, sometimes, if you insist) which cost real money and, worse, render a system non-standard which means that we cannot take full advantage of economies of scale with allies.  This adds, substantially, to the life cycle costs of a system which are, always, much greater than the simple, up front, procurement costs.

Title: Re: Taking the politics out of military procurement?
Post by: Dolphin_Hunter on April 16, 2005, 19:36:16
OTTAWA -- Two-thirds of the Canadian military's Hercules aircraft are effectively grounded and the expanding reserve force can't fly aboard the rest because of soaring liability costs, says a defence think-tank.

Yet replacing the Hercules, the backbone of the air transport fleet, and other badly needed equipment is years off because the military lacks expertise and efficient procurement practices, says the Conference of Defence Associations.

"At present, the department has inadequate numbers and expertise . . . to execute the existing capital acquisition plan," the association said in a report to the Commons defence committee.

"Existing approaches to military acquisitions and a dearth of project expertise lead to the troubling conclusion that transformation of the Canadian Forces . . . would not be possible before the year 2020."

The conclusions come as the all-party committee prepares to release a report on military procurement Monday. The panel is expected to say defence purchasing is weighed down in politics and inefficiency.

On Tuesday, the government is to release its international policy review, including a major defence policy statement that says Ottawa must "assure" access to long-and mid-range air transport.

The Hercules is the military's workhorse, its primary means of heavy air transport, but 19 of 32 were built in the 1960s, the defence association notes.

"For all intents and purposes, DND has grounded two-thirds of the Hercules tactical airlift fleet," the report says.

"The remaining aircraft are not allowed to transport reservists, given that the dangers and liability costs are unacceptably high."

Air Canada has decided to sell its passenger-and freight-configured 747B Combi aircraft, the association says, so "the government has virtually no credible air transport capability at its disposal."

The report alludes to "the pressures a politician would endure during a national disaster as the Armed Forces tender a contract for airlift or wait for allied assistance."

February's federal budget set aside money for trucks, medium-lift helicopters and Arctic airplanes, while new mobile-gun systems are also on the way.

But the bulk of military purchasing for ships, transport aircraft and other equipment is yet to come. The policy statement to be released on Tuesday promises a document in coming months detailing a major spending program.

The conference report says the Defence Department has got to pull up its socks if it's going to see the program to its effective conclusion.

"In the last six months, those responsible for advancing capital acquisition projects have missed 90 per cent of their milestones," says the report.

"When that staff was twice its current size, it took 15 years to process major acquisitions."

The Commons panel is expected to conclude that four years of political delays imposed by ex-prime minister Jean Chretien contributed to deterioration of the used submarine fleet Canada acquired from Britain in the 1990s.
An October fire aboard one of those boats, HMCS Chicoutimi, claimed the life of a navy lieutenant.

Many of the purchasing problems lie in government procurement rules.

During the tender process for the 1980s purchase of CF-18 fighter jets, only 25 per cent of the specifications focused on the military's technical and operational requirements for the aircraft.

Three-quarters of the data the government released to bidders related to industrial benefits, offsets, job creation and technology transfer.

The conference warns that if existing public administration practices at DND don't change, "a long period of dormancy awaits many military capabilities.

"As a consequence, some of these capabilities may be lost."

In a recent speech, Defence Minister Bill Graham agreed on the need to streamline military purchasing, saying it must be made a priority.
Title: Re: Taking the politics out of military procurement?
Post by: Dolphin_Hunter on April 16, 2005, 19:38:15
I highly doubt anyone will be surprised by this.  At least they are starting to recognize a problem, I certainly hope that we start to turn our military around right now as we are wasting time.
Title: Re: Taking the politics out of military procurement?
Post by: KevinB on April 16, 2005, 19:42:11
I hate to break it to people but I've seen reservists stepping off Hercs in Afghan  ;D

 I'd be insulted if I coudl get on a plane a a reservist was too valuable to lose on...


The entire Cdn acquisition process amazes me, we would be better off acting like leaches on US acquistions

Title: Re: Taking the politics out of military procurement?
Post by: Dolphin_Hunter on April 22, 2005, 17:42:13
Look at Australia they have a good procurement policy.  Their military seems to have everything going in the right direction.
Title: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: kilekaldar on September 20, 2005, 11:32:53
This guy would love to see us wait 10 to 20 years for new kit that our allies have been using successfully for years, all in the name of fair bidding process.


Sun NEWS Column

By Greg Weston



Today's tour of the federal funny farm takes us to National Defence headquarters, where the generals have concocted a truly novel battle plan to end political meddling in the bidding for huge military contracts.

Get rid of the bidding.

Sources tell us the defence department has drafted a detailed plan to buy up to $10 billion of new aircraft over the coming decade, an expenditure just slightly less than this year's entire military budget.

If all goes to plan, the biggest procurement program in Canadian history would include not a single competitive bid. Instead, the generals would simply pick the planes they fancy, the government would hand out the contracts, and taxpayers would be stuck with the tab.

No muss. No fuss. No bids to rig.

Sources tell us this all-in-one mega-deal, unaffectionately known as the "Four-Pack," includes about 20 Chinook helicopters and 15 Italian-made planes for search-and-rescue; a dozen Hercules and two giant Antonovs for transport.

Industry insiders say they expect Defence Minister Bill Graham will take the proposal to cabinet as early as next month, and that it already has a tentative nod from the prime minister.

Given this government's apparently incurable attention deficit for fiscal prudence, the generals may well smoke this one past the politicians.

Smooth move

In the realm of bureaucratic efficiency, of course, the plan is pure genius. Paul Martin has long promised to clean up the military procurement process after the purchase of new helicopters became a monument to bureaucratic bungling and political bid-rigging.

In that debacle, the feds took over a decade just to design the bidding process for the new choppers.

Get rid of bidding, get rid of the problem.

After the contract was finally awarded to the foreign makers of the Cormorant, Jean Chretien's government cancelled the deal in 1993 as an election stunt.

The Liberals then spent the entire next decade in office trying to rig the bidding process to ensure Cormorant didn't win again.

Without competitive bids, Oncle Jean could have settled the whole deal over golf at a Shawinigan inn.

When the Martin bunch took office promising to do things differently, they weren't kidding.

Instead of trying to rig the outcome of the troublesome helicopter bidding, they got rid of the bidders.

Firm flying high

Last year, the helicopter contract was awarded to the American-made Sikorsky when all of the other contenders were disqualified after a decade in the running. Lawsuits to follow.

What all this obviously taught the generals and geniuses in Martin's regime is that so much expense and political embarrassment can be avoided by avoiding competitive bidding.

Instead, under the plan now heading for cabinet, some general would have picked up the phone and bought the 38 helicopters.

The proposed defence department shopping plan is no doubt a huge hit with Canada's new top general, Rick Hillier, a no-guff man of action who would probably be happiest if he could buy squadrons of planes over the Internet.

Of course, all brilliance has its critics.

Gordon O'Connor, the Conservative defence critic and a former soldier himself, says: "The problem is once you start abandoning the competitive process, you have no guarantee you're getting the best price.

"And how do you know you're getting the most effective, efficient piece of equipment?"

Details. Details.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Letters to the editor should be sent to feedback@ott.sunpub.com.
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: radiohead on September 20, 2005, 11:54:29
Its a good try by DND to stop the madness of delayed bids.  But I have a feeling this will only end in waste just like the current process.  In fact there couuld be more because there would be no way of knowing how much pressure the gov't is putting DND to pick certian kit.  An eg would be MGS, the liberals are mad for this... and even after the US pulled out because its junk... that's not stopping them from buying them.. and 66 for 600 million they way over price.

Here's my idea on how to solve the problem.. link the CF so closely with the US armed forces that just just wnat ever they are using  from the same contactors and at the same price. ;D  Would this work better,  whio knows it would have to be tested out but at least we get better kit.
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: E.R. Campbell on September 20, 2005, 13:02:19
I mentioned this a few weeks ago in commenting on a Globe and Mail article by Don Martin - http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,32944.msg262361.html#msg262361

For those who forgot their secret decoder rings:

"¢   In "Sources tell us the defence department has drafted a detailed plan ...",  'Sources' = Ernie Regehr of Project Plowshares or 'communications' staffers from e.g. Health Canada or DIAND which will not get to waste $10 billion more if DND gets it;

"¢   In " Sources tell us this all-in-one mega-deal, unaffectionately known as the "Four-Pack," includes ...", 'Sources' = lobbyist for Bombardier or 'communications' staffers for PWGSC/Services Canada which will not get to hire even more idle staffers to spend DND's money; and

"¢   In " Industry insiders say they expect Defence Minister Bill Graham ...", 'Industry insiders' = more lobbyists.

Gordon O'Connor, like Greg Weston has changed trades: he's now a stenographer, taking dictation from the hacks, flacks and bagmen in Ottawa.

The defence staff has said it needs - now - C-130 Hercules aircraft and CH-47 Chinook helicopters in order to maintain standardization with allies and to use American Cooperative Logistics support to keep life cycle costs down.  (Capital costs are a fairly minor concern when buying aircraft - it is the life cycle costs (operations and maintenance) which really matter, and do the damage to budgets a generation down the road.  (Many journalists have no idea about this because many journalists are incredibly ill-informed - but they 'inform' Canadians anyway.))   If O'Connor thinks that we can do better, right now, with some other tactical transporters then let him say so; I think he banged his head on the closed hatch a few too many times.

The SAR and strategic transporters should, by all means, be purchased in the normal, quasi-corrupt competitive manner but the Hercs and Chinooks should be bought sole source by a new Defence Procurement Agency which should be required to do the job at  ½ the cost normally 'charged' by PWGSC, in  ½ the time, and still show a profit.

The 'Sources' and 'Industry insiders' have launched their counter-offensive.  They want $12 billion in new defence spending - so long as way, way too much of it goes into their pockets rather than into the pockets of the people who build and sell good hardware.
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: Teddy Ruxpin on September 20, 2005, 13:38:44
Edward:  Amen and well said.

This is becoming a trend isn't it?  First Martin's name-calling and innuendo, now Weston's ill-researched article.  It will be interesting to watch the hue and cry increase as procurement plans are solidified and as the various interest groups begin to feel left out.  I see that Scott Taylor's already had his two cents worth on the M777 gun buy  ::).

On a related subject.  Frankly, I lost it with Conservative defence policy when they proposed putting a battalion in Goose Bay, merely to gain short-term political points, so put zero stock in what O'Connor has to say - despite his dated military experience.  As with many other things, the Conservatives need to present a well-thought out, credible alternative if they are to criticise effectively.  A knee-jerk visceral reaction isn't helping.  There aren't many realistic alternatives to the C-130J out there and if O'Connor has one, he'd better present it now.
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: Cloud Cover on September 20, 2005, 14:12:56
In "Sources tell us the defence department has drafted a detailed plan ...",   'Sources' = Ernie Regehr of Project Plowshares or 'communications' staffers from e.g. Health Canada or DIAND which will not get to waste $10 billion more if DND gets it;


Interesting observation. I was truly unaware that Ecumenical Ernie was now deeply dialed into DND beyond what the odd ATI request or journal article might provide. He's within stray RPG range of me, I must go and talk to him sometime. 

I think that Mr. Westons editorial comments were just that: editorial and shouldn't be taken seriously. They  certainly do not constitute an informed opinion, in my opinion anyway!!

 
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: Cloud Cover on September 20, 2005, 14:16:54
This is becoming a trend isn't it?   First Martin's name-calling and innuendo, now Weston's ill-researched article.   It will be interesting to watch the hue and cry increase as procurement plans are solidified and as the various interest groups begin to feel left out.   I see that Scott Taylor's already had his two cents worth on the M777 gun buy  ::).

Without reproducing the article or bashing ST [thanks], what in Gods green earth does he see wrong with the new weapon?
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: Teddy Ruxpin on September 20, 2005, 14:23:31
A tidbit from yesterday's Chronicle-Herald:

Quote
Personally, I don't understand how heavy artillery, with or without guided shells fired at a range of 30 kilometres, is going to help combat the Taliban and al-Qaida.

As with the ongoing insurgency in Iraq, the modern battlefield features non-linear guerrilla warfare. Most attacks against coalition forces are in the form of booby traps and sudden "shoot and scoot" ambushes

and

Quote
Given that it takes an average of 12 years for our military procurement system to implement any new equipment purchase, it will be some time yet before our troops receive either these guns or the helicopters to move them.
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: Cloud Cover on September 20, 2005, 15:14:36
Seen:

I think the first comments were fair, he is admitting that he is a journalist who knows little about the employment of artillery in the latest version of military thinking about winning the fight in A'Stan. Perhaps someone could fill him in.


The second quote about the time lines to fill equipment needs are clearly designed to be sarcastic, and demonstartes that he has not fully informed himself of the facts prior to print. Or, has he?

Cheers.
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: Infanteer on September 20, 2005, 15:19:16
Quote
Personally, I don't understand how heavy artillery, with or without guided shells fired at a range of 30 kilometres, is going to help combat the Taliban and al-Qaida.

As with the ongoing insurgency in Iraq, the modern battlefield features non-linear guerrilla warfare. Most attacks against coalition forces are in the form of booby traps and sudden "shoot and scoot" ambushes

I have actual video footage of gun and mortar barrages from FOBs in Afghanistan (usually fired in support of guys clearing out the local wilderness or as counterbattery fire against Taliban mortars and rockets).   Having a base means a big red target - high tech arty acts as an instant "reach out and touch somebody" for that base.

As for Iraq, all Mr Taylor has to do is open up the last couple years of the Marine Corps Gazette - the arty is there and it gets used.

Ubique.
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: Cloud Cover on September 20, 2005, 15:24:21
Ubique.

LOL

Well then, lets make it easy for the lad: do you have a link to the gazzette?
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: Teddy Ruxpin on September 20, 2005, 15:29:20
Quote
I have actual video footage of gun and mortar barrages from FOBs in Afghanistan (usually fired in support of guys clearing out the local wilderness or as counterbattery fire against Taliban mortars and rockets).  Having a base means a big red target - high tech arty acts as an instant "reach out and touch somebody" for that base.

Exactly, which is why the first batch of guns is being procured on an accellerated timeline - for that very purpose.  As for the lift, it has been stated in public that we'll be piggy-backing on US and Dutch lift, at least for the short to mid-term until the buy that started this thread gets the aviation side sorted out.

All of this is public domain and a little research by the people involved could have avoided the creation of a lot of angst and hyperbole.  Then again, perhaps that's the objective... :-\
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: Infanteer on September 20, 2005, 15:31:04
As to the original article - I can't figure out if he is in support of or opposed to the direct buy; his rhetoric seems to bash all of it.   But the last part caught my eye:

Quote
Gordon O'Connor, the Conservative defence critic and a former soldier himself, says: "The problem is once you start abandoning the competitive process, you have no guarantee you're getting the best price.

"And how do you know you're getting the most effective, efficient piece of equipment?"

Details. Details.

1.   Gordon O'Connor hasn't said anything right in my opinion - he has single-handedly managed to convince me that the Conservatives will be no better for Canada than the Liberals.   A pox on both their houses.

2.   And how do we know we'll get the best equipment?   Look at General Hillier's CV - when you have 30 years of TI, served in Yugo, Afghanistan and as a 2ic of a US Army Corps you aren't just some layman.   Same as the people backing the good General.   How is the political process supposed to enlighten what we already know?!?   The military, through the CDS, has advised the government on what it feels is best for National Defence.   Kudos to the Martin government, if this goes through, for putting the country's needs ahead of politics.

3.   Details, Details.   Yeah, I'd say the most important detail is the monumental increase in CF operational capability.   Isn't that a detail?

O'Connor (and, I think, the author of this piece) are yakking here - they criticize the problem, but offer no solutions at all.   "If you ain't part of the solution, you are part of the problem".   I personally don't see any issue with streamlining the defence aquisition process in order to ensure we don't get saddled with a Ross Rifle, a LSVW, or a 20 year wait for maritime 'copters....   :tsktsk:
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: Teddy Ruxpin on September 20, 2005, 15:44:02
Quote
2.  And how do we know we'll get the best equipment?  Look at General Hillier's CV - when you have 30 years of TI, served in Yugo, Afghanistan and as a 2ic of a US Army Corps you aren't just some layman.  Same as the people backing the good General.  How is the political process supposed to enlighten what we already know?!?  The military, through the CDS, has advised the government on what it feels is best for National Defence.  Kudos to the Martin government, if this goes through, for putting the countries needs ahead of politics.

Very good point and I had been thinking much the same, although such thinking is incomprehensible to the commentators.  For perhaps the first time in my recollection, we have a military leadership that can say - hand on heart - "I want this piece of equipment because I've used it and it's the thing for the job at hand."

If we know that "X" is a great piece of kit, that it's in service with our major allies, that it can be supported cheaply through collaborative arrangements, and that it fills a firm operational requirement, what is the problem with a sole-source accellerated procurement?  It is the job of the military to state what it requires to perform its job, regardless of political considerations and "competitive processes".  If the government of the day doesn't agree, that's their perogative and they can direct - for political reasons - a different procedure.  However, if they do so, they must accept the consequences of deciding to ignore a recommendation - with all that means.

As it stands, I am hoping against hope that the government doesn't buckle to the demands of the "commentators" and their somewhat suspect agendas.  Keep your fingers crossed.
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: MCG on September 20, 2005, 16:29:00
"you have no guarantee you're getting the best price."       "And how do you know you're getting the most effective, efficient piece of equipment?"

Is "best price" always compatible with "most effective"?  .... and, when you can only go to a single source for new CC-130 or Chinooks, there is not much shopping around left to do.
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: Gunnerlove on September 20, 2005, 21:55:05
Used with prudence it could allow us to ride on others R&D budgets.

It could also allow senior brass to pave their way to cushy consulting jobs with defence contractors as is often the case down South. 







Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: E.R. Campbell on September 20, 2005, 22:11:32
Used with prudence it could allow us to ride on others R&D budgets.

It could also allow senior brass to pave their way to cushy consulting jobs with defence contractors as is often the case down South. 

Senior officers here in Canada - from CDS on down - already move into well paid consulting jobs, sometimes with a year pf 'cooling-off' in the USA.  Nothing new there - but a few less politicians (remember Jean-Jacques Blais?) might make the same trek if we did our procurement in a more effective and efficient manner, and almost anything which does not involve PWGSC is bound to be more effective and efficient.

Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: Colin P on September 22, 2005, 16:05:54
I wonder if any of the Chinooks that our troops will hitch a ride on, where one of the ones we used to own, that would be ironic wouldn't it?
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: Teddy Ruxpin on September 22, 2005, 20:17:14
If we're using Dutch lift in theatre, it's better than a 50/50 chance (7 out of 13)...
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: Brad Sallows on September 22, 2005, 22:32:57
We can't afford to be paying to develop equipment to specs; we need to buy off-the-shelf and cut the mods until it hurts. That makes the bidding process largely irrelevant.

As for choppers and guns, I think it's hard to outrun an airlifted firebase on foot, and I know for sure you can't outrun "add 800".
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: Cloud Cover on September 22, 2005, 22:47:47
My goodness Brad, I hope somebody in a position to influence such affairs writes that down and uses it someday as a response to stupid propositions. 
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: Teddy Ruxpin on September 22, 2005, 22:50:29
Then again, we issued a contract to Oerlikon today for the so-called "Multi-mission Effects Vehicle", a made in Canada "one of" boondoggle if I've ever seen one...  :brickwall:
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: MCG on September 23, 2005, 00:34:48
Then again, we issued a contract to Oerlikon today for the so-called "Multi-mission Effects Vehicle", a made in Canada "one of" boondoggle if I've ever seen one...   :brickwall:
Details here: http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,16987.msg273857.html#msg273857
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: FormerHorseGuard on September 23, 2005, 00:49:20
i have a feeling this no bidding kind of shopping might be the boost the forces need.
some generals and full colonels know what  the army needs and wants.  same for the airforce and the navy.

those are the guys who get to go on TD trip all over the NATO side of the world and various other parts to see and check out new purchases by  other armed services. they  get to talk to the troops who drive it, fly  it, ride in it, shoot it, and sit behind the desk and operate it.
if we could take the politics of purchasing out of the game, there might be a serious money saving  that  can put more funds into operations, training,  or into the next purchase program.

look at MLVW , most people agree it needs to be replaced.

how many  other NATO countries have left hand drive  2.5 t cargo trucks or bigger,
how many  countries are replacing, upgrading or just ordering more?

for sake of this post
country CVBV is ordering new trucks, they are a close match to what  Canada requires

can Canada tagg a few hundred more trucks on the order and get them at the same cost as the larger order from country CVBV?
can the company maing the trucks provide if the need be, english tech manuals and french?  spare parts can a deal be worked out for quick replacement?  can the trucks be delivered on time
that is all good if that can happen, if we can save a few bucks so be, do we get the employment in canada, maybe , or maybe not, but i think it is time that  we do not look for jobs  thru military  purchases but best bang for the buck.


I am railroad fan , you guys know the weapons, the frame work from the tires to the cooking pot in the back of LAV III  all very  impression.
But I will tell you how large and small railroads work together to buy  locomotives


Large railroads in the States  order locomotives from two companies
One use to be GM out of london ontario same plant where the LAV fleet was built, and the other was GE ( General Electric )

large railroads order locomotives by  the 100s and sometimes by  the 1000s

Union Pacific Railroad ordered one model from GM a few years ago and the order was just finished in the past year for over 1700 one model. it was a huge order.  they  got a deal on the bulk purchase and parts etc.
Smaller railroads went to the company who sold the locos and wanted to order the same loco model, and get the same price.
the company  told the smaller railroads they  could keep the production line open and built X numbers of models above the UP order, there could be no changes to made in extras or items deleted from the order that  UP made with them.

the smaller company  got fewer locomotives, got the same great price but they had to agree to keep it the same as the larger order. only  diff was the paint shop details.  UP came out Yellow in the UP paint job the smaller companies locomotives came out in thie rpaint job. same locomotive on the inside and out but painted another colour and name on the side.

this is what  Canada needs to do for it forces when purchasing.
send some guys down, test, fly it, test drive it, test fire it, do what  ever testing is needed then decided if they want it as is  or what  mods they  want.  I think we should stop ordering mods just to make work for Canadians if we can save money  over all.

CUCV was not ordered by  the Canadian Forces, GM sold the army one hell of a deal , over run of production from the USMC order.
saved money had a good truck for most taskings it was used in

HL truck  was a great truck, plant opened to build it,  soon as the last truck came out the doors the plant was closed. Good truck,  job spin offs were short lived.

The guys and gals at the wishing well already  know what is out there and in some cases they  might know what  is coming into being ahead of time. let them do the shopping for the Forces, they know what  the big picture is they know the fiscial funding for a program.
let us see if this no bidding idea works, we are not going to lose anything , we might gain




Title: Re: CF Procurement
Post by: MCG on September 23, 2005, 09:30:49
Quote
Red tape could put Armed Forces in 'death spiral'
The Canadian Press
Thursday, September 22, 2005


OTTAWA - Government red tape and bureaucracy have become so cumbersome that the military finds it easier to keep patching up junk than to buy new equipment, says a study from Queen's University.

The paper from the Kingston, Ont., university's school of public policy warns if government procedures aren't streamlined, the Canadian Forces will crumble away as ships, planes and vehicles decay into uselessness.

Howie Marsh, an analyst with the Conference of Defence Associations, cites as an example in the study that the military is planning to spend almost a billion dollars over the next 10 years to keep its fleet of 2,500 medium trucks running. They're already 25 years old and it costs more than $38,000 a year for the parts needed to keep each of them going.

He says replacing the fleet would be cheaper than 10 years of maintenance.

But capital costs come from another budget and a replacement project would need cabinet approval and agreement from other departments, which can take years.

Doug Bland, who holds the chair of defence management studies at Queens, says the whole administrative process must be changed to speed things up.

Bland says the problem runs through the army, navy and air force, as key systems age. If nothing is done to streamline the system, the military will begin to lose important capabilities within five years.

"The Armed Forces, by anyone's estimate, is in a death spiral."
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: 2FtOnion on September 24, 2005, 14:19:35
One aspect of current contract trends is "CLS"  Contractor Logistical Support, two recent examples are for the Cdn LAV III and the Sikorsky Maritime Helicopter project. In both instances Maintenance Contracts were awarded to Defense companies, I haven't had the opportunity to read the terms of the contract but I understand if the maintenance contract is for Depot Level Maintenance (Major Overhaul, and Engineering Changes) but if it is at the lower level maintenance, (ie engine repair, electronics test/repair), it doesn't make sense to me to pay a contractor mechanic/technician were it is cheaper and more operationally effective to pay a CF mechanic / technician to do the same job.

Another thing on procurement, I think it would be advantageous to have a competitive bid for the Heavy lift Helo, put the Chinook up against the CH-53, especially forcasting amphibious and Spec Ops, I think the CH-53 or the MH-53, would be a better purchase. 
For the M777, I do think it the CF will need to jump through hoops to get the guns for A-stan, but I think it is possible, the CF should just try to lease / purchase deal and hold competitive bids for a 155 towed Howitzer, and scrap the MAVs concept/developed.
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: ArmyRick on September 25, 2005, 13:29:40
Anybody in the Ary world can confirm that their was a rushed M777 order placed ? (If you really do not know, don't respond please).
 
I am all for ditching the bidding and all the crap that goes with it. Why the hell can't the military (who knows what we we need) do its own research. HOWEVER, we should put a contract clause that any CF general that retires can not be hired by a defence industry for say 5 years. This will ensure impartialliaty.
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: edadian on September 25, 2005, 16:13:38
Are we finally getting AN-124s? If so this will be a great boost in capability and we won't have to wait for the US to have a plane available.

But why only 2? Four would be much better and we could loan them out to smaller allies.

I agree the Conservatives are no better then Liberals on defence. They suggesting buying a Garibaldi class aircraft carrier for the navy. Just what every Admiral wants strip his air cover so it can unload vehicles on a potentially hostile shore using his flag ship.
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: Old Sweat on September 25, 2005, 16:28:10
ArmyRick,

Take a look at the New Guns for 1 RCHA on the artillery forum. In the meantime, the short answer is yes.

As for barring generals from working from defence contractors, as I understand the military procurement process, the actual selection and contracting is handled by the ADM (Mat) world with all sorts of input from other government departments and the political world. Thus, the army staff does not have the final say.

In my opinion, the equipment procurement process is meant to keep lots of people busy for a very long time, not necessariy to get kit to the troops. If I was a cynic, I would say it was to justify ljobs when there isn't any money to buy stuff.
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: RECON-MAN on September 28, 2005, 19:15:24
There is no drought this procedure must change.One way would have the defence committee authorize to buy it.
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: couchcommander on October 25, 2005, 04:24:32
Probably a stupid question, but I am going to ask it anyway...

Why are we purchasing M777's instead of using our existing LG 1 Mark II's (from what I understand the LG's are lighter, have comparible range, and a faster rate of fire)? Of course I understand 155mm has a lot bigger punch than 105, but would not 105 suffice, allowing this money to be better used for other things (such as more, working, Sperwar's so that we can actually track the Taliban and kill them?)

Just a thought...
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: ArmyRick on October 25, 2005, 15:37:27
Stick to the couch, commander.

M777 and LG1 are WORLDS apart, my friend. 155mm and 105mm have different effects on target and the ranges with extended range ammo is alot different. Plus a few of my RCHA friends have told me there are numerous problems with the LG1.

Several arty rounds have been fired in A-stan for your info. If they are going to use it, then give the troops the best kit. M777 was the choice for US army, marines and UK army.
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: couchcommander on October 25, 2005, 16:29:09
Hey ArmyRick,

Thanks for your response. I was not aware that the LG1 mk II's had problems (I was under the impression they were an effective weapon). Of course I would not want our armed forces going into battle with anything that is not going to fit the bill (I was confused, as it seemed, on paper, that the two systems were similar in capability, minus the extended range ammunition, but I was, once again, under the false impression we would not be using it, as we don't really (to my knowledge) have people trained to use it, and furthermore accuracy at 25+ km is really not that good).

This however brings out another (probably stupid) question, why then are we only buying 12 of them and not 28 to replace all of our LG's (is there a reason other than the one glaring me in the face, that being money)?

Thanks,
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: gnplummer421 on January 26, 2006, 22:52:59
I got stuck working in a "project" in the Canadian Building on Laurier st, after spending much of my time with line units, man...I've never seen so many cubicles in my life...I witnessed first hand why so little of our Defence money makes it out of Ottawa. I will not go into details, because it would probably embarass the brass, but frig, what a waste. As soon as FRP became available in '95 I jumped ship...not that I didn't love the Army, just that I didn't want to go through the embarassement of working downtown. Some folks enjoy it there, mostly place to go to get ready for retirement, but I didn't have the stomach for it.

Gnplummer421 :cdn:
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: 3rd Horseman on January 28, 2006, 04:49:38
There is a procurement system that works, it could use our current system tailored to industry. The approach is effective, inexpensive and fast for the buyer and allowes for modifications and best bid price without compromise of capability. It is fast and will develop a well oiled industrial military materials industry like we used to have. Problem is the CF Log system cant get there head out of there arses log enough to see it for fear that they may lose control of a sand castle.

The approach works like this:

  The user drafts the requirement not the LOG/PWGS rats, the requirement goes to Industry as a Request For Proposals (RFP). Industry provides the prototypes and RD to develop them and arrives on contract day to show off the goodies. The user then selects the best design and price combinations of kit from all designs and then goes away to evaluate the bids or re-offer the contract with mods selected from a combination of all prototypes. For example if the bid is for a truck then lets say three bidders show up with vehs the user may like one or different parts of each. Since each manufacturer brings to the table there own unique approaches many ideas can be brought to the forefront that the user never thought of thus provide special extra capabilities without the cost of mods after the buy. The user may select features from all the bidders and then re-tender the RFP with a specific design spec thus incorporating all the mods they want that they saw from all the prototypes. Industry goes away with a set requirement and they all rejigg thier vehs to conform to the change in contract and return with the final product. The best final product with most competitive price wins and then we buy. Using this system insures a better price as the 3 companies bidding are all playing off the same sheet of music in the second stage of the procurement and thus the final product of each will be very similar. This ensures that price and delivery becomes the issue on final tender and the user gets everything they wanted without compromising lost capabilities found on the losing bidders veh.

This system will take time for industry to retool their minds but once in the swing they will easily fall in line. Defense industry has gotten very fat, dumb and happy with the way we procure. It does not have to be this way, we created it, we can change it. This is how civi industry does it so can we, problem is that the staff in NDHQ don't understand business and industry thus they leave it to Log/PWGSC who have a vested interest in leaving the system the way it is.

 The RFP followed by tender was trialled a few years ago and resulted in a reduction of 50% on the contract price a better product with all mods completed before delivery at manufactures expense. Delivery was fast as they were already tooled and keen after the prototype was created to blast on and finish the run. The manufactured even brought to the table ideas that would improve the product that the military user had not thought of. End result was a very good product at a lower price then anticipated.

Change is good donkey!

Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: gnplummer421 on January 28, 2006, 19:48:42
Thought I'd try to get "letter of the day" in tomorrow's Sun. I hope it will stir up conversation.. :brickwall:
*Note - I've never tried attaching anything on a post so here it goes....
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: Koenigsegg on January 29, 2006, 01:49:20
What was the author of the original piece in the Sun trying to get at about the Cormorant?
At the same time, the Liberals?
From what I know, the Cormorant is one of, if not the best helicopter out there for the job we use it for.  It has the computers for anything, and a three-engine safety margin.
Sure it is more expensive, but when it comes to getting the job done right, and saving lives, why would you go for anything less?

The EH helicopter is also very versatile, so in the case of a war, we could get a few and use them as our potentially better equivelent to the Blackhawk, in the case that we need more than the Griffon, but I am rambling on...
Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: Colin P on February 15, 2006, 16:20:26
I certainly agree with tacking onto existing purchases, you may not get exactly what you want, but you will get it and have money left for other things. I think the US is now building RG31’s or similar and other countries have started purchasing small armoured vehicle from various manufactures. We have to wean the politicians off of the concept that DND is a trough for gouging and feeding. If it can be properly built in Canada and also sold overseas, that’s great, but it should not be the most significant factor in a purchase.


In the Coastguard we adopted the US designed 47’, a excellent design with lots of R&D poured into it, unfortunately they gave the build contract to a company in Kingston who had never built a boat before (Directly from the mouth of the yard manger) They were really bad, luckily even the government realized the goof and transferred the rest of the program to a reputable yard on the Coast.  We could have done the same for with our subs and tacked onto the German U 212 & 214 series and received the latest in sub tech from a yard with lots of experience.

I am a firm believer in keeping both the 105mm and the 155mm, both do an excellent job and the 105 C3 is the perfect gun for the reserves, robust and simple, do you know that the design first came out in 1919? With riveted trails and a different sight.

I would like to see also the 81mm go back to the Infantry and the RCA also adopt the mounted 120mm mortar. This would also make a good weapon for the reserves and having such a mix will allow us to tailor forces for the different missions we will be sent on over the next 10 years.
Title: Globe Article on Procurement
Post by: E.R. Campbell on February 19, 2006, 17:38:23
This is from the Globe and Mail, it is reproduced under the fair dealing provisions of the Copyright Act.

I have emphasized some comments by Doug Bland (Queens) regarding the broken defence procurement system.  Too many people – bureaucrats and politicians, alike, from too many government departments and agencies, with too many clients - all of whom want a fair share of every defence procurement dollar have too many finger in the pie.  Neither operational requirements nor fiscal sense are high priorities in this system – way too many cooks, etc.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20060218.wmilitary0218/BNStory 
Quote
[size-15pt]Defence plan big in scope, short on funds: analysts[/size]

JOHN WARD
Canadian Press

Ottawa — Conservative election promises to bolster the military with new ships, soldiers and an Arctic force are long on ambition but may have come up short on money, say defence analysts.

The Tories promised to recruit 13,000 new, full-time soldiers and another 10,000 reservists; to build three heavy, armed icebreakers, an Arctic deep-sea port and a surveillance system to keep watch over the North; and to buy new ships and planes.

They pledged to add $5.3-billion to the defence budget over five years.

Details remain sketchy, with Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor expected to start fleshing out the policy skeleton later this year. That process may begin in the new government's first budget, expected shortly after Parliament resumes in April.

But analysts say the promises already look far more costly than the Tories have suggested.

“I think the Conservatives did low-ball their spending estimates,” says Steve Staples of the Polaris Institute.

In promising the three icebreakers, the northern port and the surveillance system, Prime Minister Stephen Harper estimated the cost at about $2-billion.

Dan Middlemiss, director of the Centre for Foreign Policy Studies at Halifax's Dalhousie University, says that seems very low.

“I've heard $2-billion to $3-billion for the icebreakers.”

In 1985, the Mulroney government promised to build a heavy icebreaker at a cost of $500-million. Inflation since then would push that cost over $800-million.

The Canadian American Security Review, published at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, is also doubtful about the Conservative accounting.

“A cost of $2-billion for both ships and deepwater port seems doubtful,” the publication said. “Election promises are more convincing when better fleshed-out.”

The community of Iqaluit on Frobisher Bay has produced a plan of its own for a small deepwater berth facility — big enough to take a modest cruise ship — which it says would cost $50-million.

“A true deepwater port would be lots more than $50-million,” says Mr. Middlemiss. “Everybody that has mentioned that prospect said it would not be cheap.”

He also said that while the coast guard needs new icebreakers, there's no need for them in the navy.

“We're not planning to arm other icebreakers, so why should we put three in the Arctic? It's purely symbolic.”

Mr. Staples said the surveillance system — which would spread sensors across the Arctic to listen for submarines or other foreign vessels — is a pricey option by itself.

“My understanding is that this proposal has been around for a while and it was shelved because it was too expensive.”

He says a modern weapons system for the icebreakers “would cost a fortune.”

The Tories would like to build other vessels for the navy, including amphibious support ships and perhaps replacements for the tired Tribal-class destroyers.

These building plans would likely strain the country's shipbuilding capacity, says Ray Szeto, a research associate in the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary.

“With the demise of the Saint John (N.B.) shipyard, there aren't many shipyards left that have had experience with building naval vessels.”

He said the ship orders can't be filled within five years, as O'Connor promised during the campaign. It would take 10 years.

Part of the delay is because of the Byzantine procurement system within the Defence Department, says Doug Bland, chair of defence management studies at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont.

Mr. Bland said the new minister, a retired general, may be able to change the system because he knows how it works.

“Things look difficult perhaps if you think of things as ‘business as usual',” Mr. Bland said. “Procurement takes a long time partly because of the demands from Treasury Board for tonnes of paper to describe even the simplest thing.

“What would happen if we just decided to move ahead on deals without all the stuff of Ottawa?

“We bought the CF-18 in three years. Under present procedures we can buy icebreakers in 15 years or five years if we change things.”


Other parts of the Tory platform are also likely to cause headaches, analysts say.

The plan to recruit 13,000 new troops, for example, is ambitious.

“There's a lot of people rolling their eyes at that,” says Mr. Middlemiss. “They're facing really tough demographic issues in attracting folks right now.”

The military feeds on the shrinking pool of 18- to 24-year-olds in the population. Over the last three years, recruiters have signed up 10,000 people a year, regulars and reservists, just to keep the ranks static. The Tory plan to more than double the Liberal promise of 5,000 regulars will strain recruiting and training capabilities.

Mr. Szeto said the military is having trouble keeping the soldiers it has, much less trying to find more during economic good times.

“Let's face it: economic prosperity will make the employment landscape even more competitive, with the Canadian Forces being unable to be as appealing an employer.”

This recruiting drive comes at a time when the military is offering bonuses of up to $10,000 to civilians or former soldiers with certain needed skills. Doctors and dentists willing to sign up for four years can get bonuses of up to $250,000.

And the new bodies will add to the overall bill. Just paying 13,000 privates will cost $377 million a year, before they are outfitted, equipped or trained.

The Tory platform calls for placing new, fast-reaction battalions — say, 650 soldiers each — in Comox, B.C., Trenton, Ont., and Goose Bay, NL. That alone will likely cost hundreds of millions for new infrastructure, including housing and other facilities.

Add new medium-lift helicopters and strategic air transports and the bills climb even higher.

“All of these promises were politically motivated,” says Mr. Staples. “They weren't based on any objective study of what the threats are to Canada and what is needed to address them — and certainly not on the cost.”


Title: Re: Sun Column on Procurement
Post by: HDE on February 20, 2006, 00:37:47
I'm not sure Mr. Staples is a great choice for a thoughtful analysis on the cost of anything!  He claims Canada is already spending far more than is reasonable on the military, although all evidence suggests his claims are rather dodgy.   
Title: Canadian Military/Defence procurement
Post by: E.R. Campbell on May 26, 2012, 07:11:34
‘Overly confident’ DND failed to properly assess F-35 costs: auditor
daniel leblanc OTTAWA— Globe and Mail Update Tuesday, Apr. 03, 2012
Article Link (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/overly-confident-dnd-failed-to-properly-assess-f-35-costs-auditor/article2390509/)
 
National Defence gambled on the F-35 fighter jet without running a fair competition, all the while lacking any cost certainty or any guarantee the plane could replace the current fleet of CF-18s by the end of the decade, the Auditor-General says.

The $16-billion plan to purchase a fleet of Lockheed-Martin F-35 jets could cost $25-billion over the project’s lifespan, yet it was done in unco-ordinated fashion among federal departments, with key data hidden from decision-makers and parliamentarians.

The scathing report by the Auditor-General will fuel a political headache for the Harper government, which has ignored years of opposition attacks on the matter and which was fully committed to the F-35 until a few weeks ago. The Conservatives have put together a plan to review the process and could ultimately select another fighter, but the report raises a number of questions about the 2010 announcement to skip a tendering process and directly buy a fleet of 65 stealth F-35s, which are still in development.

Michael Ferguson, who is launching his 10-year tenure as Auditor-General with this report, is particularly harsh on DND’s handling of the purchase, going back to the 2006 decision to formally sign on to the U.S.-led project.

“National Defence did not exercise the diligence that would be expected in managing a $25-billion commitment,” Mr. Ferguson said in a news release. “It is important that a purchase of this size be managed rigorously and transparently.”

Given cost increases and production delays in the F-35 program, the Auditor-General is raising concerns about DND’s plans to phase out its CF-18s by the end of the decade.

“Briefing material did not inform senior decision makers, central agencies, and the Minister of the problems and associated risks of relying on the F-35 to replace the CF-18. Nor did National Defence provide complete cost information to parliamentarians,” the report said.

The report added the $16-billion estimate for the cost of the project was “likely underestimated,” given it was established “without the aid of complete cost and other information.”

A major element in major military purchases in Canada is the potential for regional industrial benefits. However, in this case, the government was only told of “the most optimistic scenario,” leaving doubts about the actual benefits that will flow to Canadian companies.

“We are concerned, because these projections were used to support key decisions related to Canada’s participation in the [Joint Strike Fighter] Program and the purchase of the F-35 aircraft,” the report said.

Ottawa embarked on a sole-sourced process in 2006 to purchase the F-35, ignoring four other existing aircraft that might have proven to be safer choices. However, the Public Works department – which is responsible for the actual acquisition – was only fully involved in the process by late 2009.

“[Public Works] did not demonstrate due diligence in its role as the government’s procurement authority,” the report said.

In fact, Public Works only received the “statement of operational requirement” for the new fighters in August 2010, while the government had already signaled its intention to buy the F-35s the previous month.

“Practically speaking, by 2010, Canada was too involved in the JSF Program and the F-35 to run a fair competition,” the report said.

In his news release, Mr. Ferguson added: “[DND] did not acknowledge that the decision to purchase the F-35 was well underway four years before it was officially announced.”

Overall, the Auditor-General said that DND has been “overly confident” in its strategy to buy new fighter jets.

The report comes as the department is struggling to complete other major military procurements, including its 2004 decision to purchase Sikorsky helicopters, which were also still being developed, to replace the current fleet of Sea Kings. The new helicopters have yet to be delivered.

Civil aviation, border controls and debt

Other chapters in the report included the following findings:

» On federal oversight of civil aviation, Transport Canada received praise for implementing a new surveillance system. However concern was expressed that the department is not collecting important risk factors such as the financial health of an aviation company. Concerns were also raised about the level of documentation produced by inspectors.

The Auditor-General’s report states that “we also found that many fewer inspections are done than planned. This is significant considering that only the companies and the operations areas considered to be of higher risk are selected for inspection in any given year.”

» On border controls on commercial imports, the audit’s findings are largely favourable. The report notes that there is a need for a clearer agreement between Canada Border Services Agency and Health Canada on how to handle health-related products at the border.

» On the federal government’s management of interest-bearing debt, the report says the Department of Finance uses “a sound process.” However the Auditor-General says Ottawa needs to do a better job of clearly explaining how much of the federal debt is related to its pension obligations to public servants.

The federal debt for 2010-11 stood at $801.8-billion, of which $146.1-billion is obligations to public sector pension plans. This debt is largely because prior to 2000, the federal government did not set aside money in a separate fund to cover its pension obligations. The C.D. Howe Institute has argued that Ottawa should use a different accounting method, which would then value its unfunded pension liabilities at about $227-billion. The Auditor-General’s report does not weigh into that debate.
end


And now this bit of speculation, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Globe and Mail:

Quote
F-35 debacle spurs Tories to consider new agency for military purchases

STEVEN CHASE AND DANIEL LEBLANC

OTTAWA— From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, May. 26, 2012

The Conservative government is exploring handing responsibility for military procurement to a standalone agency as it tries to build a less dysfunctional process for buying defence equipment in the wake of stumbles such as the F-35 fighter project.

There is persistent unease in the Harper government over how badly defence procurement has been handled and the Conservatives have made it clear to senior civil servants, officials say, that they have tremendous interest “in doing this better.”

Staff at the Department of National Defence and Public Works are researching the merits of creating a separate purchasing agency as one way of creating a more efficient means of buying defence hardware.

“This is one idea that’s being kicked around,” one official said. “PMO hasn’t decided what PMO wants on this yet,” they said of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office.

A separate military procurement agency has not always proved to be a sure-fire winner for other countries and critics have raised concerns about how such an entity would be independent yet sufficiently accountable to elected officials.

The search for a fix, though, is evidence of the Harper government’s concern for the disturbing record of military procurement snafus that have piled up over the years.

The Conservatives tried to bring more order to military procurement last year when Mr. Harper appointed Julian Fantino as minister responsible for the portfolio. But the Auditor-General’s damning April report on mishandling of the F-35 jet purchase, and other purchasing troubles, have focused more attention on the problem.

The Defence Department is expected to resist setting up an arms-length agency that would effectively reduce its power and influence over billions of dollars in military purchasing, and will likely argue it’s more practical to merely tinker with the status quo.

DND has taken flak for decades of controversial purchases, from second-hand submarines that failed to meet basic expectations to new top-of-the-line maritime helicopters that are four years late, with no firm delivery date in sight.

The Conservative government has succeeded in buying two fleets of tactical and strategic transport planes in recent years, relying on sole-source purchases of off-the-shelves aircraft instead of buying products that were still in developmental stages.

But other procurements are bogged down in problems. Plans to buy a new fleet of transport helicopters as well as search-and-rescue planes have yet to get off the ground, as government officials struggle with budgetary and technical challenges.

In many cases, DND tries to “Canadianize” its purchases, seeking complex and expensive modifications to suit its unique needs.

At other times, technical requirements prove too complex. Last month, the government told manufacturers that it had to start anew on a $2-billion Close Combat Vehicle program because none of their proposals were fully compliant.

The Auditor-General has been particularly harsh about military purchases over the years, criticizing a number of big-ticket purchases that were conducted without a full and open competition.

Canada is not the only country struggling with military procurement. In 2005, Australia granted more autonomy to its Defence Materiel Organization in a bid to improve the efficiency of the agency that oversees military purchases.

However, the Australian entity found itself under attack last year after a series of procurement bungles including delays and cost overruns for artillery and warship acquisitions.


I, personally, favour a separate, "arms length" procurement agency ~ even as I do understand the political and bureaucratic opposition. Prime Minister Harper has demonstrated an inclination to letting experts (relatively disinterested bureaucrats) decide on e.g. shipbuilding and, now, the F-35, so a separate, from DND and PWGSC, procurement agency seems possible.

Maybe we can cal it The Department of Munitions and Supply, it worked well for ...

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thecanadianencyclopedia.com%2Fmedia%2Fhowe-cd-4315.jpg&hash=8937a03bf8b9db066a865b5e62236ad8)
CD Howe, the Minister of Munitions and Supply and, arguably,
the last guy to have a good grip on defence procurement
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on May 26, 2012, 11:13:47
A little background for those slightly younger than the Trojan Horse.....

Quote
About C.D. Howe:


C.D. Howe was a cabinet minister for 22 years, first in the government of Mackenzie King, and then in the government of Louis St. Laurent. Nicknamed the "Minister of Everything," C.D. Howe was forthright and forceful, and more interested in getting things done than in policy. He mobilized Canada for World War II, turning the Canadian economy from one based primarily on agriculture to one based on industry, and after the war turned it into a consumer economy spurred by veterans.


Arguably a personality that would endear him to bureaucrats, the opposition and the press.  >:D

Link (http://canadaonline.about.com/od/canadaww2/p/cdhowe.htm)
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Colin P on May 29, 2012, 16:47:17
Just a thought, how about the companies compete to build stuff for the military, without specifing the equipment in the process. The choices will be air, sea, armour, vehicles, weapons. The companies submit bids showing which contracts they have with which designers they have connections with. What their performace has been, what capacities they have. basically the companies get to prove they are competent, financially stable and have the necessary equipment and expertise to build the equipment the military requires. Once they win they get sole source for equipment in that range for X number of years, then we start the process over?

We sort of did the above with the shipbuilding contracts.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: LineJumper on May 29, 2012, 16:55:14
Kinda smells like LSVW.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MCG on May 31, 2012, 12:58:43
Movement on this:

Quote
Tories aim to reform procurement process
Ambrose outlines federal government's frustration over military purchasing

Lee Berthiaume
Ottawa Citizen
31 May 12

The minister responsible for overseeing billions of dollars in federal government purchases says she is "tired" of the problems that have plagued an increasing number of military procurement projects.

Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose went on to say she was aware of "internal obstacles to change," but warned the Conservative government is planning to move ahead with plans to reform the system.

"Things have to change," Ambrose said during a keynote speech in Ottawa on Wednesday. "They must continue to change. Because the status quo is not an option."

The past month has seen a harsh spotlight cast on the federal government's efforts to buy military hardware, starting with Auditor General Michael Ferguson's scathing report on the $25-billion F-35 stealth fighter program.

Since then, problems have emerged with the government's plan to buy armoured vehicles, armed Arctic patrol ships and search-and-rescue aircraft.

Some of the projects have been delayed by years, while others have fallen off the rails entirely.

National Defence has been blamed for many of the problems and, as a result, the government has taken a number of the projects out of the Defence Department's hands and given them to Public Works.

Much of Ambrose's speech focused on the importance of leveraging the billions of taxpayer dollars spent on military procurement to encourage economic growth and innovation.

But the minister's most pointed comments were reserved for the end, when she appeared to be warning federal bureaucrats and others she was "a little tired of being told that something can't be done."

"And I've become tired of all the duplication and the competing agendas," she added.

And in a surprising acknowledgment of the problems the F-35 project has caused the Conservative government, Ambrose said: "We accept that public and parliamentary confidence in this process to date is low, and that's not acceptable."

Liberal MP Gerry Byrne said Ambrose's comments about the state of procurement "described a federal government in chaos when it comes to how billions of dollar of taxpayers money is spent on military hardware."

But Ambrose also noted the positive assessments of the hands-off approach the government took when awarding $33 billion in contracts to Irving Shipyards in Halifax and Seaspan Marine in Vancouver as part of the national shipbuilding procurement strategy. 
A similar process, involving the establishment of a group of senior bureaucrats to manage the competition outside political circles and a third-party "fairness monitor," has been set up to aid the government's eight-year effort to replace Canada's fleet of search-and-rescue aircraft, she said.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Wolseleydog on June 24, 2012, 18:14:23
My two cents worth, from the perspective of the F-35 imbroglio:

This whole boondoggle is clear evidence of just how completely broken our major procurement process is.

First of all -- just what does everyone expect from a so-called "open competition"? The various options for a new fighter were studied for years. Book shelves groan under the weight of the reports they generated, considering options, examining various angles: aircraft performance, strategic utility, industrial offsets etc. Recommendations based upon all of that went up to cabinet. The duly elected cabinet of this nation made a decision based upon all of that. And the word I hear is that cabinet didn't agonize over this decision over-much -- they rather straightforwardly endorsed the recommendation without any particular hand-wringing. (Perhaps they regret that now.)

So why, then, was this "sole sourced" rather than subject to an "open competition"? Because the politicians know that so-called "open competitions" do not work. Pop quiz: how many major military procurements have been successfully concluded by open competition, and how many by sole sourcing? By my count the answer is: in the current era, open competition has failed to successfully procure a single major acquisition (fixed wing SAR anyone?), whereas every major acquisition that has been successfully fielded was by direct sole sourcing (C-17, J model Hercs, Leopard IIs, the LAV-IIIs before that...). Even the much ballyhooed new ship building contracts were accomplished by a "special" political process rather than via the formal rules for an "open competition". The one possible exception I can think of is the Cyclone helicopter that will replace the Sea King, but it is arguably a rather special politically fixed case, and at any rate, it is still not fielded yet.

Indeed, the cynic in me would suggest that politicians game the system: when there is political will to purchase something, it is "sole sourced." When there is not the political will to purchase something, it is sent out to formal tender, since the politicos can rest assured that doing so will leave it languishing indefinitely. This is why the critics of the F-35 purchase are correct on one specific point -- of course the statement of requirement (SOR) was "fixed." It was written after all of the study and subsequent cabinet decision I described in the first para above. In point of fact, the SOR was written after the real decision (cabinet level decision I have to point out) had been taken, precisely *BECAUSE* the choice had been made. Therefore, since they actually did want to make the purchase, they proceeded with what one might call the "real" procurement mechanism -- that is, sole sourcing. Had cabinet not made a choice and a firm decision to procure, it would have been sent back for more study, and/or "open competition."

I would suggest that what people should really be asking is: is the above any way to run a railroad?
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: George Wallace on June 25, 2012, 00:01:32
What we actually have here is not so much a boondoggle on the part of DND, the CF or the Government; but more of a journalist (or two.....or more) sticking their noses into something that they know nothing about and then inciting the Public into a frenzy.  Technology is not cheap.  Military Technology is even more expensive.  Look at this video:

JSF F-35  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dX7aZ8Ihs6U&feature=related)

This is an expensive piece of technology.  Now look at this:


F-35 JSF Distributed Aperture System (EO DAS) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fm5vfGW5RY)

This is not a Biplane from WW I.  This is a fighter of the future.

In the end, when journalists and the Public become involved in the secretive portions of National Defence, the nation's defence is compromised.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: WingsofFury on July 19, 2012, 12:05:00
Hot off the press...

Quote
Ottawa eyes plan to loosen DND’s grip on military procurement

STEVEN CHASE
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jul. 19 2012, 6:00 AM EDT
Last updated Thursday, Jul. 19 2012, 6:48 AM EDT

The Harper government, eager to fix Canada’s chronically dysfunctional system for buying military equipment, is considering changes that would strip the Department of National Defence of significant responsibility in steering major purchases.

Stephen Harper and staff in the Prime Minister’s Office are determined to reform the way Canada buys military equipment after a string of troubled purchases, from F-35 fighter jets to supply ships to combat vehicles, have left the impression the Conservatives are failing to effectively manage this spending.

One option under serious study is the creation of a permanent secretariat, reporting to the Department of Public Works, that would take responsibility for all major military procurements above a certain dollar value, a Department of National Defence source said.

Such a shift would signal the Harper government has lost faith in National Defence’s ability to safeguard the public purse. It would also represent an important reduction in DND’s traditional role in drawing up specifications for big expenditures: in effect, the designing and selecting of the options for purchase.

More at the link ->  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-eyes-plan-to-loosen-dnds-grip-on-military-procurement/article4426707/
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Teeps74 on July 19, 2012, 13:02:48
Hmmm, I would argue that the issue with procurrement is not within DND, but all the external pressures applied to the DND. This article (above) has a plan which would NOT fix the issues... It would just give us more TacVests and LSVWs.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: aesop081 on July 19, 2012, 13:04:59
Hmmm, I would argue that the issue with procurrement is not within DND,

You would be wrong. Issues may also lie elsewhere in government, but nonetheless, DND itself, is a source of significant problems.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Teeps74 on July 19, 2012, 15:20:05
Fair enough (I did say LSVW after all)... The process as it stands is problematic and I can accept that. Perhaps it is time to actually start from scratch.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Petard on July 19, 2012, 22:25:23
There's no doubt Canadians endure a very convoluted procurement methodology
But the discussion to steamline it is certainly not new
I see even these dated recommendations as a good start pt, but very unlikely to occur given the tone/intent of the recent announcement
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/HOC/Committee/371/NDVA/GovResponse/RP142237/NDVAPR1/Scondva-e.pdf


After all is said and done...
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on September 02, 2012, 20:16:06
This report, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Globe and Mail is germane to this discussion:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/watchdogs-report-suggests-problems-remain-with-federal-procurement/article4515095/
Quote
Watchdog’s report suggests problems remain with federal procurement

DEAN BEEBY
OTTAWA — The Canadian Press

Published Sunday, Sep. 02 2012

A suspicious number of federal contracts for goods and services appear rigged to favour one bidder, suggests a new survey.

The report, from the contracting watchdog at Public Works, provides further evidence of problems with the Harper government’s efforts to clean up procurement practices.

The office of procurement ombudsman Frank Brunetta examined all 442 sole-source deals that were posted electronically between July, 2011 and January this year.

These so-called advance contract award notifications, or ACANs, are required whenever the federal government plans to buy something without competitive bidding.

The notices are intended to alert unknown potential suppliers, giving them 15 days to challenge the deal by making a better offer.

The survey found that only 247 of the notices, about half, contained enough information about the goods or services the government needed to allow another supplier to mount a competing bid.

And only 100 — less than a quarter of the total — appeared to be a “legitimate attempt by the contracting department to test the market for an alternative source of supply.”

“The results of this analysis raise questions about whether the policies governing the use of ACANs are sufficiently explicit and unambiguous,” says the report.

Mr. Brunetta ordered the survey after complaints from former public servant Allan Cutler, whose career was damaged when he blew the whistle on graft during the so-called sponsorship scandal under Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien.

Mr. Cutler, who in 2008 co-founded a watchdog group called Canadians for Accountability, alerted Mr. Brunetta to a series of sole-source contracts at the Public Service Commission of Canada that looked tailored to favour four people.

Mr. Brunetta’s investigation concluded in July last year that the contracts were indeed cooked. Mr. Cutler then claimed the case was just the “tip of the iceberg,” prompting the latest survey of 442 contracts.

In July this year, Mr. Brunetta also reported on a separate but similar case at the Canada School of Public Service. He found school officials had stacked the deck to ensure up to $170,000 worth of work went to a favoured supplier between 2009 and 2011.

Over the last few years, the Harper government has been mired in criticisms about non-competitive contracting, most recently for its now-stalled efforts to buy the F-35 stealth fighter jet. The auditor general of Canada delivered a scathing indictment of the F-35 acquisition process in April.

The military also came under fire from the auditor general in October, 2010 for its sole-sourcing of helicopter purchases. Sheila Fraser singled out the Defence Department and Public Works for their blatant misuse of ACANs to justify their favoured supplier.

In January this year, Public Works responded to Ms. Fraser by posting what it said were tougher rules surrounding the use of ACANs.

A spokesman for Mr. Brunetta said the office has no immediate plans for further work on abuses of ACANs because “it makes sense to allow time for the impact of the notice (by Public Works on new rules) to take effect.”

Mr. Cutler, who welcomed Mr. Brunetta’s latest findings as empirical support for his criticisms, says the Public Works notice hasn’t fixed anything.

“Although the revision says ‘significant’ changes, I couldn’t find a significant difference,” he said in an interview.

Mr. Cutler ran unsuccessfully for the Conservatives in the 2006 federal election.

Public Works referred a Canadian Press request for comment on the issue of cooked contracts to the Treasury Board, which did not respond.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: milnews.ca on September 02, 2012, 21:17:29
This report, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Globe and Mail is germane to this discussion:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/watchdogs-report-suggests-problems-remain-with-federal-procurement/article4515095/
And from the report itself (http://opo-boa.gc.ca/rapports-reports/2011-2012/enquet-invest-eng.html#a5):
Quote
.... OPO reviewed 442 ACANs published between July 2011 and January 2012 using a combination of objective and subjective criteria to assess whether they met Treasury Board and Public Works and Government Services Canada policy requirements. More specifically, the monitoring focussed on whether it appeared the information contained in the ACANs: (a) was so specific that it suggested requirements were being tailored to a specific supplier’s goods or services; (b) could be construed as a true “market test” to evaluate whether another possible source of supply existed; and (c) was sufficiently complete to allow a challenge (i.e. another supplier could submit a statement of capabilities demonstrating that it is  capable of meeting the requirements of the ACAN). The Office also examined data elements to ensure they were properly included in the monitored ACANs (e.g. the closing date of the ACAN, the contact point for questions, the name and address of the proposed supplier). This process enabled OPO staff to identify cases where the ACAN did not appear to have been used as intended and/or policy requirements did not appear to be fully respected.

The results of the monitoring revealed that just over half of the 442 ACANs appear to contain enough information to allow another supplier to submit a statement of capabilities, and that less than one quarter appear to be a legitimate attempt by the contracting department to test the market for an alternative source of supply.

While OPO could not substantiate or refute the complainant’s allegation based on this monitoring exercise, the results of this analysis raise questions about whether the policies governing the use of ACANs are sufficiently explicit and unambiguous to allow ACANs to be used as intended ....
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Wookilar on September 05, 2012, 12:49:26
I know the sole-sourced items that have ended up on ACAN that started on my desk were full and complete SOWs that would pass any of their tests.

Of course they were built to one company's product in one way or another. I can't help it if pretty much every RCAF landing strip out there has a lighting system from a particular company. I have the buy the same thing (that's the current fight I have going on with PWGSC). I already have $250K of survey gear from a particular manufacturer, I need more to fullfill our operational requirements (due to increase in numbers of troops) so I have to buy compatible (i.e. the same) equipment because most companies use so much proprietary crap I do not have a choice.

Justifying sole-source is simple (but not exactly straight forward sometimes) once you start talking about electronic components. I already have $1X worth of a particular tech gear on hand, I need replacements/augmentations to those holdings of $1/2X worth, I have to buy the exact same thing or I need to replace my entire fleet of whatever (with a cost of $5X) and retrain my entire staff on this new piece of kit and order spare parts etc, etc.

I am all for open competitions, many of the items I procure go that way. As long as you write your SOW properly (and do not allow PWGSC to screw with it too much), then you get the items you need.

It's when SOWs are poorly written, or there is sufficient interference from PWGSC that there are unintended consequences or they simply go unfilled due to screwy requirements. The current contract for rental vehicles is an excellent example, it is NOT good value for the money.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Colin P on September 06, 2012, 12:40:33
I managed to justify sole source because the company we wanted to buy from offered a great deal on the trade in of our old ROV, which made worth far more than what Crown Assest would get for it.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on September 14, 2012, 12:31:10
http://forbesblog.dailymail.co.uk/

This is a link to a series of Daily Mail articles on procurement by MOD in the UK.  We are not alone.

I found the second article in the series, on helicopters in general and the Apache in particular, really instructive.  FWSAR addicts to take note.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: GAP on September 14, 2012, 13:36:37
Wow!! What a boondoggle..... ::)
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on September 14, 2012, 17:33:22
Wow!! What a boondoggle..... ::)

As the man said: A high price just to keep them out of the pubs.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on December 07, 2012, 08:09:58
Prof Philippe Lagassé (http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php?action=profile;u=50735) of uOttawa takes a pretty fair look at the problems that bedevil defence procurement in this article which is reproduced under the fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Ottawa Citizen:

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/op-ed/Defence+procurement+problems+deeper+than/7663899/story.html
Quote
Defence procurement problems run deeper than the F-35
 
By Philippe Lagassé, Ottawa Citizen December 6, 2012

It’s been a rough year for Canadian defence procurement.

This past spring, the Auditor General lambasted the defence department’s lack of due diligence in selecting the F-35 to replace the air force’s aging CF-18 fighters. A few months later, the acquisition of new army trucks was cancelled when it became clear that industry would be unable to meet the military’s specifications within budget.

There are also signs that the widely lauded shipbuilding strategy is facing difficulties, as naval planners struggle to design vessels that do not exceed cost estimates. The 2012 federal budget, meanwhile, announced that the defence budget would grow at a slower pace than previously promised and that billions of procurement dollars would go unspent until 2015.

Defence procurement officials deny that there is anything worrisome going on. They insist that these are minor hiccups. A good deal of new military equipment has been bought in recent years without difficulty, and it is not unusual for complex military acquisitions to encounter setbacks.

Though things are not as disconcerting as they seem, it is time to accept that the recapitalization of the CF has not gone as well hoped, and the factors that have slowed the replacement of several major equipment fleets will continue to derail important acquisitions if left unaddressed.

A first obstacle was the situation inherited by Paul Martin’s Liberals and the current government. The defence department initiated relatively few large-scale procurements between 1994 and 2004. When the new Conservative government announced that all of the CF’s major fleets would be replaced, the news was therefore greeted with relief and enthusiasm.

But there was a problem: a defence bureaucracy that was staffed to manage a relatively small number of projects was now being asked to undertake a wholesale rejuvenation of the military’s equipment.

However well-intentioned, the accelerated recapitalization of the military overburdened a small procurement organization, which likely led to corner-cutting, mistakes, and poorer project management. To address this issue, the government will need to examine how the defence department can be better resourced to effectively manage the recapitalization of the CF.

A lack of resources, however, does not explain the more troubling procurement practices that have been allowed to fester in recent years. If these tendencies are not reined in, we can expect still more military procurement foibles.

Several acquisitions have been undermined or delayed because of inflated requirements and overly optimistic cost-estimates. While it is understandable that the military wants the best equipment possible, the trade-off between cost and capability must be tackled with greater caution, especially at a time when defence expenditures will be increasing at a slower pace.

Attempts to rig contract competitions in favour of one manufacturer or piece of equipment have not only been unethical, but counterproductive, too. A contract for new search and rescue planes, for instance, has been delayed for more than six years owing to the air force’s preference for a particular plane. With each additional postponement, the military’s ability to effectively perform search and rescue in the future has been further compromised.

Certain sole-sourced procurements have created a good deal of controversy as well. Declaring that the F-35 was the only aircraft that can replace the CF-18s has produced the exact opposite of the effect sought by the Joint Strike Fighter’s advocates; it led to a wave criticism which led the government to re-examine Canada’s fighter aircraft options. If the F-35 was clearly the best aircraft, it would have prevailed in a rigorous cost-benefit analysis of various alternatives. Despite Thursday’s confusing news about the F-35, the government’s insistence that all options are being examined suggests that such a comparative assessment may eventually take place.

Finally, the defence department must accept an uncomfortable reality: the plan to recapitalize the military was never properly costed and is no longer affordable under the existing defence budget. Unless there is a significant reinvestment in defence procurements after the deficit is eliminated, this means that the military must reconsider what the CF’s future equipment will look like, both in terms of quantity and quality.

A prudent government will ensure that the defence establishment comes to grip with this fact; otherwise, Canada’s defence procurement woes will continue for years to come.

Philippe Lagassé is an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa. His paper, Recapitalizing the Canadian Forces’ Major Fleets: Assessing Lingering Controversies and Challenges, is being published by the Canadian International Council and Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute.

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen


I think his penultimate sentence says it all: "Finally, the defence department must accept an uncomfortable reality: the plan to recapitalize the military was never properly costed and is no longer affordable under the existing defence budget. Unless there is a significant reinvestment in defence procurements after the deficit is eliminated, this means that the military must reconsider what the CF’s future equipment will look like, both in terms of quantity and quality."

There is not, in my opinion, a political party anywhere in Canada that supports anything like the kind of military spending that would be necessary to return the CF to something like one suitable for St Laurent's vision of a "leading middle power." Why not? Because in the late 1960s we, a whole generation of Canadians, embraced the notion that we could have "peace and prosperity" without making any significant contribution to making or keeping the peace. In the 21st century, I believe, Canadians will happily accept second rate or insufficient for the CF - until there is a need to deploy and do something that has sufficient celebrity support, at which time the same complacent Canadians will tolerate emergency procurements à la the CC-117, CC-130J and Leopard II. (Of course they weren't "emergencies;" all were "on the books" in one form or another before we went to Afghanistan but the fact that Canadians soldiers were dying in battle removed the major (public opinion) impediment to buying new kit. Then Defence Minsiter O'Connor, through circumstances or, maybe, design, also pushed the procurements past several internal obstacles - mainly people who want to redesign a perfectly acceptable system into something "Canadian.")

Finally, it is important to remember that this government's Canada First Defence Strategy actually threatens promises to reduce defence spending as a percentage of GDP, even assuming a very, very long and weak recovery from the Great Recession of 2008.

 
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on February 04, 2013, 12:37:28
And here, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from CBC News is another indictment of DND:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/02/01/f-vp-weston-fantino.html
Quote
Fantino misled by defense department over fake plane parts
[bOfficials knew counterfeit Chinese microchips were in new Hercules cockpits[/b]

By Greg Weston, CBC News

Posted: Feb 4, 2013

In an interview with CBC News last June, then associate defence minister Julian Fantino denied Canada's 17 new Hercules military transport planes are infected with fake Chinese parts, like the kind found on the same type of aircraft in the U.S. Air Force.

Fantino wasn't telling the truth — but he wasn't lying either.

The minister's denial was in response to a damning U.S. congressional report that had just exposed the existence of the bogus parts in the cockpits of the American C-130J Hercules.

The U.S. investigation reported that a malfunction of the parts could cause the cockpit instrument panels in the giant aircraft to go blank in mid-flight with potentially "catastrophic" consequences.

Officials at National Defence headquarters in Ottawa have now admitted to CBC News that the department had known at least four months before Fantino's interview that the same counterfeit parts were also in Canada's brand new Hercules planes.

No one at the time, apparently, shared that information with the minister, even when Fantino's office asked DND officials point-blank if Canada had fake parts in its planes.

Fantino is only the latest in a long history of defence ministers hung out to dry by their own department, many of them hapless victims of a military culture in which political bosses are sometimes viewed as a passing nuisance to be circumvented as much as possible.

In this case, it is possible that an internal failure to communicate left Fantino in the dark, a classic snafu of one hand of DND not knowing what the other was doing.

If so, it may explain how DND has created such huge problems for itself with almost every big procurement — planes, helicopters, ships, armoured vehicles — over the past six years.

But there is also evidence Fantino may have been left misinformed in a bureaucratic attempt to cover up yet another embarrassment for a department already beset with billions of dollars of equipment boondoggles.

The timeline

Here's what we now know.

Last year's U.S. congressional investigation reported that counterfeit microchips from China were first discovered in the American fleet of Hercules planes in June of 2010, after the cockpit instrument panel failed on one of the aircraft.

A top U.S. laboratory, which specializes in detecting counterfeit electronics, subsequently reported the parts had a 27 per cent failure rate in stress tests, and were "not considered to be factory original."

The American manufacturer of the cockpit instrument panels, L-3 Systems, notified its customers of the counterfeit microchips and scrapped its inventory. But it didn't recall the parts, which were by then installed in hundreds of aircraft, including the Hercs.

The congressional probe also reported that the manufacturer of the Hercules itself, Lockheed-Martin, subsequently told the U.S. military the bogus parts were actually the authentic microchips that had just been mislabelled.

Lockheed Martin apparently also told the U.S. Air Force the parts did not pose any immediate danger.

All of this — and the truth about the Hercules parts being counterfeits — became very public during well-publicized U.S. congressional hearings in November 2011.

Who knew what?

But no one, apparently, told the associate defence minister's office in Ottawa — which was then responsible for defence procurement — that there might be a problem with the new Canadian planes, even as DND was about to start taking possession of 17 of them at a cost of more than $1 billion.

On the contrary, in response to a media enquiry after the public congressional hearings in Washington, the Canadian defence department issued the first of many denials that its planes had any bogus parts.

DND now admits that three months later, in February 2012, Lockheed Martin provided the department with a "safety report" confirming there were "suspect counterfeit parts" in Canada's new Hercules fleet.

However, no one, apparently, mentioned that to the associate defence minister's office.

As in the U.S., the aircraft manufacturer's report to DND claimed the fake parts on the Canadian planes posed no immediate danger.

DND now says its own "Weapon System Manager analyzed the manufacturer's safety report and agreed this was not a safety of flight issue."

No one, apparently, mentioned any of that to the minister's office, either.

In May of last year, four months after Lockeed Martin's report to DND on the fake parts, an aide to Fantino said the department had told the minister's office in no uncertain terms that "there's no evidence of counterfeit parts."

About the same time, a memo obtained by CBC and written by one of the top officials in the branch of DND responsible for purchasing and managing the planes stated: "We do not have any information regarding counterfeit parts in CF [Canadian Forces] equipment."

DND now says that official "was not speaking on behalf of the whole department."

No one, apparently, mentioned that to the minister's office.

Instead, Fantino made his ill-fated television appearance to deny there were any counterfeit parts in the Canadian Hercs, months after at least some in his department knew there were.

Fantino has since moved on to become minister of international development, a little older in the ways of Ottawa but apparently still in the dark.

He continues to maintain "the government wasn't aware of any counterfeit parts at the time."

Even now, apparently, no one at DND has told him the truth.


In a long career that included three or four stints in NDHQ I did see a period where clearly disinterested, revolving door ministers were treated as "nuisances," but I served in eras (more than one) where "don't embarrass the minister" was the watchword and that, too, led, to keeping him (or her) in the dark. But what I saw, mostly, was an overly complex staff system that made it hard to move useful information to the people who might need it. I recall an incident from when I was a LCol in the ADM(Mat) Group: I was tasked to write a brief on a certain matter. It moved, fairly briskly, to ADM(Mat) himself and then across to the military staff (DCDS, etc) where there was much "toing and froing" and many changes before the VCDS sent it to the DM's staff for onward transmission to the MND. The DM's office staffed it through ADM(Pol) and ADM(Fin) and, of course, since it dealt with hardware, ADM(Mat) where I reinserted all the stuff the DCDS had wanted removed and deleted some of the stuff the DCDS had added and recommended it for approval by the DM. But by the time the BN made it to the MND it was, in some respects, overtaken by events. And I suspect things are worse now than they were 25 years ago.


Edit: typo and a grammar error  :-[
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Colin P on February 04, 2013, 16:24:44
Very much so, I make a pointed of including more information than they want in BN's. Some person in HQ or the MO can remove the "fluff" I also keep the draft so if the Minister is not given the needed information we can point to the draft and say we gave your staff the information and they took it out. In fact I have given up trying to carefully craft letters or BN for the MO as they are always butchered anyways into saying as little as possible.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on February 04, 2013, 16:43:05
Same issue: Civvy World

Two months preparing an info brief for the Divisional President.
Two hours with his Vices (HR and Tech Services) briefing them.
Vices demand the package be reduced in scope.  Apparently I wasn't scintillating enough for them.

Next day, after being up all night revamping the brief and creating new Autocad drawings, I brief the Pres.

10 minutes into the briefing and the President is already asking for documents I had removed from the previous briefing.  I reverted to the full 2 hour version.  Project approved for further review.

More often than not the issue is incompetence, or better yet friction and fog, than it is malevolence.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on February 12, 2013, 09:28:42
While I would never fault leveraging contracts when the opportunity presents itself, organizing defence procurement, or any activity, to promote government set industrial development priorities, as "high-tech luminary Tom Jenkins, now serving as a special adviser to federal Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose" suggests, according to this article which is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Globe and Mail, is just plain silly:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-urged-to-apply-benefit-test-for-defence-contractors/article8479909/
Quote
Ottawa urged to apply benefit test for defence contractors

STEVEN CHASE AND BILL CURRY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Feb. 12 2013

Military suppliers should be required to demonstrate how they would help build up key industrial capabilities in Canada before winning defence procurement deals from Ottawa, a special adviser to the Harper government is recommending.

High-tech luminary Tom Jenkins, now serving as a special adviser to federal Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose, is tabling a report in Ottawa Tuesday morning that will help the Conservative government craft a defence industrial policy for Canada – one that harnesses military and security budgets in the service of jobs and economic growth.

In the future, Mr. Jenkins is recommending, Canada should make defence purchasing decisions that help promote and develop domestic expertise in the following “key industrial capabilities”: Arctic and marine security; protection of the soldier; command and support; cybersecurity; training systems; and in-service support.

The Jenkins report also calls for Ottawa to be far more direct about what sort of spinoff benefits it expects for domestic businesses from the major defence contracts – referred to as industrial-regional benefits – that Canada expects from military suppliers.

Foreign companies play a large role in supplying Canada’s military needs, yet in the past 30 years, this country has shied away from using defence policy to promote and build domestic industries.

In the case of major equipment buys, for instance, it has often relied on foreign contractors to share work with Canadian companies in exchange for winning the job. This has had mixed results and, in the worst cases, government officials joke, Canadians have been left with menial work such as building the hangar for airplanes or supplying the fuel to fill a vehicle’s gas tank.

The Harper government’s looking to change this, and will use the advice from Mr. Jenkins, executive chairman of OpenText Corp., to develop a Canada-first military purchasing strategy that funnels as many procurement dollars as possible to domestic firms with the potential to be leaders in their field.

Canada wants to be smarter about backing Canadian industry, where possible, as it spends about $240-billion over the next 20 years on military acquisitions.

European and U.S. defence suppliers are believed to be stepping up their efforts to sell military goods to Canada now that military spending in the United States and the European Union membership is squeezed by hefty deficits and staggering debt.

The Canadian government has until now tended to wait too long to negotiate the industrial benefits from military contracts, only finalizing them after it’s picked a supplier.

Mr. Jenkins is building on a different report headed by former Harper government cabinet minister David Emerson last November that called on Ottawa to extract clear industrial benefits while it’s still holding all the cards.

“Negotiating clearer, more specific industrial and technological benefits plans earlier in the procurement process – when the government’s leverage is greatest – will almost certainly produce quicker and more tangible results,” the Emerson report on aerospace and space sectors recommended last fall.

In recent years, Ottawa has been inundated with ideas on how to build its industrial base using defence spending, including contracting out more of the billions of dollars of research and development the federal government conducts in-house.

This new approach, which Ms. Ambrose has championed throughout government, has its risks and its critics. Some Department of National Defence officials worry it will end up adding costs and delays to military spending. Others in the Industry department feel the current system of extracting spinoff contracts from foreign suppliers is adequate.

Over the past five years, though, the Harper government has become more focused on protecting and fostering a homegrown expertise in defence and security technology. It is an evolution in thinking for the Conservatives, who have tempered their laissez-faire approach to business since they took office.

In 2008, for instance, the Tories blocked the sale of MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.’s space technology division to Minneapolis-based Alliant Techsystems Inc., saying the unit was of strategic interest to Canada.

In 2011, the Tories unveiled a 30-year plan to build the next generation of military and government research vessels in Canada, a long-term commitment to support jobs and talent in shipyards.

Ottawa’s been advised to adopt a Canada-first procurement strategy as a means of levelling the playing field for Canadian companies who find themselves competing globally for business against foreign firms that enjoy strong and steady support from their respective governments.


In fact, I need to go beyond saying that this idea is "silly," it (its entirely fallacious reasoning) is part of the reason our defence procurement system is a mess today.

The one and only goal of defence procurement should be to buy what equipment and systems that meet all the military operational and technical requirements (that have been set to accomplish government mandated missions and tasks) at the lowest possible cost. Then, if it is possible, the government, as the customer, can try to leverage a contract in an effort to e.g. promote regional industrial development, but only after the government (customer) has negotiated the best (cost/value) deal.

We must remember that governments are, usually, bad at setting regional industrial and economic goals because retail politicians are incapable at looking at regional problems with a clear, cold, economic eye ~ they look at regions through a wholly political lens. The regional economic decisions that governments make are, generally worse than one would make by doing nothing at all or even tossing a coin.

It is reported that Prime Minister Harper is looking at establishing a separate defence procurement agency, maybe even a separate ministry; I sincerely hope that Mr Jenkins' recommendations are tossed in the trash bin and erased from memory before he thinks about that issue.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: dapaterson on February 12, 2013, 09:46:40
I recall inthe early '90s the OAG noted that DND bought Canadian to support the Defence Industrial Base.  Which turned out to be a few drop-shippers in Canada, buying product from the US and reselling it at considerable markup.

I hope that the writers misunderstood Mr Jenkins' proposals; "in-service support" (ISS) is not a discrete capability.  Rather, it's the ability to leverage capabilities in various fields to sustain in-service equipment.  For example, ISS for a fleet of helicopters requires an aerospace capability; ISS for a fleet of trucks requires an automotive capability, and so on.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on February 12, 2013, 11:21:04
The only "value proposition" that I am aware of that is commonly used in industry is whether or not the dollar invested in a given project will result in higher returns than putting the money into some other investment.    Beyond that the cost-benefit analysis is usually called a sales pitch.

The fact that the concept is being touted as having been successfully trialled on the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy says it all.  The NSPS assigned 10 points out of 100 to the sales pitch.  10%.  Now that may make a difference when it comes down two or three vendors of equal merit solving your problem.  You then have the luxury of considering other factors than the primaries in making your decision.  But normally, first and foremost, you are out to solve your problem at a cost that makes sense to you.

And I am not familiar with many vendors expressing interest in establishing their clients as competitors.

Short form: Bumf.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on February 15, 2013, 22:53:41
While I would never fault leveraging contracts when the opportunity presents itself, organizing defence procurement, or any activity, to promote government set industrial development priorities, as "high-tech luminary Tom Jenkins, now serving as a special adviser to federal Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose" suggests, according to this article which is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Globe and Mail, is just plain silly:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-urged-to-apply-benefit-test-for-defence-contractors/article8479909/

In fact, I need to go beyond saying that this idea is "silly," it (its entirely fallacious reasoning) is part of the reason our defence procurement system is a mess today.

The one and only goal of defence procurement should be to buy what equipment and systems that meet all the military operational and technical requirements (that have been set to accomplish government mandated missions and tasks) at the lowest possible cost. Then, if it is possible, the government, as the customer, can try to leverage a contract in an effort to e.g. promote regional industrial development, but only after the government (customer) has negotiated the best (cost/value) deal.

We must remember that governments are, usually, bad at setting regional industrial and economic goals because retail politicians are incapable at looking at regional problems with a clear, cold, economic eye ~ they look at regions through a wholly political lens. The regional economic decisions that governments make are, generally worse than one would make by doing nothing at all or even tossing a coin.

It is reported that Prime Minister Harper is looking at establishing a separate defence procurement agency, maybe even a separate ministry; I sincerely hope that Mr Jenkins' recommendations are tossed in the trash bin and erased from memory before he thinks about that issue.


Here is Andrew Coyne's take on the report, reproduced under the fair DEaling provisions of the Copyright Act from the National Post:

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/02/15/andrew-coyne-pork-barrel-happy-report-could-have-catastrophic-effect-240-billion-military-procurement-plan/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
Quote
Pork-barrel happy report could have catastrophic effect on $240-billion military procurement plan

Andrew Coyne

Feb 15, 2013

If all the reactions to this week’s report by a panel advising the government on defence procurement policy, the most hilarious came from the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries. “This timely and coherent report truly strikes a chord with the defence and security industry in Canada,” the association’s president said. “The panel calls for urgent action by the government, and CADSI echoes this call.”

No kidding. If the report struck such a chord with the defence industry, it may be because the defence industry more or less wrote it. Two of the panel’s five members are industry executives (a third is a retired army officer); their report, based on “extensive consultations” with CADSI, amounts to a large-sized cheque to domestic arms makers.

It is difficult to adequately express what a train wreck this report is. The panel, chaired by the technology industry executive Tom Jenkins, looks at the recent history of Canadian military procurement — politicized, crawling with lobbyists, beset by infighting over “industrial and regional benefits,” and generally concerned with just about everything except getting the best equipment for the least money — and diagnoses the problem as a shortage of political and bureaucratic meddling, an insufficiency of protectionism and pork-barreling.

Procurement policy, they write, has been obsessed with getting “value for money,” rather than using defence contracts as “leverage” to spur investment and job creation in Canada. The decades-long practice of demanding foreign defence contractors spend a dollar in Canada for every dollar they receive, to the tune of some $80-billion by 2027, is here dismissed as overly “market-driven,” inasmuch as the contractors get to choose which Canadian firms they work with.

That would cease if the panel has its way. Rather, contractors would be instructed where and how to spend the money the government had extracted from them, with a view to promoting a set of “Key Industrial Capabilities” (KICs) the government had selected. Bidders on defence contracts would be required to demonstrate in advance how their bids “add to Canada’s economy,” according to a shopping list of criteria, from technology transfer to global product mandates.

The military’s “operational requirements” would be just one factor among three in the government’s assessment, alongside the “market opportunity” and “innovation” perspectives. So whereas a “value for money” approach might suggest buying from a foreign manufacturer, if that were the lowest-cost bid, the panel sees this as just one of a “portfolio” of possibilities that could include developing and building a new one from scratch.

Amid all the pseudo-economic gobbledygook about “moving up the value chain” and “developing niche solutions” there is only the barest acknowledgement that what this amounts to is overpaying domestic suppliers, guaranteeing them a market they could not win in open competition. The report concedes at one point “there may be extra risk to supporting a home-based supplier of a sophisticated product, or some price premium relative to lowest cost globally” — one of just three references to “price” in the whole document.

The panel appears to believe Canada would be in a strong bargaining position with foreign contractors, given the deep cuts to come in U.S. and European defence spending. But these are companies in a globally competitive market, with shareholders to answer to: they are not in a position to subsidize the government of Canada’s ambitions out of dividends. Rather, the costs of the subsidy would be borne by the taxpayer.

Why on earth would we want to do this? Given the fiscal pressures we are already facing due to the aging population, why would we pay more than a nickel more than we had to for armaments? The report offers a number of rationales: because it’s there (“defence-related industries are unique in that governments are essentially the only customers”); because others do it (“many of the most highly industrialized countries have … strategies that promote their defence-related industries”); but mostly because it’s good for the defence industry.

The report is at pains to emphasize how crucially the industry depends on government, how many successful Canadian companies “got their start with a Department of National Defence contract.” I don’t doubt this so. It does not quite follow that every company that gets a DND contract will be successful. Neither does it explain why it should be government policy to promote the defence industry — why the national interest should be equated with the industry’s interests.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret here: there are other industries in Canada besides the defence industry. The subsidies government provides aren’t just a cost to the taxpayer, but to all those other industries: the capital and labour diverted into making arms at uncompetitive prices are capital and labour unavailable for other purposes. This basic insight of economics, opportunity cost — the growth that doesn’t occur elsewhere, the jobs that are never created, because resources are committed in one place and not the other — is nowhere present in the report.

Oh, there’s a bit of handwaving about defence industries being particularly effective “growth promoters,” on account of their being “technologically advanced and thus rich in opportunities for innovation and the development of leading-edge human skills.” But the report offers no evidence that they are superior in this respect to other technologically advanced industries, nor is there much reason to believe the people who brought you the F-35 are especially adept at assessing these sorts of tradeoffs. As opposed, say, to shareholders.

This is more than just a bad report. With some $48-billion in equipment purchases in the pipeline, most of it in the next three years — part of the government’s 20-year, $240-billion procurement plan — the consequences of following the panel’s recommendations would be catastrophic. The report calls it a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” Indeed. For once in their lives, politicians should take the opportunity to say no.

Postmedia News


I think (maybe just hope) we can trust Prime Minister Harper to consign the report to the trash can, where it belongs.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: milnews.ca on April 04, 2013, 14:13:20
Just to share a different set of eyes on defence procurement, here's a think tank paper presented to the UK's Commons Select Committee on Defence on "Orthodoxy’s Ten Sacred Truths" on defence acquisitions (http://bit.ly/ZBZtAp) ....
Quote
.... (1)The benefits of competition;

(2)The gains from outsourcing;

(3)The centrality of project management metrics;

(4)The utility of the idea of Value for Money;

(5)The availability of both project certainty and technological advantage;

(6)The belief that defence acquisition projects are particularly prone to failure;

(7)The (naive) endorsement of partnering;

(8)The optimism that change management programmes are transformative;

(9)The assumption that science and technology and research and development are identical; and

(10)The faith that SMEs will help to build a New Jerusalem ....
Happy to let those with more internal insight of our system compare/contrast.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on April 23, 2013, 07:25:04
This, a "new" accounting system (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/conservatives-to-reform-ottawas-archaic-accounting-system/article11483192/) announced by Treasury Board President Tony Clement, may help by, at least, allowing politicians, bureaucrats, auditors and vendors/contractors to operate from a consistent base.

But: centuries of vitally important parliamentary, indeed, constitutional convention related to how monies are approved may get in the way.
 
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on August 04, 2013, 17:00:26
Prof Steve Saideman (Carelton) gets it pretty much exactly right in this article, which is reproduced under the fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Canada International Council website, when he says, "Canada is making a huge mistake—it is turning defence contracting into an exercise in domestic job creation [because] you end up getting more than you want and less than you need:"

http://opencanada.org/features/blogs/roundtable/more-than-we-want-less-than-we-need/
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More Than We Want, Less Than We need

Steve Saideman

August 1, 2013

There is a temptation to think that the interests of the Canadian defence contractors and the preferences of the Canadian Forces always converge, but this is not always the case.  The Conservative government has become a big fan of defence “industrial” policy, where the defence procurement decisions are driven in part by what is best for Canadian firms and job creation at home.  The Canadian Forces are not entirely thrilled with this.  Why?  Basic economics and simple math.  The economics is all about competition and economies of scale, leading to higher production costs.  The basic math is this: if the Canadian Forces have to buy more expensive kit, then they will have to buy less or cut spending elsewhere.  This is all exacerbated by the Harper government’s austerity campaign.  Let me explain.

Whenever governments limit choices of where equipment can be produced, they are, by definition, reducing competition.  The defence sector already has enough problems with getting sufficient competition to lead to higher quality/less expensive equipment, but if you tilt the competition towards domestic producers, there will be less pressure to reduce costs.   To be clear, if Canadian producers were already producing the least expensive, high quality material, there would be no need for the government to favor domestic producers.  They would win in the competition.  But because they would otherwise lose, favoring them means buying more expensive stuff.

A key challenge facing the Canadian defence industry is economies of scale—most of their competitors in the world serve larger markets.  As they produce and sell greater numbers of planes, ships, radar systems, whatever, the costs of the initial research and development per unit go down. Defence systems tend to have very expensive startup costs, so economies of scale are particularly important in this sector. Canada has a small military, so it will always be a limited market for Canadian producers.  Sure, some Canadian companies do well in international competition, which means that they can compete well at home. But many do not, and have not.

The best/worst example of this is ship-building.  The effort to re-capitalize the Royal Canadian Navy by building ships in Vancouver and Halifax is mighty good for those shipyards, but is awful from a budgetary standpoint.  There are other countries that could have sold Canada more capable, less expensive ships than what the Canadian shipyards will eventually produce.  Sure, the ship-building competition within Canada was lauded at the time for being fairly systematic, but it was gamed—the competition was only among Canadian shipyards.  Sure, the RCN learned not to buy used ships from the British due to the sub fiasco, but there are companies beyond Canadian shores that could provide excellent ships sooner and for less.

Why?  Because Canada is making a huge mistake—it is turning defence contracting into an exercise in domestic job creation.  Ask the Americans what happens when procurement is guided by job creation pressures.  You end up getting more than you want and less than you need.  Congress often forces the U.S. military to buy equipment it does not want, because such programs employ Americans.  This makes it very, very hard to kill under-performing programs.  The advantage Canada has over the U.S. is party discipline, which means that prime ministers are not beholden to individual members of parliament as they shape defence procurement policy.  But once you really emphasize the job creation part of defence procurement, the more politicized subsequent decisions will be.  What makes sense for the Harper government in the short-term, winning in 2015, is going to be very damaging to Canadian politics and to defence contracting in the long run.  The procurement system is already broken—turning it into industrial policy will only make things worse.

All defence procurement decisions are, of course, political.  All government decisions are political.  But playing favorites in defence procurement now will give today’s winners more incentive to pressure tomorrow’s politicians, and today’s losers will have to up their game in trying to exert influence the next time.

Coming back to the present day, this is the worst time to be engaging in industrial policy.  If there was flexibility in the budget, if the Canadian government was spending more money rather than cutting back, then the government could afford the luxury of buying Canadian.  But we live in a time of austerity (well, government-induced austerity), so the government wants to cut military spending.  Which means now is the time when the military can least afford procurement as industrial policy.

Thus, while we often think of the military-industrial complex as a single entity pushing in the same direction, it is very clear why the Canadian Forces and Canadian defence contractors do not see eye to eye on spending defence dollars in Canada to subsidize some companies and win some votes.


But our government, a Conservative government that, despite this wrong choice, is, in my opinion, still the best choice for Canada, has set us on this course and we all - military people and POTs (Plain Old Taxpayers) alike - will pay too much for too little as a result.

It's a stupid policy - the US experience proves that beyond a shadow of a doubt - but it is popular with the ignorant masses, 25+/-% of which vote Conservative (as do similar percentages vote Liberal, NDP and, in less numbers, PQ and Green).
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on September 13, 2013, 08:24:09
Brian Gable gets it about right in this opinion piece which is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Globe and Mail:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/xxxxx/article14052163/#dashboard/follows/
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The defence procurement system, which is, essentially, unchanged since about 1969, when the Department of Defence Supply was disbanded and its responsibilities were assumed by the Department of Supply and Services, is broken. Given the complexity of many (most?) large scale systems it seems to me that we need to look at alternatives where engineers, logisticians and contract specialists (mostly accountants and lawyers) translate validated military operational requirements, expressed in performance terms, into real hardware. My personal preference would be an "arms length" crown corporation - sort of a mirror of the Canadian Commercial Corporation (http://www.ccc.ca/en/ccc/about-ccc), but I'm not sure it would be politically acceptable. (The UK tried something like it in the 1990s with the short-lived "Procurement Executive," but as soon as politicians realized that they didn't have enough control over "job creation" (which is an economic fallacy but a political dream) they pulled the function back into government.)
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on September 27, 2013, 19:41:11
James Cudmore, an occasional participant here on Army.ca, reports that "the Conservative government intends to reform Canada's troubled system of military procurement" in this article which is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from CBC News:

http://www.cbc.ca/m/touch/politics/story/1.1871009
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Military's procurement paralysis may see big changes
Years of delays and missteps forcing Conservatives to alter way it buys military equipment

James Cudmore CBC News

Posted: Sep 27, 2013

CBC News has learned the Conservative government intends to reform Canada's troubled system of military procurement and could announce its plans as early as next month's speech from the throne.

Those plans could see the formation of a new agency under a single minister to manage all military procurement, or a secretariat of bureaucrats from each of the departments currently involved in sourcing Canada's military equipment.

The decision to change the procurement process follows years of criticism of the government's handling of several massive military purchases worth tens of billions of dollars.

It's also been stung by the still-severe troubles with the nearly three-decade-old program to replace Canada's aging Sea King ship-borne helicopters.

The litany of bad news and criticism of procurement, alongside the apparent public perception of boondoggle and breakdown, seem now to have pushed the government into action.

Keith Beardsley, a veteran Conservative and former deputy chief of staff to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, says the government is feeling political pressure on the file.

Support for the military is a key Conservative political value and an essential part of its appeal to some supporters. But the current messy, sluggish nature of procurement has blocked the government from credibly claiming success on re-equipping the forces and at the same time being effective managers.

"It is a management issue," Beardsley says, "because you have to deliver. Your reputation is based on how do you manage the economy, how you manage taxpayer dollars and you are constantly being attacked, pushed back by, 'what's wrong with this program, what's wrong with this particular item, this helicopter, this fighter aircraft,' whatever the case might be."

The hullabaloo over the F-35 fighter jet proved to be politically damaging to the Conservatives, although not lethal, and the government struggled to find a way out of that crisis. In the end, it damaged the government's reputation as a careful steward of taxpayers' dollars.

Earlier this month CBC News reported that, after waiting five years for the delivery of new helicopters to replace Canada's 50-year-old Sea Kings, the government has decided to look at other options.

Those options include the possibility of cancelling its multibillion-dollar contract with manufacturer Sikorsky in favour of perhaps pursuing a sole-source or "directed" purchase of one of its competitors: the AW 101, a descendant of the EH 101 helicopter once sought by Canada and cancelled in 1993 by then prime minister Jean Chrétien.

Although there's plenty of blame to go around, the Conservative government has managed the program since 2006.

That's a problem, says Beardsley.

"The [Conservative voter] base begins to wonder, and Canadians in general begin to wonder, what's your competence level if you can't get something simple? They see buying a piece of equipment like you go buy a car," Beardsley says.

And procurement problems don't just plague the air force. An Army program to buy new trucks officially stalled because of a dispute between departments over costs.

It's this program, unencumbered by regional or electoral politics, that perhaps best represents how bad things have become.

3 minutes to deadline

The program to buy new trucks was announced by former Conservative defence minister Gordon O'Connor in 2006. The government's deadline for proposals for 1,500 combat-ready logistics trucks was July 11, 2012.

But just three minutes before the deadline, Public Works killed the process.

The military had provided a cost estimate of about $800 million. But as the proposals started to come in, it appeared the price was going to be hundreds of millions more.

The military manager of procurement at the time was Associate Deputy Minister (Material) Dan Ross.

Ross, now retired, told the CBC News every department involved in the weekly procurement meetings was briefed on those higher costs.

Nevertheless, he said, bureaucrats at Public Works insisted the program be cancelled, lest a minister be "surprised" by the higher price tag.

"It'll be at least three years before those trucks are delivered," Ross said.

Single agency or secretariat?

CBC News has learned officials presented ministers with two distinct options for reform.

The first is to wipe out the current bureaucratic muddle in favour of a new defence procurement agency, with a single minister accountable for the whole process.

Currently, procurement is managed by three ministers — Defence, Public Works and Industry — with oversight from three more so-called central agencies: the department of Finance, the Treasury Board and the prime minister's own Privy Council Office.

This option is popular among many of Canada's allies and is the preferred option inside the defence department.

The second and seemingly most likely option involves creating a permanent committee of senior bureaucrats from each of the procurement departments to work together to swiftly manage major purchases and programs.

This model was first used to manage a thoroughly stalled process to build new ships for the Navy and Coast Guard. It removed ministers from decision-making.

There is a third option: muscle through and try to get something significant finished before the next election, expected in 2015.

The "single agency" model is also preferred by two former military procurement managers.

Alan Williams, the associate deputy minister (material) at the Department of National Defence until 2005, included the idea in his book, Reinventing Canadian Defence Procurement.

His successor, Dan Ross, is also a supporter of the idea.

"You have to take some of the cooks out of the kitchen," Ross says. "You need to do the business professionally with one minister, one deputy minister, one organization that is built to do the job."

Ross also suggests a committee of eminent Canadians be appointed to help review the military's requirements for big ticket items, like the F-35 fighter jet program, for instance, before the government starts its procurement. The committee would be able to transparently assess whether the military is cooking its requirements to favour a certain item or outcome, as it was accused of doing with the F-35.


Good GREAT news if it's true.

Almost anything can be better than current lash-up.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on December 13, 2013, 19:20:26
Another cri de coeur, this time reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from Canadian Business:

http://www.canadianbusiness.com/blogs-and-comment/by-putting-jobs-ahead-of-military-needs-were-sinking-our-own-battleships/
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Canada is botching defence by putting jobs ahead of military needs: James Cowan
We’re not very skilled in shipbuilding

Dec 13, 2013

James Cowan

National defence is among the most basic responsibilities of any country’s government. You can haggle about every other area of federal spending, but a government that can’t properly maintain its military is failing at a fundamental level. It is a carpenter that can’t hammer a nail. That is what makes Canada’s long history of botched military procurement so maddening.

It hasn’t been one defence minister, or one prime minister, or one party that has bumbled the purchase of jets, ships and trucks. This has been a decades-long problem that has wasted billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money and resulted in a military that is often ill-equipped for the task at hand. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government cannot be solely blamed for the woeful state of Canada’s military equipment; they can, however, be held to account for ignoring very sensible proposals to fix the problem.

The Conservatives’ ambitious plan to buy dozens of new navy and coast guard vessels may now be scuttled by rising costs. The price tag for a new icebreaker has doubled to $1.3 billion from $720 million; more than a billion has been added to an estimate for new combat ships—and officials warn the new $26.2 billion figure is just for “planning purposes.” But any planning on this project is disconcertingly fuzzy. For example, exactly how many combat ships are we buying for all these indeterminate billions? It was supposed to be 21, but Public Works now places the number at “up to 15.”And these ships are just one part of the troubled plan. Construction delays will mean an 18-month gap when the Canadian military will have zero functioning supply ships. Holdups at the Vancouver shipyard where the vessels are being constructed will also mean the aging icebreaker Louis St. Laurent—built in 1969—will have to remain in service until 2022, after undergoing $55 million in retrofits.

Never mind the fighter-jet program that quadrupled in cost, the squabbles with Sikorsky over delayed helicopters that might not work and the contract for new military trucks that was abandoned three minutes before its deadline.

Taken together, these cases clearly demonstrated the need for a new strategy, one that begins with rethinking the rationale behind these contracts. There’s a telling paragraph in the government’s status update on the combat ships. Industry analysts, it notes, estimate “the decision to build the ships here in Canada will generate approximately 15,000 jobs and $2.4 billion in annual economic benefits over the next 30 years.” This is the problem: the government’s military strategy is also an economic development strategy. It’s just not a particularly good one.

Many of the project delays associated with the shipbuilding strategy are rooted in the fact that no Canadian company has built a large military vessel in two decades. And despite winning the multi-billion-dollar contract for combat ships, plus receiving $304 million in financial support from the Nova Scotia government, Irving Shipbuilding still faces layoffs this year as it retrofits its facilities for the naval project.

Meanwhile, internal documents obtained by the Canadian Press suggest the ships would have been completed faster and at 10% lower cost if they were built overseas. The British Royal Navy recently paid $750 million for four supply ships built in South Korea, compared with the $3 billion that we are paying for two, according to J. L. Granatstein, a senior fellow at the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute. If Canada is unprepared to allow open season on its military contracts, then it should at least do is accept bids from any shipyard in a country that enjoys a free trade agreement with us, as suggested by Ian Brodie, Harper’s former chief of staff.

Any change will require a shift not only in public policy, but public opinion as well. As it stands, governments find themselves in a double bind: voters punish them for bloated military contracts, but also for shopping these deals to foreign companies. Canadians need to recognize that using military procurement as economic stimulus is a disservice to everyone.

James Cowan is deputy editor of Canadian Business


James Cowan is right about a number of things:

     1. National defence is, indeed, one of the (quite few actually) core responsibilities of government;

     2. Defence procurement is a mess, it's worse than a mess it's a national disgrace; and

     3. The defence procurement mess is structural, it's almost part of our national political DNA. It's not even the fault of politicians. They, the politicians are, simply, doing what voters demand, and Canadian voters are incredibly
         ill informed; they ~ an overwhelming majority of them ~ are driven by greed and envy, not by any rational consideration of their own self interest.

The solution is obvious, even if it may be politically impossible.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on January 08, 2014, 19:56:06
Given the Russian economy is about the size of Italy's, we should be wondering how they can afford this and if this buying spree is sustainable.

We should also wonder why with the size of our economy we cant afford to procure a few basic things like combat boots and trucks in a reasonable amount of time (much less ships and aircraft).


Canada can afford, right now, new ships ~ enough new ships, new equipment ~ personal, light and heavy for the Army, and new aircraft ~ fighters and helicopters and SAR and, and, and ... but we have a procurement system that is inefficient, ineffective, politicized, bureaucratized and, generally, designed to fail.

A creaky, costly, ineffective defence procurement system actually suits a few politicians, in all parties, and it also suits many senior bureaucrats, including a few in DND and including a few there who wear uniforms.

Only one defence minister in the past 30 years has understood how and why the system fails and how to work around it, and he (Gordon O'Connor) only managed to work around it (subvert it, actually) because there was a war on.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Old Sweat on January 08, 2014, 20:13:10

Canada can afford, right now, new ships ~ enough new ships, new equipment ~ personal, light and heavy for the Army, and new aircraft ~ fighters and helicopters and SAR and, and, and ... but we have a procurement system that is inefficient, ineffective, politicized, bureaucratized and, generally, designed to fail.

A creaky, costly, ineffective defence procurement system actually suits a few politicians, in all parties, and it also suits many senior bureaucrats, including a few in DND and including a few there who wear uniforms.

Only one defence minister in the past 30 years has understood how and why the system fails and how to work around it, and he (Gordon O'Connor) only managed to work around it (subvert it, actually) because there was a war on.

My theory which I have held since the seventies, and it is mainly a smart .ss assessment, is that our procurement system is designed to maintain a large, busy work staff with its high priced and complex levels of supervision even when there is no money to buy anything.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: George Wallace on January 08, 2014, 20:24:00
My theory which I have held since the seventies, and it is mainly a smart .ss assessment, is that our procurement system is designed to maintain a large, busy work staff with its high priced and complex levels of supervision even when there is no money to buy anything.

Sounds about right.  I think that can be applied to all Government Departments, Federal, Provincial and Municipal (to some extent, depending on size of Municipality) and many Charities.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on January 08, 2014, 20:24:38
My theory which I have held since the seventies, and it is mainly a smart .ss assessment, is that our procurement system is designed to maintain a large, busy work staff with its high priced and complex levels of supervision even when there is no money to buy anything.


I got a close up look, in the 1980s, when the project management bull crap, and that's what most of it was, was on the rise. We added even more processes, many of them pointless, to an already creaking, Rube Goldberg type of system. Project Management was an import from the USAF ~ and guess what? Some of it is useful for HUGE, complex, budget killing aerospace projects, but it isn't even useful for ship building because there are, already, simpler engineering systems for ship design and construction that have been around for years centuries and ditto for weapons and electronics (well, not centuries, exactly, for the electrons, but decades, anyway). I can only imagine how much worse it got in the 1990s and in this century ~ because it sure as hell never got better, and bureaucratic systems are never stagnant ... the bureaucrats might be, but not their management systems, they keep evolving, rarely for the better.

Everyone should go back and read Wellington's despatches from the Peninsula.


Edit: typo
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on January 21, 2014, 17:34:27
Here, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from 570 News is a Canadian Press report on a recent conference that discussed defence procurement:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55r8ZYPKnuQ
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Time for ‘mature’ debate on defence needs and purchases in Canada, experts say

The Canadian Press

Jan 21, 2014

OTTAWA – A panel of defence experts says it’s time for a “mature” public debate about how best Canada’s economy can benefit from the billions of dollars being spent on the country’s military.

Canada 2020, a non-partisan think tank, held a discussion today on defence procurement, a seemingly endless source of political frustration for the Harper government.

Sahir Khan, a former high-ranking staffer in the parliamentary budget office, says the number of failed and delayed procurements, such the recent cancellation of a $2-billion armoured vehicle program, shows the country is stuck in a rut.

A high-profile report on defence spending last year gave suggestions on how to leverage the anticipated $240 billion in planned equipment purchases to the benefit of Canadian defence contractors and companies.

Khan says there is a premium to be paid for building certain military equipment in Canada, such as ships, and there needs to be a public conversation about whether that something the country is prepared to accept.

He says other countries do it, pointing to Japan, a country that was prepared to accept the higher cost of building its F-16 jet fighters at home.

Dave Perry, an associate professor at Carleton University, says the Chretien government slashed National Defence and Public Works procurement offices in the 1990s and the system has never fully recovered.

Ray Castelli, an executive and former official in Brian Mulroney’s government, says defence purchases are always a political football, and in the Canadian system of procurement, they are always controversial.

He says the system needs to improve, but other countries look to Canada for guidance and it’s good thing the government takes its time to carefully consider purchases.

The Harper government has faced political heat for a series of delays, including replacements for the country’s Sea King helicopters and trucks for the army.

The plan to replace the air force’s CF-18s with the F-35 stealth fighter struck a real nerve when the auditor general accused National Defence and Public Works of understating the multi-billion dollar cost and failing to do their homework.


Here is a link (http://canada2020.ca/event/leverage-the-military-buy-from-opportunity-to-reality) to the Canada 2020 site dealing with the topic.

One point which is not being discussed is that this government, a Conservative government which I support, financially, promises too much and then "low balls" the estimates, or, perhaps it's better to say, accepts the CF's "low ball" estimates, and then imposes delay after delay after delay while it tries to cope with a reality in which there is not enough money for much of anything. It's not really bad politics ~ ministers get to announce "new, shiny stuff" over and over again ~ but it is piss poor policy.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on January 22, 2014, 13:56:10
In a column in today's Globe and Mail (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/a-long-line-of-procurement-failures/article16444421/#dashboard/alerts) (some of which was lifted, without attribution, from a piece by Michael Byers in yesterday's Globe and Mail (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/the-north/why-canadas-search-for-an-icebreaker-is-an-arctic-embarrassment/article16425755/#dashboard/alerts)) Jeffrey Simpson takes a swipe at procurement.

He gets part of it right: the Conservative over-promise and under-deliver ... but, then, so did the Liberals and the Progressive Conservative before them, and the Liberals way back before them, too. Defence procurement started to go "off the rails" back around 1960s, I think, when the rate of inflation for things like aerospace and electronics soared far, far above the general rate of inflation which guides ministers in most Western countries. In fact, by and large, Canadian defence procurement did not, often, lag far behind the general rate of inflation - the one that tells you and me that new cars and bath towels and tomatoes cost 2% more this year than last, etc. But because we (as a nation) could not, did not even try to keep up with the actual rate of inflation for defence hardware we got less and less and less for our deface dollar ~ even acknowledging that improved capabilities of e.g. each ship or aircraft type meant we could do more with less. We bought "new" and got a 35% increase in capability, but we only bought 50% of the last "fleet" so we actually lost about 15% of overall capability.

He fails to acknowledge, as Prof Byers did, that our capacity to build ships is decidedly limited and we, our government, got ourselves into a scheduling mess.

He also fails to tackle the big issue: using defence procurement as a "jobs! Jobs! JOBS!" measure. Most Canadians do not understand that we could both a) buy what the CF needs for something like 50% of the "buy Canadian" cost and b) create more jobs if we used the other 50% of the "buy Canadian" price to subsidize productive Canadian industries.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: milnews.ca on February 05, 2014, 08:00:15
1)  The PWGSC and Defence ministers have a tag-team speech scheduled for this morning about "improving Canada’s military procurement at the Economic Club of Canada" (http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?mthd=tp&crtr.page=1&nid=813519&crtr.tp1D=3)
2)  A little something in the Globe & Mail (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-to-curb-militarys-role-in-procurement-after-costly-delays/article16703809/):
Quote
The Conservative government is reducing the Department of National Defence’s influence in steering big-ticket military purchases after a string of delays and cost overruns in acquiring hardware for the Canadian Armed Forces.

In a significant overhaul of how Ottawa buys military equipment, National Defence Minister Rob Nicholson and Public Works Minister Diane Finley are announcing Wednesday morning that big military acquisitions will from now on be managed by a Defence Procurement Secretariat that reports to the Department of Public Works and is governed by senior civil servants across a range of departments.

There will be a new political oversight as well: a working group of ministers from Public Works, Defence, Industry Canada and Treasury Board will take a more hands-on role ....
I wonder how that politicians taking "a more hands-on role" is going to speed things up and make things more transparent?

Watch and shoot.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on February 05, 2014, 08:28:50
I think, fear that this will be the horribly wasteful and ineffective jobs! Jobs!! JOBS!!! agenda ~ much loved by many (most?) politicians and by the business people who will milk the defence budget like a cow.

It is a stupid policy which doesn't work anywhere, not even in the USA. No senior civil servant of my acquaintance, and I do know a handful, thinks the defence budget can or should be used for job creation. But it makes a great political promise, a promise to prop up uncompetitive, unproductive industrial sectors and, especially, to sustain the (often)  low skill, (relatively) high wage jobs that are found there. And, make no mistake: low skill/high wage jobs are the holy grail for politicians all over the world.

 :rage:
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on February 05, 2014, 09:52:34
Don't get me wrong: I'm not unhappy with what I read in the Globe and Mail's report (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-to-curb-militarys-role-in-procurement-after-costly-delays/article16703809/#dashboard/settings). I favour a civil service secretariat approach. In fact, I would favour a Department of Defence Production which would strip authority and responsibility away from DND and Industry Canada and Public Works and Government Services.

The military has three vital roles in procurement:

     1. Identifying (preferably in performance terms) military (mostly operational) requirements;

     2. Identifying funds within the defence budget to meet those requirements; and

     3. Testing and accepting or rejecting the systems which the defence procurement agency buys.

Now, of course, it's not all that neat. Military operators, engineers and support folks will have to involved during the whole process but the final decisions should be made by senior civil servants who are accountable to a minister other than the MND.

Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: milnews.ca on February 05, 2014, 09:54:22
Don't get me wrong: I'm not unhappy with what I read in the Globe and Mail's report (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-to-curb-militarys-role-in-procurement-after-costly-delays/article16703809/#dashboard/settings). I favour a civil service secretariat approach. In fact, I would favour a Department of Defence Production which would strip authority and responsibility away from DND and Industry Canada and Public Works and Government Services.
I agree with having more arms length, but I also agree with you about the potential for political interference with input into the process.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: dapaterson on February 05, 2014, 10:00:13
And, make no mistake: low skill/high wage jobs are the holy grail for politicians all over the world.

 :rage:

Don't forget cozy sinecures for retired senior officers...
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: milnews.ca on February 05, 2014, 12:00:33
Here's the initial Info-machine version (http://bit.ly/1gMufFQ) of developments - speech text attached ....
Quote
The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and the Honourable Robert Nicholson, Minister of National Defence, launched Canada’s new Defence Procurement Strategy (DPS).  The three key objectives of the Defence Procurement Strategy (DPS) are to: deliver the right equipment to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the Canadian Coast Guard in a timely manner; leverage our purchases of defence equipment to create jobs and economic growth in Canada; and streamline defence procurement processes.

The Defence Procurement Strategy (DPS) was unveiled today at the Economic Club of Canada. It is informed by the Government’s extensive engagement with the industry and by the recommendations found in the Jenkins and Emerson reports commissioned by the Government of Canada.

The Defence Procurement Strategy (DPS) represents a fundamental change in the Government of Canada’s approach to defence procurement, and includes the following components:

Delivering the right equipment to the Canadian Armed Forces and the Canadian Coast Guard in a timely manner:

Ensuring early and continuous industry and client engagement in the procurement process;
Starting in June 2014, publishing an annual Defence Acquisition Guide that outlines National Defence (DND) procurement priorities; and
Establishing within DND an independent, third-party challenge for military requirements.
Leveraging our purchases of defence equipment to create jobs and economic growth in Canada:

Using a weighted and rated Value Proposition, to assess bids for defence and major Canadian Coast Guard procurements;
Implementing an Export Strategy to support international sales opportunities and participation in global value chains;
Identifying and applying Key Industrial Capabilities (KICs) to inform potential economic benefits of individual procurements so that they meet the CAF’s needs and increase the competitiveness of Canadian firms in the global marketplace; and
Establishing an independent, third-party Defence Analytics Institute which will provide expert analysis to support the objectives of the Defence Procurement Strategy (DPS) and its evaluation.
Streamlining defence procurement processes:

Adopting a new regime to ensure streamlined and coordinated decision-making for defence and major Canadian Coast Guard procurements;
Establishing a Defence Procurement Secretariat within Public Works and Government Services Canada to ensure close coordination among key departments; and
Reviewing the current National Defence delegated authority to purchase goods with a view to increasing the level from the current $25,000 to achieve more efficient procurement practices.

The implementation of the Defence Procurement Strategy (DPS) will begin immediately with a phased implementation following ongoing industry consultations.

(....)
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on February 05, 2014, 12:21:53
Quote
Establishing an independent, third-party Defence Analytics Institute which will provide expert analysis to support the objectives of the Defence Procurement Strategy (DPS) and its evaluation.

Well, I found my preferred sinecure.....
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MCG on February 06, 2014, 05:20:23
I am troubled by the decision to put more weight on economic benefits when deciding what to buy.  We must balance operational requirements against cost.  Adding Giving greater weight to a third variable in the dynamic will reduce the mileage of our dollars and/or the operational capability of our forces. 
Quote
New plan for military procurement dilutes power of defence department
Lee Berthiaume
Ottawa Citizen
05 February 2014

OTTAWA – National Defence appears to have lost a key behind-the-scenes battle as the federal Conservative government Wednesday unveiled a new plan for purchasing military equipment.

Public Works Minister Diane Finley touted the government’s new defence procurement strategy in a speech to the Economic Club of Canada as the solution to years of troubled projects marked by delays, cost overruns and rigged requirements.

In doing so, she highlighted many of the same complaints industry and analysts have had about National Defence’s management of such multi-billion-dollar projects as the F-35 stealth fighter, search-and-rescue aircraft and armoured vehicles.

“What we found was that requirements are too complex,” Finley told an audience of business executives at the Chateau Laurier, in the shadow of Parliament Hill. “Too often they appear to be pre-determined outcomes. And industry is not engaged early enough.”

Among the changes is putting more weight on economic benefits when determining which company should win a bid, and having a permanent group of high-level federal bureaucrats from various departments oversee defence procurement.

The plan will also establish a way National Defence can be challenged when it says it needs something specific.

The Canadian military has ferociously guarded its ability to determine what it needs to do its job, arguing that only it really knows and understands what Canada’s men and women in uniform require to do their jobs.

But its reputation has also taken a hit after it declared in 2005 that an Italian-made search-and-rescue plane was the only aircraft capable of meeting its requirements, and most recently with its handling of the F-35.

While adding a challenge function seeks to strike a compromise, it nonetheless represents a blow to National Defence’s control over procurement.

The same is true for having senior bureaucrats from other departments such as Public Works, Industry Canada and Treasury Board manage the procurement process.

At the same time, the new added focus on economic benefits dilutes military capability as a top consideration when it comes to buying new equipment.

With Defence Minister Rob Nicholson sitting on stage behind her, Finley sought to assure Canadians “that the capability of our men and women in uniform will remain paramount.”

But she also left no doubt that the government is counting on industry turning $240 billion in planned defence spending over the next two decades into high-value, high-skill jobs.

“The defence procurement strategy underlines the goals that our government has had from the start,” she said. “Jobs, growth and economic prosperity. That’s what we pledged to Canadians. And that’s what we’ve been delivering.”

Defence officials had quietly expressed concern about military procurement being shifted too far towards business interests, warning in a secret briefing in November 2012 that National Defence “would, all things being equal, likely obtain less equipment and services.”

The warning is rooted in fears the government will end up paying a premium to buy Canadian or otherwise boost Canadian industry, which is what is already happening with the government’s $38-billion national shipbuilding plan.

Finley said the government is not pushing a “buy in Canada, under all circumstances” approach, but that “common sense” will be required to strike the correct balance.

Tim Page, president of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries, which represents about 1,000 defence and security companies in Canada, was confident a balance could be struck.

Liberal defence critic Joyce Murray said many details remain unclear, but she welcomed the government’s effort to revamp the military procurement strategy.

Murray said while the top priority is ensuring the Canadian Forces have the right equipment, “we have to consider the benefits in Canada and the jobs and companies in Canada.”

David Perry, a defence analyst at the Conference of Defence Associations Institute, said some of the changes included in the defence procurement strategy will help government get a better handle on the costs of buying Canadian.

But he also acknowledged there is a lot of uncertainty given that the government is pinning its hopes on some changes that are still unproven.
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/plan+military+procurement+dilutes+power+defence+department/9471616/story.html

Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on February 06, 2014, 08:23:35
I am troubled by the decision to put more weight on economic benefits when deciding what to buy.  We must balance operational requirements against cost.  Adding Giving greater weight to a third variable in the dynamic will reduce the mileage of our dollars and/or the operational capability of our forces.   http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/plan+military+procurement+dilutes+power+defence+department/9471616/story.html

Yep, I agree. It seems to signal that my fears are well founded ...

I think, fear that this will be the horribly wasteful and ineffective jobs! Jobs!! JOBS!!! agenda ~ much loved by many (most?) politicians and by the business people who will milk the defence budget like a cow.

It is a stupid policy which doesn't work anywhere, not even in the USA. No senior civil servant of my acquaintance, and I do know a handful, thinks the defence budget can or should be used for job creation. But it makes a great political promise, a promise to prop up uncompetitive, unproductive industrial sectors and, especially, to sustain the (often)  low skill, (relatively) high wage jobs that are found there. And, make no mistake: low skill/high wage jobs are the holy grail for politicians all over the world.

 :rage:

Soon you will hear the famous "great sucking sound:" the sound of your money being drained out of productive use and poured into projects that promise, but almost* always fail to deliver jobs and downstream economic benefits.

The defence budget should be spent with "bang for the buck" being the one and only priority ~ but I know that is politically impossible for any party, Conservatives, Liberals or Dippers ~ the money that we, Canada, will waste on "economic benefits" should then be spent on subsidies ~ oh, the horror! what with the WTO say?  ::) ~ that, sometimes, actually do protect jobs in some sectors.


____
* There have been exception, but they are so rare that, essentially, they just prove the rule.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: milnews.ca on February 06, 2014, 08:33:10
Soon you will hear the famous "great sucking sound:" the sound of your money being drained out of productive use and poured into projects that promise, but almost always fail to deliver jobs and downstream economic benefits.
Funny you should mention that.  Here's another angle from the Minister's speech (http://www.canada.com/business/Defence+industry+owes+Canada+billions+economic+activity/9473658/story.html) that other media don't seem to have picked up on - highlights mine:
Quote
A federal cabinet minister has called out the defence industry for failing to make more than $5 billion in investments into the Canadian economy that had been promised as a condition for winning military contracts.

Defence companies are required to undertake an equivalent amount of business activity in Canada as the original contracts are worth — meaning they must make up whatever they outsource to foreign firms in work, supplies and services.

This business activity can take a variety of forms, including sharing technological developments with Canadian companies, investing money into academic research, or purchasing parts and services from a Canadian company for another project.

But Public Works Minister Diane Finley revealed Wednesday that one quarter of the $23 billion in commitments made by defence companies by the end of 2011 remained unfulfilled.

And that number is undoubtedly higher when more recent years are taken into account
....
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on February 06, 2014, 12:17:39
Quote
What we found was that requirements are too complex,” Finley told an audience of business executives at the Chateau Laurier, in the shadow of Parliament Hill. “Too often they appear to be pre-determined outcomes. And industry is not engaged early enough.”

By now it is probably known that I have hired or engaged quite a number of contractors on a variety of non-defence contracts.  I can help you build a dairy or a fish processing plant.  I can't help you build a ship or a plane or a tank.  As much as I would like to think I can.

But.

The exercise of finding competent suppliers is common to all projects.  I have many instances of the local electrician, plumber, builder...... showing up on the doorstep wanting to know why we haven't hired locally and have engaged someone from out of town/province/country to build a plant.

On the days I am not being my usual pigheaded self and allow them the courtesy of time I will give them a briefing and a tour.   They then start to ask the questions.....  Why do you do things this way? What's a CFIA kerb? Who are the CFIA? What are GMPs?  Why do you run plastic conduit instead of galvanized? ..... and many more. 

The reason the winning bidders, or even, unapologetically, the sole-source supplier, was selected, was because I and my clients know that they don't have to be trained by us on our nickel.  They don't need a massive detailed spec book/encyclopedia. They don't need 24/7 oversight.  They don't need a massive QA/QC presence to ensure they are doing what they promised.   

An on-site presence, reqular meetings and a concise description of the intent, together with the timely supply of the materials they need, is enough to produce a functioning, profitable facility.

Government contracts, on the other hand, are nightmares to work on.  Starting from the interminable consensus driven decision-making process where the consensus constantly changes as the consensual change over time, through the demand that every aspect of the project be written in such a  manner that even the incompetent can bid and finishing with the NEVER ending stream of questions from said incompetents during the implementation stage.  Not to mention the work that must be undone and redone.

If you don't understand the question, you shouldn't be allowed to bid.

/Rant.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: milnews.ca on February 06, 2014, 13:18:08
Pot, this is kettle - message, over - from the Liberal party info-machine (http://www.liberal.ca/newsroom/news-release/conservatives-mismanage-military-procurement/) ....
Quote
The Conservatives’ announcement that defence procurement will be “reset” once again, and will largely be removed from the Department of National Defence, is a clear admission that military procurement over the last eight years has been wrought with failure, said Liberal National Defence Critic, Joyce Murray, today.

“This announcement does nothing to erase the Conservative government’s dismal track record on mismanaging procurement projects, which is the worst of any Canadian government since the Second World War,” said Ms. Murray. “On defence procurement, there are two things that the government needs to get right: it needs to provide our Forces with the equipment they need; and it needs to do so at the best possible price for taxpayers. After eight years, the Conservatives’ record has been one of failure.”

Since 2006, the Conservatives have built up a long list of failed military acquisitions, characterized by delivery delays and huge cost overruns. From the failure of their flagship F-35 fighter jet program, to the ongoing delays in securing a design for the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship, to the abrupt cancellation of the Close Combat Vehicle after years of development, this Conservative government has shown a clear and consistent inability to deliver promised equipment to our men and women in uniform ....
Zaaaaat right?  And who was making military purchases, some of which we're still waiting for, run sooooooo smoothly BEFORE 2006?
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: YZT580 on February 06, 2014, 22:04:11
Pot, this is kettle - message, over - from the Liberal party info-machine (http://www.liberal.ca/newsroom/news-release/conservatives-mismanage-military-procurement/) ....Zaaaaat right?  And who was making military purchases, some of which we're still waiting for, run sooooooo smoothly BEFORE 2006?
unfortunately, the procurement system as it is now doesn't work (full stop).  It hasn't worked for years and I suspect more dollars have been wasted on trying to set up the purchase in the first place than has ever been spent on establishing a Canadian factory.  There have only been two successful major purchases in the last 10 years that I can recall and both were done outside of the normal process. The C17 and tanks.  I would include the heavy lift helicopters but I am not familiar enough with the process that went on with them.  I do know that they did cut a few corners on that one as well.  So let them try something different. If you end up with fewer because it was made in Canada well, at least you will have ended up with some which is more than we are achieving now.  And yes, you may end up with a rebuilt buffalo for S&R and that is OK too as long as it is pressurized and has a competitive cruise speed.  At least you will end up with something.  The way it is now there is some kind of pissing contest in Ottawa and absolutely nothing that the military brings to the table ever gets accepted.  I mean they weren't even able to complete an order for a new fleet of trucks.  That's bad.   
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: milnews.ca on February 06, 2014, 22:31:11
.... I would include the heavy lift helicopters but I am not familiar enough with the process that went on with them.  I do know that they did cut a few corners on that one as well....
If I were being completely fair, there's some blood on the Tories' hands with that one, too ....
Quote
Canada's military is set to buy new Chinook helicopters and Hercules transport aircraft without seeking competitive bids, a move that has opposition MPs crying foul.

Defence Minister Bill Graham has been engaged in high-level lobbying in recent days to win the support of senior decision-makers, including Prime Minister Paul Martin, sources say.

In those discussions, military brass are pitching a plan to issue "sole source" contracts for the new fleets of aircraft — purchases worth hundreds of millions of dollars — to avoid a drawn-out tendering process.

And they're pushing ahead with the plan even though commanders have yet to finish their so-called capabilities paper, a document outlining what equipment the military needs to fulfil missions around the globe.

That research won't be released until sometime around Christmas.

Conservative MP Gordon O'Connor (Carleton-Mississippi Mills) accused Graham of planning big-ticket military purchases "behind closed doors."

"Who will benefit financially as the government skirts the checks and balances of competition?" O'Connor asked in the House of Commons yesterday. Military officials have refused to comment on the proposed purchase ....
Toronto Star, 5 Oct 2005 (http://www.pprune.org/archive/index.php/t-192911.html)
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: YZT580 on February 07, 2014, 10:26:01
3 for 3.  The only successful major purchases in 20 years were all accomplished outside of the procurement system. 
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Minimi on February 11, 2014, 18:03:44
There have only been two successful major purchases in the last 10 years that I can recall and both were done outside of the normal process. The C17 and tanks.  I would include the heavy lift helicopters but I am not familiar enough with the process that went on with them.

But these two purchase are the exception. It make sense to buy tanks without holding a competition because they already got the Leopard. It was making sense to not hold a competition for the C-17 because it something that's really necessary considering the size of our country and also because there is not much alternatives; thus holding a competition was a waste of time and money. The C-5 galaxy? The americans preferred renting antonov for moving their freight in Afghanistan as it was cheaper than running this aircraft, and anyway it's just too big for our need.

IMHO the problem is multidimensional and there is no such single cause, and I don't think that it's merely a problem of corruption. That occurence where they were trying to get 1st quality handgun (something like SIG or HK ??) and require that the bidder gives away its manufacturing expertise to colt canada is quite explicit. And I am not sure that the defence department is to blame here.

It look more like a mix of lazyness, delusion ... and badluck!
But for the trucks, fighter jet, pistol, slingshot or almost everything else a competition should be made. And no, cancelling competitive process won't make the canadian army to get Abrams, MRAPS, M-4, RQ-170, U2, Patriot, Reaper, F-22, Nuclear submarine, ICBM, etc, etc. There will be never enough money for that and as such I think that they deserve the best *possible* equipment, and sometimes, the best equipment. But that will be the exception.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Colin P on February 13, 2014, 12:04:37
Part of the problem is there is no long term planning for replacements and no long term fiscal plan.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: sandyson on February 13, 2014, 13:18:39
Can't have a procurement plan without an underlying plan for national defence.  What Canadian thinks that our territory could be threatened?  We don't need a plan. 'National Defence' is all whimsy.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: YZT580 on February 13, 2014, 19:19:33
Can't have a procurement plan without an underlying plan for national defence.  What Canadian thinks that our territory could be threatened?  We don't need a plan. 'National Defence' is all whimsy.

Beating your swords into plowshares will only work when everyone agrees to the same action and foreswears the use of bricks, bats, and boomerangs at the same time.  At the moment, your statement is correct but consider any number of consequences predicted by the doom and gloom squad over at the Global Warming department.  Floods, drought, heat waves increased hurricanes, fires have all been listed as a consequence of temperature warming.  We have dry high ground, great food growing capabilities, minerals, raw materials and most of all fresh water.  In that apocalyptic world being predicted don't you think there is a possibility that someone is going to want to take some of those things and won't be willing to pay for them? 

A second thing to consider is the fate of those nations with whom we have treaty agreements: our friends.  Whilst we may be protected by the shear logistical nightmare of having to cross 2500 miles of open water many of our friends are not so fortunate.  Friends help each other and yes, they stick up for each other even when that friendship may result in bloodshed.  what is true in the schoolyard is equally true in global politics.   If we don't help our friends then we really aren't very good friends are we?    The global population has yet to make it through even a single year without some form of turf war breaking out.  Eventually one of those  turf wars will involve either us or our friends.  Preparing an army/navy/air force is not something that can be done overnight.  It takes decades to equip and train.  When trouble starts, and eventually it will, if you haven't already got it, its too late to get it. 
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: milnews.ca on February 19, 2014, 20:29:42
The latest (http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?mthd=tp&crtr.page=1&nid=816749&crtr.tp1D=1):  PWGSC sets up brain trust to "better inform future procurement and support the review and validation of Key Industrial Capabilities" ....
Quote
.... In announcing the interim (Defence Analytics Institute) DAI, Minister Finley also announced its board of directors:

- Tom Jenkins, Chairman for OpenText Corporation, as the Chair of the interim Defence Analytics Institute
- Tim Page, President of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI)
- Christyn Cianfarani, Director, Government Programs, Research and Development and Intellectual Property, CAE Inc.
- Iain Christie, Executive Vice-President of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC)
- Peter Gartenburg, Vice-President, Ottawa Operations, L-3 Communications
- Dr. Craig Stone, Director of Academics and Associate Dean of Arts, Canadian Forces College
- Dr. David Bercuson, Director of the University of Calgary’s Centre for Military and Strategic Studies
- Dr. Janice Stein, Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto
- Dr. Louis Bélanger, Professor of Political Science at Université Laval and Director of the Quebec Institute for Advanced International Studies ....
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on March 25, 2014, 12:34:19
And here is how you sustain a successful Military Industrial Complex in a small market country (that once used to be "neutral")

Quote
   Sensors Symposium 2014
   
   
(Source: FMV; issued March 24, 2014)
 
 
   
    The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration – FMV – arranges the Sensors Symposium 2014 in co-operation with the Swedish Armed Forces. The Symposium is organized biennially. The objective is to raise the competence of the armed forces' and defence organisations' personnel regarding our sensor systems and the information they generate. Sensors Symposium 2014 will look into the capability needs of the Swedish Armed Forces for the next ten to fifteen years. It will also address the priorities identified by other nations.

The development of new sensor systems for a changed military environment, with new challenges, is the focus of this year’s event. Based on the Swedish Armed Forces’ Long Term Planning report 2013, a handful of areas have been identified as specifically important; and the presentations will be chosen to cover the capability requirements, possible technical solutions and what the civilian market can offer (or not) to the required defence research and development.

Programme

Sensors Symposium 2014 will look into the capability needs of the Swedish Armed Forces for the next ten to fifteen years. It will also address the priorities identified by other nations.

Identified capability areas will include all forces but the main focus will be on the ground forces. It is inevitable that some capabilities cannot be reached without a joint vision.

A knowledge, that has come to be more and more recognized over the last years, is that single sensor types or stand-alone systems are not adequate when compared to the possibilities offered by multi-sensors, sensor suites or combined sensors.

We will also address sensor systems architecture as one important area and new technologies like 3D and multi- and hyperspectral imaging.

Experiences from fielded systems or tests with new capability concepts will complement the more technical presentations.

The symposium will be held over two days. All presentations will be held in English, with one or two possible exceptions.

-ends-

Defence-Aerospace (http://www.defense-aerospace.com/article-view/release/152662/fmv%2C-swedish-military-hold-sensors-symposium.html)

10 to 15 year lead time

Components within the national competence

Components with national utility

Components with international utility

Reputation of national forces for procuring good, solid kit.

Reputation of national suppliers for producing good, solid kit.

Solid international track record for delivery

Solid international track record for deal-making.

Do I like the Swedes?  You betcha.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Wolseleydog on April 05, 2014, 13:30:38
@ Kirkhill,  What do you mean "once used to neutral"?
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Retired AF Guy on April 05, 2014, 19:29:22
@ Kirkhill,  What do you mean "once used to neutral"?

I think he means that during the Cold War Sweden called itself "neutral" in meaning it wasn't part of NATO nor was it part of the Warsaw Pact.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on April 05, 2014, 20:05:04
Spot on R A F Guy...  ;D

Wolseleydog - the Swedes have been "neutral" in the sense of "unaligned" since approximately 1812.  That should not be taken to infer they are pacifist.  Far from it. 

The Americans long for the splendid isolation that separates them from European Wars.  The Swedes, like the Swiss - strangely related tribes with some of the the Swiss actually being Swedes that wandered into the mountains when Rome was losing its grip - the Swedes have managed to maintain their isolation while sitting on the doorstep of two of the world's most vicious* nations - Russia and Germany.  This they did by being diplomatically smart,  commercially cunning and devious and militarily strong.

*Historically speaking of course.  Far be it from me to suggest that the modern heirs to either of those nations are anything but caring and enlightened.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MilEME09 on June 17, 2014, 01:45:32
For those that have missed it, here is the new Defense Acquisition guide released by the government

http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/business-defence-acquisition-guide/index.page
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Colin P on June 20, 2014, 11:25:39
Since when has the Carl Gustav been a rocket launcher?  :facepalm:

Objective

The 84mm Ammunition Project will provide new Smoke, Illumination and Anti-Structure ammunition types to be fired using the existing 84mm Carl Gustaf portable rocket launcher
.



Gag!!! Holy Mother of F**K  20-49 million to buy a frickin bolt action rifle!!!!!

Objective

The project will replace the Canadian Ranger's Lee Enfield rifle.
Requirements

The project will procure a new robust bolt action rifle, ammunition and accessories for the Canadian Rangers.  The new weapon will replace existing capability and enhance Canadian Ranger Patrol Groups ability to operate in Canada's remote regions.
Preliminary Estimate

    $20 million to $49 million

Anticipated Timeline

    2015
        Implementation Approval
        Contract Award
    2019
        Final Delivery

Point of Contact

Director Land Requirements
Phone: 819-994-4225
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Infanteer on June 20, 2014, 11:38:51
Well, it technically fires rockets, although a "recoilless rifle" is the more accurate term.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Thucydides on June 20, 2014, 11:41:28
Since when has the Carl Gustav been a rocket launcher?  :facepalm:

Since about the mid 1990's when RAP ammunition came into common use in the CAF. Of course to be pedantic, it is a recoilless cannon firing rocket assisted projectiles, but that might confuse the Hoi polloi...
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Colin P on June 20, 2014, 12:36:14
ah ok then I got out in 87 prior to that ammo being introduced, I did use the 3.5RL in my recruit course and of course the M72
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Thucydides on September 29, 2014, 20:29:12
The problem is twofold.

Number one, we have perverse incentives in place at all levels to make procurment as difficult as possible. Everything from a person milking "Clothe the Soldier" from a two year project to an entire military career (how else does it take 12 years to field a rucksack?), Bryzantine TB rules, "Regional offsets" and the fact that half the time the buyers (us) can't even make up their freaking minds as to what they want.

Then we compount the problem by buying in such small quantities that the units are pretty much hand crafted and bespoke items. If you built Honda Civics like that they would cost $47,000 each as well (before floor mats, undercoating, delivery and taxes). We never get economies of scale on anything, even anything that could be conceivably be combined with other orders so assembly line production could take place.

The layers of bureaucratic overhead, bespoke production and glacial pace of procurment are all making the Armed Forces virtually unaffordable anymore. If the incentive structure were to change and a different procurment and management process was rewarded then we might see somthing like the story of SpaceX vs ULA. SpaceX has produced and built a medium lift rocket (Falcon 9) from scratch and sells launch services to orbit on the beast for $50 million a launch. ULA uses an updated verion of the 50 year old Atlas V with similar performance but charges $400 million per launch. (Since the Falcon 9 can also carry the manned Dragon space capsule to orbit, if I were head of the Canadian
Space Agency I would be making a few inquiries as to when the certification process will be finished. Unmaned Dragon capsules have already flown to orbit and back).

Since the technology is essentially the same, the vast cost differences are really due to management and the internal structure and bureaucracy of the two companies. If *we* could get our defense contractors to operate like SpaceX, things would be a lot better all around for us.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MCG on November 25, 2014, 19:38:06
I am not so sure the changes, as described here, are really a good thing for defence getting what it needs.  Cash-flow into communities seems to hold too much weight next to capability and performance.

Quote
New military procurement rules hailed
Francois Shalom
The Gazette (Montreal)
25 Nov 2014

It's out with IRBs and in with value proposition.

Ottawa's requirements for military contracts will shift soon from so-called industrial regional benefits (IRBs) to proof that Canadian companies can add unique content, Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel told assembled defence and security industry executives Monday.

The procurement process for military contracts in Canada has long been based on IRBs. That meant that regional suppliers in Canada signed up to provide content to a defence contract like the huge deal announced by Ottawa in 2010 to buy 65 F-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin Corp.

The new rules, labelled value proposition, are designed to simplify military supply contracts to make sure Canadian armed forces get the right equipment and to use Ottawa's "defence materiel purchases to create jobs and ensure the economic growth of Canada," Lebel said.

IRBs were widely seen as having been ineffective and exaggerated by companies eager to secure lucrative contracts.

"So instead of waiting until the acquisition phase (of a contract), we'll consult with potential suppliers starting at the instant at which the need for equipment has been established."

Technologies developed should be advanced, innovative and exportable from Canada, said Christyn Cianfarani, president of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries.

"The whole purpose is that now, you can't win a bid without identifying the Canadian content. You can't get in the door without high value added."

Suzanne Benoit, president of Aero Montreal, which represents Quebec's aerospace industry, said that the new rules "will be a big boost for Quebec. We have a great number of innovative small and medium-size firms."

The sector contributes $12.1 billion to the economy annually and employs 43,500 people in Quebec, including at more than 200 SMEs.

Cianfarani said that the rules are part of a progressive rollout of a comprehensive industrial policy.

"We're all waiting for that, it's the most anticipated piece of the policy for us."

"We think it's quite close, but they haven't told us when" it will come into effect.

Sue Dabrowski, business development manager for software firm Mannarino Systems Software Inc. of St-Laurent, recounted "very frustrating" obstacles that many SMEs face when dealing with U.S. defence firms.

Software codes for military systems are highly secret, making it hard for companies like hers to do work for the owners of the systems, like Sikorsky helicopters.

Despite being approved in record time to work on the helicopters, Sikorsky's parent company, United Technologies Corp., refused to disclose the source codes to Mannarino or to let them reverse engineer the system.

"In the end, we didn't get a dollar's worth out of them."

Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: dangerboy on November 25, 2014, 21:10:31
While this might be good for the Canadian economy I don't think in the long run it will be good for the military.  There are just some industries that are not very prevalent in Canada due to its small sales base but are numerous in Europe and the States.  So we might be forced to purchase a lesser quality good just because it happens to be made in Canada over an ideal product that is made in the States.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on November 25, 2014, 22:02:11
I think/hope it will be better than the IRB solution.

The IRB solution relied on some Canadian finding ways for offshore suppliers to spend money in Canada.  The net effect was to "double" the cost of imported goods.  The extra cost came out of DND's budget, was washed through the vendor and the Canadian middle man to buy paper clips and fund "chairs" at universities.

The Value Proposition should result in Canadian companies having to prove that they can meet an identified DND requirement with a solution that doesn't exist anywhere else and can be exported to the benefit of Canada as a whole.  If the Canadians can supply value then the procurement should go to the offshore supplier.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: GR66 on November 26, 2014, 12:41:45
Nationalists will scream but perhaps our best strategy would be to eliminate most of our procurement processes all together and simply buy what the Americans are buying.  This could be for most items from boots to bullets, missiles, aircraft, vehicles, etc. 

Unless we're willing and able to keep enough of these items to maintain wartime stock levels we'll have to rely on the US for replacements in time of war anyway.  Why not have as much of an integrated supply chain as possible in advance rather than having to switch to US supplied equipment and materials when our initial stocks are destroyed/burned up. 

Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: milnews.ca on November 26, 2014, 13:26:42
While this might be good for the Canadian economy I don't think in the long run it will be good for the military.  There are just some industries that are not very prevalent in Canada due to its small sales base but are numerous in Europe and the States.  So we might be forced to purchase a lesser quality good just because it happens to be made in Canada over an ideal product that is made in the States.
Agreed - anything less than a "Canada-first" policy would be a political/vote loser in Canada.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on November 26, 2014, 14:20:45
It may be that the government is getting close, closer anyway, to an economically sound defence procurement policy. But it is important to bear in mind that good economics is rarely coincident with good politics.

In a perfect world the Department would present the government with a list of reasonably well expressed operational requirements ... for example:

     Example only:

     "We need two supply ships/oilers of something very, very like the Berlin class which originally cost about $500M each and which we should be able to build for $1B each;"

     "We need two more multi-purpose support shops, perhaps akin to the UK's Bay class landing ship which originally cost about $250M each and which we should be able to build for $750M each;"

     "We need six Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships which should cost less than $4.5 B;"

     "We need eight general purpose combatants of about 5,00 tons, perhaps like the Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen class frigate which originally cost about $600M each and which we should be able to buy/build for about $1.25B each;"

     "We need eight corvettes (about 1,500 tons), perhaps like the German Braunschweig class corvette which originally cost about $350M each and which we estimate we could build for about $750M each;"

     "We need six air independent propulsion submarines, something like the German Type 212 submarine which cost about $600M and which we should be able to buy for about $900M each;" and

     "We need several more training vessels of something like th current Orca class and a smaller version for operations by Naval Reserve Divisions in rivers and lakes."

It is then up to the government to take DND's $30B+ guesstimate and return a counter-offer, say, $27.5B over n years, and then allow Supply and Service to get the ships DND finally says it must have for the money the government says it can have.

There should be money used for job creation and to directly, legally subsidize Canadian industry ~ and all that money should come from Industry Canada's budget, which will need to increase substantially.

Reputable economist teach that subsidies that are built into projects distort both costs and values. Project money should be kept fairly 'pure,' that is to say NO regional subsidies. Please remember that there is no such things as "regional industrial benefit" ministers and generals and corporate titans all talk about them but they (admirals, bureaucrats and business leaders and, especially, politicians) all fall into one (sometimes both) of two categories: either they lie or they are stupid. They all think we are stupid and will believe them .... 99% of us do.

We are allowed, under international law, to directly subsidize our national security; military projects are almost always exempt from almost all trade law. Liberals may not like but no one who really cares what Liberals think.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on November 27, 2014, 11:56:18
It may be that the government is getting close, closer anyway, to an economically sound defence procurement policy. But it is important to bear in mind that good economics is rarely coincident with good politics.

In a perfect world the Department would present the government with a list of reasonably well expressed operational requirements ... for example:

     Example only:

     "We need two supply ships/oilers of something very, very like the Berlin class which originally cost about $500M each and which we should be able to build for $1B each;"

     "We need two more multi-purpose support shops, perhaps akin to the UK's Bay class landing ship which originally cost about $250M each and which we should be able to build for $750M each;"

     "We need six Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships which should cost less than $4.5 B;"

     "We need eight general purpose combatants of about 5,00 tons, perhaps like the Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen class frigate which originally cost about $600M each and which we should be able to buy/build for about $1.25B each;"

     "We need eight corvettes (about 1,500 tons), perhaps like the German Braunschweig class corvette which originally cost about $350M each and which we estimate we could build for about $750M each;"

     "We need six air independent propulsion submarines, something like the German Type 212 submarine which cost about $600M and which we should be able to buy for about $900M each;" and

     "We need several more training vessels of something like th current Orca class and a smaller version for operations by Naval Reserve Divisions in rivers and lakes."

It is then up to the government to take DND's $30B+ guesstimate and return a counter-offer, say, $27.5B over n years, and then allow Supply and Service to get the ships DND finally says it must have for the money the government says it can have.

There should be money used for job creation and to directly, legally subsidize Canadian industry ~ and all that money should come from Industry Canada's budget, which will need to increase substantially.

Reputable economist teach that subsidies that are built into projects distort both costs and values. Project money should be kept fairly 'pure,' that is to say NO regional subsidies. Please remember that there is no such things as "regional industrial benefit" ministers and generals and corporate titans all talk about them but they (admirals, bureaucrats and business leaders and, especially, politicians) all fall into one (sometimes both) of two categories: either they lie or they are stupid. They all think we are stupid and will believe them .... 99% of us do.

We are allowed, under international law, to directly subsidize our national security; military projects are almost always exempt from almost all trade law. Liberals may not like but no one who really cares what Liberals think.

Mr. Campbell,

I just read your propositions to my D9er, a lady of "a certain age" and considerable intelligence.   She cheerfully ignores me most of the time.

I didn't get past your second proposition concerning the Bay class ships and she interrupted me (another common occurence - she considers me long-winded): "Why do they cost so much?"  I still can't answer that question in a cogent manner.  Even as I agree with you that those constitute fair statements of reality.

They describe the point at which Keynesian economics become so attractive to politicians that the hard-nosed Austrians can't effectively compete.

But here's the real question in my mind: Is there any real appetite for pulling back the curtain and exposing the Wizard?

I don't think that a public statement by CAF to the Government, couched in those terms, would be well received.  In fact I think the authors could find themselves dismissed.

What, I believe, you are essentially proposing is to make plain that people on welfare are going to be paid exorbitant sums to perform unnecessary work.  They will be put on the payroll of a very large government funded project and paid - for what they are paid is immaterial.  I wouldn't be at all surprised to discover that there are two or more sub-contractors paid to dig holes while others fill them in.

The reason I question if anyone wants to lay those secrets bare is founded in Ed Milliband's problems with Labour supporters in Britain.

When Maggie threw Arthur's coal miners out of work they retained their hate but bought a white van and created their own jobs. Those people all aspired to get out of the pits in any event and become middle class types just like Maggie, the shop keeper's daughter.  They hated Maggie because she denied them the opportunity to get out of the pits on their own terms and forced them out on her terms.  They got what they wanted but not the way they wanted it.

Curiously Maggie was just like them.  That doesn't stop the hate.  And it won't.

What it did do was drive them out of the arms of the Fabian Society.  The Shavian Socialists discovered that they no longer had a reliable constituency for which to do good works.  Their constituents increasingly saw them as the Lords of Manors, some of whom were acceptable in that they were to the manor born for centuries and some of whom, like the Millibands, Brown and Blair, were upstarts that merely aspired to the manor.  And there is nothing that a British socialist detests more than people who don't know their place.  It makes it that much harder for the hard-grafting unemployed miner to get on in the world.  They are forever putting barriers in the way of a bit of honest graft.  They clamp down on men with white vans by demanding certification and recorded transactions when all they were trying to do was earn a bit of beer money fixing the neighbour's plumbing.  The white van men are no worse than the wreckers of Cornwall, the smugglers of the Broads and the pot men of Ayrshire.  A pox on Dragoons and Excisemen.

This has all recently come to the fore in Britain over this case (http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/nov/22/labour-war-emily-thornberry-tweet-rochester-strood):

Quote
Labour party at war over Emily Thornberry’s ‘snobby’ tweet
Party ranks descend into attacks after Thornberry was accused of mocking Rochester house draped with England flags

What Labour has discovered is that even the lower classes have their pride and are very traditionally minded.  They don't want to live on handouts.  They would rather do illegal work than accept hand outs.  And they reserve special resentment for those that will not work - native Brits and foreigners alike.   The Shavians have lost Scotland to the Scots socialists.  And now they are losing the North of England and Wales to Farage's UKIP.  And a good chunk of that is being attributed to universities not understanding white vans, wreckers and pot stills.

I fear that if your proposition were ever to become public then the Canadian descendants of those Ayrshire pot men and Cornish wreckers would end up punishing the politicians that agreed to be so blatant.  You would be wounding them in the two places that matter most: their purse and their pride.

Their purse, obviously, because you are stealing money from those that graft to give to those that won't and in their pride because you are saying that the only way Canadians can get a job is through workfare, inefficiently administered.

(I told you the wife was intelligent.  I am long-winded).  :nod:




Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on December 03, 2014, 16:26:59
Procurement consists of supplying people with ordnance, "launchers" and platforms so that they can bring deadly effect to the nation's enemies in a variety of environments and then maintaining all that kit and training the people.

Projects rack up the dollars when they incorporate the costs of all of the above over an indeterminate period (ie the cost of defending Canada until the sun goes extinct will require more zeroes than I have time for).

What would happen if we were to take advantage of the Danish Stanflex system and have procurement cut across environments so that rather the RCN, CA and RCAF driving projects according to their environmental assessments we were to subdivide the capital portion of the budget into ordnance, launchers and platforms.

The Services would be responsible for the platforms but the launchers and the ordnance would be the responsibility of, for lack of a better term, the Board of Ordnance.

You have in the system a variety of missiles (gun launched and rocket propelled) that really don't care what platform they are launched from (sea-going, airborne, truck mounted or armoured).  Increasingly the launchers accomodate a variety of missiles with a variety of effects (caliber bedammed).

The system already incorporates 155, 105, 84, 81, 76, 57, 40, 25, 12.7, 9, 8.6, 7.62, and 5.56 projectiles. 
It also incorporates Sidewinders, Sparrows, SeaSparrows, ESSMs, AMRAAMs, SM-2s and Harpoons.

What would happen if the Board of Ordnance were responsible for acquiring Stanflex type modules that could be mounted on ships or ashore, much after the fashion of the NASAMs system or the Skyshield system?

Similar logic might be applied to sensors, Giraffe and Sea-Giraffe come to mind, along with EO sensors.

This would separate the weapons from the platforms and allow the weapons to be ported from one aging platform to a new platform, thereby eliminating the need to buy new systems, new ammunition, new training facilities, new storage facilities every time a new platform is procured.

It would also mean that the weapons could be ported from ship to shore according to task or ship to ship according to threat assessment.

It would also mean standardizing of weapons.

It would also mean that weapons modernization would be in the hands of one board - for good or for ill. 

One area that I think could serve as a trial area would be combining the GBAD procurement with the RCNs CSC procurement incorporating elements like the Millenial cannon and NASAMs as well as Sparrow/SeaSparrow/ESSM, or AMRAAM. 

Likewise Harpoon/SLAM-ER could be ported ashore on a truck mounted launcher to supply Surface to Surface effect.

In terms of "selling" projects, I believe it could reduce the apparent cost of procuring a new platform down to Danish levels because the ordnance, launchers and sensors are "sunk costs" that are independent of the platform. 

The ongoing upgrading of the weapons systems would then become an O&M budget item instead of an add-on to a Capital item.

Your AOPS would then fall back into the 70-100 MCAD range, with a crew of 50 while the CSC would be in the 250 MCAD range with a crew of 100. 

If you needed more bodies for a particular task then, just like Stanflex weapons modules, you could add a Naval Boarding Party module or a SF module or a Lt Inf module.



Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MCG on December 03, 2014, 23:42:51
What would happen if we were to take advantage of the Danish Stanflex system and have procurement cut across environments so that rather the RCN, CA and RCAF driving projects according to their environmental assessments we were to subdivide the capital portion of the budget into ordnance, launchers and platforms.

The Services would be responsible for the platforms but the launchers and the ordnance would be the responsibility of, for lack of a better term, the Board of Ordnance.
We already have one directorate in ADM(Mat) that does all munitions approval and procurement.

To go the step farther that you suggest might not be a board of ordnance.  It might be a consolidation of capability development in a joint setting (ie. in CFD)
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on December 04, 2014, 11:44:03
We already have one directorate in ADM(Mat) that does all munitions approval and procurement.

To go the step farther that you suggest might not be a board of ordnance.  It might be a consolidation of capability development in a joint setting (ie. in CFD)

Would it be worth taking that extra step?  Or would it just increase the bureaucracy?
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MCG on December 04, 2014, 15:40:30
Would it be worth taking that extra step?  Or would it just increase the bureaucracy?
It might even streamline the bureaucracy.  CFD and the environmental capability development staffs all exist now.  Putting them together would establish a "single dog to kick" for defining and prioritizing defence capability investment.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MilEME09 on December 04, 2014, 15:43:52
It might even streamline the bureaucracy.  CFD and the environmental capability development staffs all exist now.  Putting them together would establish a "single dog to kick" for defining and prioritizing defence capability investment.

Sounds like we would get one body to come up with the priorities, and their order for purchase, instead of 3 dogs barking at each other, we get one that is just going to chase its own tail
Title: Canadian Armed Forces Procurement Woes
Post by: MarkOttawa on January 14, 2015, 10:26:51
News story:

Quote
Cuts to budget, staff blamed for dysfunctional DND purchasing: report
http://globalnews.ca/news/1772522/cuts-to-budget-staff-blamed-for-dysfunctional-dnd-purchasing-report/

From CDAI/Macdonald-Laurier Institute news release on report:

Quote
...
    *Since 2007/2008, an average of 23 percent of the available Vote 5 money supplied by Parliament, a combined $7.2 billion, was not spent as intended.
    *Budget cuts starting in 1989 led to a decade of limited defence acquisitions.  As a result, there is too little experience and training and insufficient staff in the acquisition workforce
    *The Canada First Defence Strategy (CFDS) promised the largest recapitalization program since the Korean War, but this recapitalization is severely delayed, eroding the buying power of DND’s capital program
    *The CFDS is “neither affordable nor viable in today’s fiscal reality”, and a lack of strategic priorities has made resolving the gap between funding and capabilities more difficult
   * DND’s program exceeds the financial and human resources to implement it; resolving the mismatch between funding and capabilities must be the key focus of the renewed CFDS
    *“All trust and faith between players in the system has been lost;” restoring trust in the procurement system will require a track record of success.
http://www.macdonaldlaurier.ca/mli-report-delays-lack-capacity-lead-historic-levels-unspent-defence-funding/

Ouch.

Mark
Ottawa

Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MarkOttawa on January 14, 2015, 10:29:53
News story:

Quote
Cuts to budget, staff blamed for dysfunctional DND purchasing: report
http://globalnews.ca/news/1772522/cuts-to-budget-staff-blamed-for-dysfunctional-dnd-purchasing-report/


From CDAI/Macdonald-Laurier Institute news release on report:

Quote
...
        *Since 2007/2008, an average of 23 percent of the available Vote 5 money supplied by Parliament, a combined $7.2 billion, was not spent as intended.
        *Budget cuts starting in 1989 led to a decade of limited defence acquisitions.  As a result, there is too little experience and training and insufficient staff in the acquisition workforce
        *The Canada First Defence Strategy (CFDS) promised the largest recapitalization program since the Korean War, but this recapitalization is severely delayed, eroding the buying power of DND’s capital program
        *The CFDS is “neither affordable nor viable in today’s fiscal reality”, and a lack of strategic priorities has made resolving the gap between funding and capabilities more difficult
       * DND’s program exceeds the financial and human resources to implement it; resolving the mismatch between funding and capabilities must be the key focus of the renewed CFDS
        *“All trust and faith between players in the system has been lost;” restoring trust in the procurement system will require a track record of success.
http://www.macdonaldlaurier.ca/mli-report-delays-lack-capacity-lead-historic-levels-unspent-defence-funding/

Ouch.

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Canadian Armed Forces Procurement Woes
Post by: Colin P on January 14, 2015, 11:34:26
Even in my department, the big proponents are complaining there is not enough regulatory staff to handle the surge of big projects coming in. When you decide on the size of a cut and then make up numbers to justify it, it will come back to bite you. Attrition is generally the best way to deal with size, it's slower and does not make for big headlines and political points but it's likely the least problematic. The problem with staffing cuts is the people who you would love to cut are to well versed in protecting their job, because for the most part that's all they do. The frontline staff is always to busy to see the axe coming and suffer the most. 
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MilEME09 on January 14, 2015, 17:52:43
Good article to see inside the department and the conditions, any of us can relate to having our work load doubled or more and having the same results expected of us. That said throwing money at getting more people into procurement probably won't solve the issue, but easing the work load on individuals might help, so long as proper training is applied to the new people.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on January 14, 2015, 18:26:11
The report appears, to me, to be partly right, but I think there is a more fundamental problem with procurement: mixed, confused aims.

The Government of Canada wants, indeed needs, a politically charged procurement system: money must, very often, be spent unwisely (in business terms) to achieve political ends ... even when those ends don't make very good economic sense.

The voters are not economists: they want jobs for themselves, their kids and their neighbours. They will not tolerate spending hundreds of millions to buy a ship from, say, a German yard, producing German jobs, when Canadians can build it for a mere billion or two.

The main problem with the Government of Canada's procurement system is that we, the critics, don't understand its primary goal: to buy votes.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MCG on January 15, 2015, 03:31:23
More discussion of the government and DND faults contributing to current institutional disabilities on procurement.

Quote
We knew Defence Department procurement was a mess. Now we know how much of a mess
By John Ivison, National Post
15 Jan 2015

When auditor general Michael Ferguson looked at the F35 purchase three years ago, he found “significant weaknesses in the decision-making process” at the Department of National Defence.

Now we know how significant. A new study by the Macdonald Laurier Institute and the Conference of Defence Associations Institute suggests that nearly one-quarter of the money Parliament allocates for defence procurement in any given year remains unspent.

Since 2007-08, exceptional delays in the defence capital program means an average of 23% of available money — $7.2 billion — was not spent as intended. Dave Perry, the report’s author, said the problem is “historically unprecedented” — the historical average, dating back to 1973, is 2%.

The problem with not spending the money is that changes in costing procedures mean that purchasing power is eroded by inflation, which runs at around 7% for military gear. Mr. Perry estimates that buying power is being reduced by 20-25% over the project life of multi-billion-dollar procurement projects. He pointed to a recent report by the Parliamentary Budget Officer that suggested delays in the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship procurement could result in one fewer ship per year of delay.

Mr. Perry’s report, entitled “Putting the ‘Armed’ Back into the Canadian Armed Forces,” delves into the institutional malaise that caused the F35 fiasco.

He pointed out that Canada is not alone in facing procurement challenges. But past policy decisions have created a dysfunctional system that has failed to replace the aging Sea King helicopters 30 years after they were first scheduled for the scrapyard.

Canada separates procurement by the Department of National Defence from the contracting authorities (the Department of Public Works and Treasury Board). Critics, mainly within National Defence, complain about unnecessary duplication of effort and a civilian bureaucracy unsympathetic to operational requirements.

But proponents point out it means there is nominally a challenge to Defence’s inevitable desire to have the biggest, shiniest new toys, even if it failed in the F35 case.

Mr. Perry said National Defence’s procurement arm has been under intense pressure for more than a decade. The number of Major Crown Projects (those exceeding $100-million) grew threefold between 2000 and 2011. There are now 13 projects worth more than a billion dollars. At the same time, reporting requirements have increased by 50% in the past four years. To add to the mix, the procurement “holiday” during the 1990s left a workforce with limited experience in complex procurements, while cuts mean the number of staff in the Material division shrunk from 2,600 per $1 billion in capital spending in 2003-04, to 1,800 in 2009-10.

That helps explain some of the cost and timing overruns. But the F35 saga was far more malign than a few mistakes by some overworked, under-trained bureaucrats.

The auditor general said Defence officials misled Parliament. It was apparent that a number of senior players decided they wanted the F35 and government contracting rules, Treasury Board guidelines and the oversight of Parliament were an irritation to be ignored.

The prime minister responded to the auditor’s report by saying the government would ensure more rigorous supervision of National Defence — a pledge that led, in part, to the Defence Procurement Strategy.

National Defence was effectively demoted after the auditor general said it could not be trusted to do the job. That lack of trust continues to permeate the system, according to Mr. Perry. The other players in the system — Public Works, Treasury Board, Industry, the Privy Council Office — assume the military’s requirements are “gold plated,” that is more expensive than is strictly necessary, and “wired” with requirements that are tailored to fit a specific ship, plane or truck.

The report suggests the Defence Procurement Strategy has introduced some much-needed reforms. It offers a pan-government approach, where all the relevant ministers sit on a working group. The fighter plane secretariat inside Public Works is acknowledged to have increased the rigour and confidence in the process to replace the CF18s. A challenge function inside National Defence has been initiated to improve the quality of requirement proposals coming from the military.

However, many inside the Defence department see the new set-up as “brutal” and “nitpicking,” pointing out it further slows the process.

The Defence Procurement Strategy was initiated to improve the domestic economic benefits of defence purchases and to rein in the Defence department. The focus on reducing the delays in major projects appears to have fallen down the agenda.

Mr. Perry said there is a need to “temper” expectations about how much change the DPS will usher in. He warns unless the military prioritizes its investments — the Canada First Defence Strategy insists the military needs to deal with a “full range of threats” on land, sea and air — and increases its acquisition workforce, progress in reducing delays will be slow.

Retired vice admiral Ron Buck wrote recently that Canada’s defence strategy is “neither affordable nor viable in today’s fiscal reality.”

It becomes still less affordable when inflation is eroding billions of dollars allocated by Parliament that are sitting unspent.

We are approaching the third anniversary of Mr. Ferguson’s damning report on the F35s, but we appear no closer to a political decision.

“The government reset the file and the departments submitted a soup to nuts redo of the process last spring. Yet there’s still no decision,” said Mr. Perry. “There is plenty of blame to go around on the part of the bureaucracy. But the government also has to make some hard choices.”
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MilEME09 on January 15, 2015, 06:56:08
Really this just adds more weight to what we have all been saying, our procurement process doesn't work. It's a rotting corpse, we need to throw it all out and start new.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MCG on February 02, 2015, 19:38:12
Some questions about the new procurement philosophies being a step in the right direction or not.
Quote
National Post View: The Tories seem more interested in buying votes than buying ships
National Post
26 Jan 2015

The Canadian Armed Forces are facing tough times. Canada's military is being asked to do more and more despite falling or frozen budgets, curtailed training, units that are under-strength and aged equipment in urgent need of replacement. These challenges are perhaps most acutely faced by the Royal Canadian Navy, which is responsible for the world's longest coastline and supporting allies abroad with a fleet that is on the verge of rusting out, if it has not already.
 
The combination of mounting security concerns and tightened fiscal straits makes it critical that every last ounce of military capacity be wrung out of every defence dollar. There is no longer any room, if there ever was, for using money allocated to the armed forces to play politics. Yet when it comes to military procurement, especially, the evidence is that, as usual, security is taking a back seat to politics.
 
On Thursday, for instance, National Post columnist John Ivison reported that a major component of a $26 billion program to build new warships for the Royal Canadian Navy had been sole-sourced to Irving Shipyards of Halifax. The program will see up to 15 combat ships built for the Navy over 30 years. The Conservative government insists that Irving was always going to be the prime contractor for the project, and that recent announcements simply confirm this. Perhaps. But should Irving have been the prime contractor? Could other companies have assisted in the construction of our new vessels for less money? Without a competitive bidding process, we will never know.
 
The government tells us all is well (see Public Works Minister Diane Finley's letter to the editor in Saturday's edition). Yet this government, notwithstanding its pro-military stance, has a history of bungling procurement projects. Multi-year efforts to procure new logistics trucks for the Army have gone nowhere, as the government has proven unable even to properly solicit bids. Replacements for the Sea King helicopters, needed decades ago, are not yet in service.The fiasco surrounding the F-35 purchase, intended to replace our aging CF-18 jets, is well-known.
 
As recently as October, the government was dismissing warnings by the Parliamentary Budget Officer that the $3.1 billion budgeted to procure six to eight Offshore Patrol Ships for the Navy wouldn't be enough. "We are confident that we will build six Arctic offshore patrol ships," Ms. Finley said in the House of Commons. "The numbers provided by the PBO are based on erroneous data, rough cost estimates of international vessels with varied capabilities, and they're derived using inaccurate specifications."
 
Canadians need a military that can safeguard our security at home and honour our obligations abroad.  Yet earlier this month, when a contract was finally signed - the vessels, due years ago, will now enter service in 2021 at the earliest - the budget had grown by $400 million, while the number of ships had shrunk to as few as five.
 
What can account for this? We refer again to Ms. Finley's letter on Saturday. She writes: "We are committed to creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canadians. That's why we are so proud that our Shipbuilding Strategy will end the shipbuilding boom-and-bust cycle while creating an estimated 15,000 jobs and resulting in over $2 billion in annual economic benefit for 30 years."
 
Notice anything missing from that statement? In all that list of the many things to which the government is "committed," there is not a single reference to getting ships for the Navy. Jobs here, "economic benefit" there, but no new destroyers in sight.
 
Politics is politics. But Canadians need a military that can safeguard our security at home and honour our obligations abroad. The Tories talk a good game, but when it counts, they seem more interested in buying votes than buying ships.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: GAP on February 02, 2015, 23:30:55
I wonder how many seats they think they will gain by awarding Irving the contract....the Maritimes is not one of the Con's most memorable victories.......
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Petard on February 21, 2015, 14:38:39
In regards to the concept stage of procurement, I found this to be an interesting read; we could certainly use a shake up too in the way requirements are written.

http://breakingdefense.com/2015/02/army-changing-how-it-does-requirements-mcmaster/
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: PuckChaser on February 21, 2015, 14:43:30
Considering its going to take us 10 years to get to IOC on the LSVW/HLVW replacement, absolutely we need to redo how we do business.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MCG on February 25, 2015, 17:42:51
Can/will a new minister make a difference in the area of procurement?

Quote
Jason Kenney's reputation as 'Mr. Fix-it' will be severely tested as defence minister
Michael Den Tandt
National Post
25 Feb 2015

OTTAWA - Jason Kenney came to the defence department with a reputation as Mr. Fix-it; he is the Minister Who Solves Problems.
 
Mr. Kenney will need all his vaunted skill and energy, and then some, to untie the Gordian knot that is Canadian military procurement, as he recently promised to do. It is a snarled, impossible mess, riven with intra-governmental factionalism and disputes, with no relief in sight - despite the F-35 implosion, despite that this country has been at war more or less continuously for the past 13 years, and despite that the Conservatives are forever casting themselves as the military's truest friends.
 
It's an odd state of affairs. If the opposition parties cared more about ensuring this country has an adequately funded, modern and well-equipped army, navy and air force, the government would be getting pummelled on this file and the beatings would be hitting home.
 
Instead the Tories sail on, month after month, brandishing their tail feathers in all matters geopolitical, as Canada's old warships and planes continue to rust out and the need for replacements goes unfilled. There is a real and growing possibility that the "stealthy" F-35 will be obsolete by the time the RCAF finally gets around to putting one in the air, if this is the plane that eventually gets purchased, as per DND's fervent wish. Arctic patrol vessels and a big polar icebreaker are years away from floating.
 
But heck, we have five excellent C-17 long-haul transports and a fleet of nice Hercules C-130 short-haulers. Bully for us.
 
Curiously, the CBC reported Tuesday (http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/f-35-procurement-troubles-may-hurt-military-s-relations-with-allies-1.2967731) that "hundreds of arrangements" between the defence department and allied militaries, concerning shared facilities and joint purchases, are in limbo now because of a new zeal on the part of Public Works and the federal cabinet to ensure that acquisitions are done according to Treasury Board standards, which are summarized on its website as follows: "The objective of government procurement contracting is to acquire goods and services and to carry out construction in a manner that enhances access, competition and fairness and results in best value or, if appropriate, the optimal balance of overall benefits to the Crown and the Canadian people."
 
The impetus for this time-consuming, process-slowing rigour, according to the CBC report is continuing fallout over the failed sole-source F-35 purchase, which badly rocked Stephen Harper's government in late 2012 and early 2013, because of controversy over skyrocketing costs. The Prime Minister's Office is at pains to ensure there is no repeat and this makes perfect sense, particularly in an election year.
 
But defence industry sources tell me there has been another goad, more recent: DND's sole-source, $800-million purchase of new "smart" Sea Sparrow missiles for the Royal Canadian Navy's Halifax-class frigates, currently embarked on extensive refit and modernization at the Irving Shipyard. That deal last October caught senior officials at Treasury Board wrong-footed. It was approved personally by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, over the board's objections, after a trio of senior ministers - Industry Minister James Moore, Public Works Minister Diane Finlay and then-defence minister Rob Nicholson - appealed to the PM in writing, arguing for the purchase. The quid-pro-quo was that the Sea Sparrow purchases from Raytheon, a strategic partner of U.S. defence giant Lockheed-Martin, would not be allowed to skew the deck in favour of the latter when the time came to allot systems contracts on the yet-to-be-built $26-billion Canadian Surface Combatants fleet.
 
In January, as reported by my colleague John Ivison, Irving Shipbuilding was quietly awarded the coveted position of prime contractor on the CSC project, by far the largest single Canadian defence procurement outlay in living memory. In theory, Irving as prime contractor can select any one of several combinations of global defence players to take on the core aspects of building these ships - combat systems and ship design. But few in industry circles believe the major dollars will go anywhere but south of the border. Simply put, DND and Irving have a long history of working with Lockheed-Raytheon and their closest partners. That's their comfort zone.
 
So, circling back, here's what faces Mr. Kenney: A culture at DND that, with stunning tenacity, simply will not accept that mind-bogglingly expensive weapons purchases must be subject to an open, transparent, competitive - yet still efficient - bidding process. This recalcitrance has in turn spawned a kind of inquisitorial quagmire, whereby cabinet must constantly be on guard for attempts to rig or circumvent the rules, which mires everything in muck.
 
This was the case a decade ago, when the specs for new fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft were skewed in favour of a single plane, Alenia's C-27J, which leaked and torpedoed the purchase. It was the case with the aborted F-35 program. And it appears to be the case still, despite that the Conservatives sustained huge damage to their credibility in the latter affair, have no progress to boast about on the ships heading into election season and now must explain how they can be both martial stalwarts and weapons-system deficient, at the same time. So onward Mr. Kenney, onward; and best of luck. You'll need it.


Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on February 25, 2015, 19:00:23
Problem: CAF + DND + IC + PWGSC + TB + PMO + Vendors of Choice =

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.soundonsight.org%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2010%2F07%2Fmexican-standoff-photo.jpg&hash=c846cf646d793476d585856fa538462e)

Solution:

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fupload.wikimedia.org%2Fwikipedia%2Fcommons%2F8%2F87%2FM67b.jpg&hash=00eb6bc4033164b8d6433536aef1e3ee)
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on March 13, 2015, 12:12:05
Maybe there is a better solution than the one above - or maybe it is the Phase 2 Course of Action

The US Army's Rapid Equipping Force (REF)

Quote
A major factor contributing to the REF’s success was a set of unique authorities that allowed it to respond rapidly to urgent requirements. The REF director was authorized to approve requirements and to take action based on perceived Army needs. This short circuited the often ponderous requirements generation process. Second, the REF had access to a mix of funding from across the Army’s budget, including but not restricted to overseas contingency funds. This meant it didn’t have to fight with other organizations for resources or raid other programs for funds. Finally, the REF had limited acquisition authority. The Army embedded a Project Manager in the REF to ensure appropriate oversight and legal/policy compliance. It has the authorities to operate as a one-stop shop for meeting urgent requirements.

Perhaps the most important factor contributing to success was the unique culture and attitude created within the Rapid Equipping Force. The REF became the quintessential innovation generator, willing to experiment, take risks, exploit other people’s ideas and go with an 80 percent solution if that was the best that could be achieved. The REF was also a collaborative organization; it intentionally broke down the stovepipes and silos that prevented the free flow of information and ideas not only within the Army, but also across the military and even into the commercial industrial base.

The rest of the article is good too.

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/article-view/release/161775/dod-should-study-lessons-of-rapid-equipping-force.html
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MilEME09 on March 15, 2015, 04:45:25
I think one thing that may help is like in the early 80's a comprehensive report (by either parliament, the senate, a third party or a mix of them) into the following first the current state of the CAF, Second the commitments of the CAF, Third How to meet those goals, and Fourth how to accomplish the goals in a timely fashion.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: milnews.ca on April 15, 2015, 10:17:24
If you're interested, Canada's Library of Parliament has prepared a "compare and contrast" paper (attached) on military procurement systems in Canada and elsewhere - also compares procurement agencies and proposed reforms here & elsewhere.

Enjoy!
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on April 15, 2015, 11:42:40
If you're interested, Canada's Library of Parliament has prepared a "compare and contrast" paper (attached) on military procurement systems in Canada and elsewhere - also compares procurement agencies and proposed reforms here & elsewhere.

Enjoy!

To sum up the report - in the words of a great friend of mine from Regina:  "There is no hope!!!"
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: TCBF on April 16, 2015, 00:06:07
- If this was old country back in '44, the administrative saboteurs would be hung by piano wire from meat hooks, and their families sent to the camps.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: milnews.ca on April 16, 2015, 03:33:29
- If this was old country back in '44, the administrative saboteurs would be hung by piano wire from meat hooks, and their families sent to the camps.
Shame the Library of Parliament doesn't have you writing its executive summaries  ;D
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MCG on April 17, 2015, 12:31:19
The University of Calgary has also done a recent comparison with US DoD procurement:  http://policyschool.ucalgary.ca/sites/default/files/research/us-defence-kimball.pdf
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MCG on May 12, 2015, 11:29:08
Some outside the box thinking here suggests procurement should maybe be about something other that spreading jobs:
Quote
Procurement is about procurement
Editorial
National Post
11 May 2015

We read in the Ottawa Citizen that long-delayed trucks for the Canadian Army are finally expected to enter service in 2017. Originally promised by the federal Conservatives in 2006, what was supposed to be a two-year acquisition process has instead become yet another in a long line of bungled military procurement projects.

The government now reportedly hopes to have a contract signed with a winning bidder by the summer. But don't hold your breath. Since it was originally announced nine years ago, the project has been cancelled twice. The first delay came in 2011, when the government reported, five years into the process, that it needed to further refine its tender. A year later, minutes before bids were supposed to be taken, the government pulled the plug again, asserting a need to "reassess this procurement to ensure that the right equipment is acquired for the army at the best value for Canada."

Five years of dithering, one year of refining, three years of reassessing, and still no actual decision has been made - just hopes of one to come soon. Meanwhile, the Army must somehow do without. Trucks may not have the cool factor of a shiny new jet or a deadly tank, but they are absolutely vital pieces of military equipment. Whether in war zones or disaster areas, at home or abroad, trucks haul the gear that allows our soldiers to get their jobs done. Bullets, beans, bandages, diesel - all of it is carried by trucks. Logistics is what keeps the modern military machine running, even in peacetime. More often than not, that means trucks.

Of course, the trucks might have been delivered long ago, had the government made procurement, rather than jobs for the boys, the priority. There's no worldwide shortage of trucks, after all. If the army needed trucks, the government could have bought them off the shelf from any one of a number of international suppliers. But that would have required putting the needs of the military ahead of the needs of the Canadian defence industry, and the legions of economic nationalists ready to take up their cause.

Several years ago, the Conservative government, in a rare fit of economic sense, contracted with the American automotive company Navistar to provide 1,300 urgently needed medium-duty transport vehicles - essentially, a conventional commercial truck, with some modifications. The contract blew up in the government's face when it was announced the company was laying off hundreds of workers at an Ontario factory. Peter MacKay, then the minister of national defence, was forced to defend sending Canadian money to an American company that was laying off Canadians. It would be Canadians who maintained the trucks, MacKay said. The tires on the trucks would be Canadian made. And they'd, uh, run on fuel pumped from Canadian stations. (Yes, he actually said that.) This problem, needless to say, predates this government. For decades, governments of both the Liberal and Conservative stripe have treated defence procurement not as a means of supplying our troops with the best equipment fastest at the lowest price, but as a giant corporate welfare machine gussied up with the odd artillery tube and a bit of camouflage. But, as on so many fronts, the Harper government has taken this one step further: what once was fairly standard-issue pork-barrelling - steering contracts to domestic manufacturers that could have been filled at a fraction of the price elsewhere - has now been elevated into deliberate policy, overpriced military hardware having been "identified" as a "key" economic "growth promoter."

Just how crazy this is can be seen in a recent report from the CBC's Terry Milewski, on Canada's troubled $40 billion "shipbuilding procurement strategy." In five years, it has yet to build a single ship, possibly because there was no one available to build any: as Milewski reports, the industry has been moribund for 30 years. "So, before you build the ships, you have to build a shipbuilding industry."

This is adding enormously to the cost. Milewski points out that Britain, which knows a thing or two about naval warfare, is building four new supply ships in South Korea for about $1.1 billion, less than half as much as Canada plans to spend building two, much smaller, supply ships in Vancouver. Denmark, likewise, will spend just $100 million on its new Arctic patrol ship, having sourced the hull from a Polish yard. That's one-seventh as much as Canada's new patrol ships are projected to cost, whenever they are eventually built. Meanwhile, the Navy is rusting out, but hey: look at all the jobs we're creating in competitive coastal ridings.

Enough. The military is a fighting force, not a public works project. If a foreign manufacturer is best able to supply its needs, a government that purports to have any commitment to the military - or the taxpayer - shouldn't hesitate to sign the contract.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Halifax Tar on May 12, 2015, 12:50:26
Some outside the box thinking here suggests procurement should maybe be about something other that spreading jobs:

I feel the authors pain. 
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MCG on May 29, 2015, 10:58:23
A thought: perhaps the defence budget, which some have suggested ought be an election issue, is not the only element of the department that should be under examination.  Perhaps the procurement process is also part of what need be addressed.

Quote
From helicopters to fighter jets, problems facing Canada’s defence procurement are systemic
John Ivison
National Post
28 May 2015

Fifty two years ago, Bob Dylan released Blowing in the Wind, Lester B. Pearson was elected 14th prime minister of Canada, JFK was shot and the Sea King maritime helicopters entered service.
 
For the past 25 years, we’ve been trying to replace them in what has been called “the most poorly executed military procurement ever undertaken – anywhere.”
 
But, hang out the bunting, the wait is over.
 
“In June, we expect delivery of the first block one C148 Cyclone Maritime helicopters… It will mark the beginning of the long-awaited retirement of the Sea Kings,” Diane Finley, the public works minister told the CANSEC industry conference in Ottawa Thursday.

Readers with prodigious memories will remember Brian Mulroney signed a contract to purchase 50 EH101 helicopters to replace the Sea Kings back when Progressive Conservatives still roamed the earth.
 
That contract was cancelled by Jean Chrétien’s government, at a cost of $478-million, and the long process to replace the Sea Kings with the Sikorsky Cyclones began.
 
The consequences of such delays, in a world where inflation runs at around 7% a year, were predictable.
 
As Sheila Fraser, the then-auditor general noted in a critical 2010 report, costs for the project nearly doubled to $5.7-billion in the period after it was finally given the green light in 2003.

The blame was placed squarely on National Defence staff, who “under-estimated and under-stated” the complexities of the project. In other words, the politicians were like mushrooms – kept in the dark and fed BS.
 
This brings us neatly to another project where the military’s enthusiasm for the shiniest toy in the store persuaded officials to “under-state” costs and complexities – the efforts to replace Canada’s fighter jets.
 
Finley and defence minister Jason Kenney were at CANSEC to promote the merits of the new Defence Procurement Strategy. Neither mentioned the words “fighter jets” nor “F35s.” It is the project that dare not speak its name.
 
What we do know is only in barest bones form, thanks to the new defence acquisition guide released this week by the government. It suggests that the contract for new fighter jets will be approved and awarded sometime between 2018 and 2020, with final delivery between 2026 and 2035 (the initial delivery schedule was 2017-22).

The military has bought itself an extra five years by announcing a plan to extend the life-span of the current CF-18 fighters.
 
But that’s one long delivery window.
 
There may be some upside to pushing back the replacement program. By 2025, it will be much clearer whether the F35 actually works – the U.S. will start flying the aircraft this year.
 
Canada might also save money on each F35 aircraft, if it is in full production by the time its order lands – the price is around $100-million per aircraft in 2016/18 but is projected to fall to unit price of a mere $85-million.
 
But those small blessings do not detract from the fact that the whole F35 episode was, in Tom Mulcair’s words, “a combination of arrogance and incompetence” that voters should bear in mind when they enter the polling booth in October.
 
Punting it down the road will simply store up problems for whichever shade of government is set to inherit the blame.

For one thing, the Conservatives maintain no decision has been taken on the contract. But by 2020, the options may well be limited. The Europeans have already warned that the Eurofighter Typhoon might be out of production if no new contracts come through, while Boeing’s Super Hornet may also have stopped production by then. This would likely see the F35 win by default.
 
Another major concern is the capital funding for the project, which has been static at $9-billion for 65 aircraft. As with the $33-billion National Shipbuilding strategy, escalating costs and delays are eating into budgets. “Inflation is going to push that to the point of unaffordability,” said David Perry, senior analyst at the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute. Throw in a 20% depreciation in the value of the Canadian dollar and you have a project that is inevitably going to need to be re-financed by billions, even if there is some relief on the price per unit.
 
There are specific political reasons why the fighter replacement project has been delayed. But the problems facing defence procurement are systemic.
 
According to Perry’s analysis, one quarter of the money allocated by Parliament in any given year for defence projects goes unspent.
 
He suggests that since 2007/8 exceptional delays have meant $7.2-billion was not spent as intended.
 
His belief is that the military, in attempting to live up to its mandate of dealing with a “full range of threats” on land, sea and air, prioritizes everything, with the result that it prioritizes nothing.
 
There are just too many projects competing for too little time at Treasury Board and in Cabinet, with the result that, though Parliament consents to Defence’s capital budget, approval for specific projects are not granted.
 
The new procurement strategy was designed with three objectives: to deliver the right equipment in a timely manner; streamline the process; and, leverage purchases to create jobs.
 
While the pork-barreling associated with “industrial benefits” is indeed working well, there are few signs the process is moving in a more timely fashion. The prospects of a project being hi-jacked by the military are much reduced, thanks to new developments, such as the third party review panel for major defence projects announced by Kenney at CANSEC Wednesday.
 
But their introduction has not streamlined the process – on the contrary.
 
Since no party appears keen to increase defence spending to NATO’s 2% of GDP target – this year’s $20-billion is just 0.89% of output – the failure to effectively spend capital budgets eats into operational capability. At some point, new kit needs to be funded, yet purchasing power is lost over time.
 
There is an emerging belief that both capital and operational budgets should be more tightly focused on fewer areas of operation.
 
As voiced by retired vice-admiral Ron Buck, this view holds the current strategy of being all things is “neither affordable nor viable in today’s fiscal reality.”
 
$20-billion might have paid for a gold-plated military back in 1963, when Dr. No, the first James Bond movie, hit the big screen. These days, you’re lucky if you get much change from a Walther PPK, 007’s weapon of choice.

http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/problems-facing-canadas-defence-procurement-are-systemic
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on June 02, 2015, 07:25:51
This, from the government's info-machine, may be just pre-election window dressing or it may be a serious attempt to address systemic issues with requirements:

----------------------------------------------------------------------

     http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=982839&_ga=1.104174400.171406700.1426899832

     Canada Launches Third-Party Oversight of Defence Procurement
     Defence Minister announces membership of the Independent Review Panel for Defence Acquisition

     June 1, 2015

     OTTAWA – Canadian defence procurement will now be subject to the rigour of a new independent, third-party challenge function with today’s announcement of the first Independent Review Panel for Defence Acquisition, a core component of
     the Government of Canada’s Defence Procurement Strategy.

     The Panel brings together the right combination of knowledge, experience and expertise to help validate the requirements for major military procurement projects and to provide independent, third-party advice to the Minister of National Defence.
     The establishment of this panel is an important initiative to help National Defence achieve greater clarity and certainty in the initial stages of the procurement process.

     On the recommendation of the Prime Minister, the Governor in Council (GIC) has appointed the following panel members:

          Mr. Larry Murray, CM, CMM, CD (also the chair designate)
          Mr. Martin Gagné
          Ms. Renée Jolicoeur
          Mr. Philippe Lagassé
          Mr. David N. Caddey

     Quick Facts

     The expert third-party panel will review and validate requirements for all projects valued over $100 million, and other select projects below this value. The Defence Procurement Strategy (DPS) aims to deliver the right equipment to the
     Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in a timely manner, leverage these purchases to create jobs and growth, and streamline procurement processes. The strategy committed to the establishment of a third-party challenge function at DND.

     On July 24, 2014, Mr. Keith Coulter was appointed as a Special Advisor to provide advice on the implementation of this new function and the establishment of the Panel. He will serve as the initial chairperson until the end of his term
     in July 2015. Mr. Larry Murray will then become the chair.

     Defence procurement spending has significant potential to produce substantial spin-off benefits to Canada’s knowledge, innovation and export-based economy.

     Quotes

     “We’re taking a significant step forward in our Government’s commitment to develop and maintain a first-class, modern military that is well-equipped to take on the challenges of the 21st century. The Independent Review Panel for
     Defence Acquisition will help us deliver the right equipment in a timely manner to the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces at the best value for Canadian taxpayers.”

          Jason Kenney, Minister of National Defence

     “The appointment of an independent, third-party panel of experts – who are able to provide advice on military requirements, and which includes industry representatives – is an important step forward in operationalizing the Defence
     Procurement Strategy and shows our combined commitment to improving the procurement system.”

          Christyn Cianfarani, Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI) President

     “The independent, third-party panel announced today, which includes several industry experts well-versed in the complex nature of federal procurements, is another strong step forward in the ongoing implementation of the
     Defence Procurement Strategy. The panel will have an important role to play in providing expert, independent advice to government on procurement projects and requirements, and the panel members announced today are well-qualified
     to meet this responsibility. We are very pleased that this panel has been struck and look forward to continuing to work together with government on strengthening our procurement process.”

          Jim Quick, Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) President and CEO

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Bios of the panel members are here (http://forces.gc.ca/en/business-how-to-do/irpda-bio.page). (I know a couple of the members, I served under one of them) and I think I have met all of them.)

This sort of panel reflects the prime minister's belief in using tiger teams of independent experts (often public servants) to cut through the crap that is, often, too hard for politicians.

The mandate (http://forces.gc.ca/en/business-how-to-do/irpda-terms-of-reference.page) of the panel assumes that senior military officers (and equally senior bureaucrats in DND) are unable (professionally not competent) to define military operational requirements for the services in which they have spent a career. (See, also: General versus Economist (https://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,40460.msg344006.html#msg344006) from almost a decade ago when I noted that "There is a deep mistrust and lack of respect held by the bureaucratic centre (PCO, Finance, Treasury) about and towards DND – both military and civilian components.")
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MilEME09 on June 02, 2015, 07:46:42
ER, I'm getting more convinced by the day that problems would be solved if we got you into political office. Moving on, This to me seems like just throwing a band aid at the problem but doesn't fix the fundamental flaws in the procurement system we have.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on June 02, 2015, 08:29:12
Several Western (and a couple of Eastern) democracies have tried to "fix" defence procurement but, it seems to me, that we must accept that the process is inherently political. (It's been that way, in our (British based) tradition since, at the very least, 1560 ot 70ish when Elizabeth I and her Lord Treasurer (William Cecil, Lord Burghley) took very direct control of the navy and its dockyards.)

It seems to me that the process can be both political and efficient.

Military requirements must be properly developed and presented. That means, first, that there must be a reference, a "baseline" capability statement ~ the (political) government's responsibility ~ against which deficiencies can be identified and requirements stated.

The government, the bureaucracy, must agree on the the requirements ~ and an independent "challenge" function is not a bad idea ~ and then, equally as importantly, agree on the price.

The "price" may have two components:

     1. The "fair market price" which must be agreed my bureaucrats and come from the defence budget; and

     2. The surcharges that politicians might want to "buy Canadian," etc ~ this should not be a charge against the defence budget.

The final decision on what to buy and how much to pay is 100% political. Admirals and generals get to say what they need (to meet the government's stated objectives) and want (to be flexible, etc) but they do not get to decide: cabinet does for a variety of reasons, some blatantly political and partisan.

One suggestion is to split PWGSC. "Common" use procurement should remain a core function of PWGSC but "special to service" items for DND and very high value projects should be managed by a reborn Department of Munitions and Supply (http://www.ceocouncil.ca/wp-content/uploads/archives/Arming_the_Nation_A_Paper_Prepared_by_Dr_Granatstein_May_2005.pdf) (you can call it whatever you want) which would answer to a separate minister and deputy, disconnected from both DND and PWGSC. It is still "government procurement," with all the current implications, but a separate, powerful, big spending ministry might be more efficient and effective.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: SeaKingTacco on June 02, 2015, 09:02:39
If Larry Murray has been selected as chair, then this is not a window dressing exercise.

I have met the man and I respect him immensely. He is principled, courageous and very smart.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on June 02, 2015, 09:12:56
If Larry Murray has been selected as chair, then this is not a window dressing exercise.

I have met the man and I respect him immensely. He is principled, courageous and very smart.

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fmedia.giphy.com%2Fmedia%2FW9WSk4tEU1aJW%2Fgiphy.gif&hash=4b2bed79c5c0e51b19da738e69c30041)
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on June 02, 2015, 12:25:11
....

The "price" may have two components:

     1. The "fair market price" which must be agreed my bureaucrats and come from the defence budget; and

     2. The surcharges that politicians might want to "buy Canadian," etc ~ this should not be a charge against the defence budget.

....

I like.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MCG on July 03, 2015, 17:21:01
I am not convinced that “off-the-shelf” (OTS) is rarely the right procurement path for the CAF.  Sometimes, it is the path that allows us to afford more of something with little trade-off or the path to get good-enough quickly.  Other times, we are stuck investing extra money to make an OTS solution fit our uses (the project to modify the Leopard 2 into a viable plough & roller pusher is still ongoing).

Instead of blanket statements for or against OTS, the real need is for requirements staff who can completely define what the CAF needs and wants in its equipment (and to clearly distinguish between needs and wants).  Both requirement staff and procurement staff need to know what exists "on-the-shelf".


Quote
No such thing as a bargain in defence procurement
Jeffrey Collins
National Post
02 Jul 2015

Canadians need to be clear-eyed that if we want to have a modern, rightly equipped, capable Canadian Forces, our geostrategic position practically dictates that we pay more for equipment to meet our unique operational requirements.

This is why purchasing “off-the-shelf” (OTS) military equipment is so problematic. OTS refers to equipment that is already in production or in use. The expression implies that because equipment is in production and in use, it is operationally proven, theoretically cheaper to purchase and quicker to acquire than if it were still in development.

The problem is that OTS is rarely faster to acquire or cheaper to buy, as its advocates claim (the C-17 and C-130J transport aircraft are the exception that proves the rule). Our geography is partially to blame for this. Canada is a large country with a small population that happens to border its major ally, a world superpower.

Such unique geostrategic circumstances have left Canada with a relatively small Armed Forces (est. 68,000 regular force personnel). Consequently, the Canadian Forces are faced with having to depend on fewer platforms that have to be capable of operating over long distances, across uninhabited and inhospitable terrain and, in some cases, from the decks of ships hundreds of kilometres from shore. They also have to be able to inter-operate with the Americans, with whom we jointly defend the continent and fight alongside overseas.

However, unlike the United States with its large defence budget, which gives it the ability to purchase multiple versions of a platform in bulk to accomplish multiple tasks, Canada’s relatively small defence budget leaves this country relying on a single platform to do the same. The end result is cost increases and delays as (mostly) American manufacturers modify their existing designs to meet Canadian needs.

This problem was most apparent in the auditor general’s 2010 report into the CH-148 Cyclone and Ch-147F Chinook helicopter contracts. In both cases, the helicopters were initially seen by the government as OTS technology.

With the Cyclone, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) was getting a “militarized” version of Sikorsky’s S-92 commercial helicopter to replace the five-decade-old Sea King.

The contract — valued at $7.6 billion, including $1.9 billion for the helicopters and $5.7 billion for in-service support — called for 28 helicopters with deliveries beginning in 2008. The problem was that the militarized S-92s had not even been developed yet. This led to years of delays as Sikorsky incorporated Canadian requirements into its commercial design. Only on June 19 were the first six Cyclones accepted into RCAF service. The remaining 22 are due sometime between now and 2021.

Likewise, once Boeing took into account Canada’s requirements, an entirely new variant of the Chinook was produced. Long considered a workhorse of militaries throughout the world, the Chinook is capable of lifting heavy artillery, armoured vehicles and up to 40 combat-equipped troops. At one time, eight older variants of the Chinook, the CH-147D, were in Canadian service before Ottawa sold the surviving seven to the Dutch in 1991 as a cost-saving measure.

Given the difficulties of transporting troops in Afghanistan, in 2008 Boeing and Ottawa signed a contract for 16 new Chinooks at a cost of $4.9 billion ($200 million more than originally estimated). Defence inflation and cost increases eventually saw the order reduced to 15 units. In 2013, five years after they were to begin entering service, the first of the new Chinook fleet arrived; the fleet is now fully operational at CFB Petawawa.

Each alteration in the original aircraft design meant that more testing and certification was required, adding costs and delays. In fact, in the case of the Chinook, Canadian modifications led to a 70 per cent increase in per-unit cost above the 2006 Boeing quote. The final contract even includes a provision that gives Ottawa the opportunity to recover some of the costs should another country purchase the same “Canadianized” Chinook.

Save for the establishment of a large-scale domestic defence industry, or a willingness literally to buy equipment as is — that is, without modifications and therefore operationally limited — Canadians better be prepared to invest the resources needed to have a capable Armed Forces. When it comes to complex weapons systems, attempting to save costs by procuring off-the-shelf technology will remain more of an aspiration than a reality.


Jeffrey Collins is a research associate at the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (www.aims.ca). He is currently completing doctoral research in defence policy and procurement at Carleton University.
http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/jeffrey-collins-no-such-thing-as-a-bargain-in-defence-procurement
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on July 03, 2015, 17:53:58
Aye, but in the meantime you have a working fleet of usable tanks.  And work arounds on TTPs can also do wonders - along with a bit of welding rod and ingenuity.

And, with respect to the Chinooks, how many of the upgrades were mandated by the core requirement and how many were add-ons that were nice to have?

I know you were flying unCanadian CH-47Ds in Afghanistan.  I also know that the Americans developed not just the CH-47F utility version but also the MH-47G with long range tanks, in flight refuelling and a whole raft of Comms and surveillance gear.

Our CH-147F seems to fall somewhere between the  US F and G fleets.

I'm sure there is an SME on the subject lurking on these boards somewhere that could help the discussion along.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MarkOttawa on July 09, 2015, 20:03:40
Some fundamental realities are noted at the CDA Institute Blog: The Forum:

Quote
The Third Party Challenge Function and Implementing the Defence Procurement Strategy

 …the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS) has yet to obtain the benefits the government likely expected it would get though a depoliticized process. Recent negative media attention is not what the government was hoping for when it launched the NSPS. The reality in Canada is that there will never be a good time to announce major capital investment projects for the military. Military equipment is expensive and there will always be a vocal constituency in Canada that will question both the need and value of spending taxpayer money on military equipment rather than education, health care, and other social programs.

Individuals involved in the procurement process should be concerned about two things with the third party challenge function. First, it is a function being added to an already existing challenge function, which is supposed to be conducted at the Defence Capability Board and Project Management Board, chaired by the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, as part of the capability development process. How much additional time this new challenge function will add remains to be seen. If additional time upfront leads to less friction later in the process, then that will be a good thing. It is what members of the challenge function want to achieve.

More pragmatically, the second issue relates to what happens after everyone, including the independent panel, agrees on the statement of requirement. What happens when industry proposals come back costing more money than initially planned for? If everyone has agreed that the requirements are valid, then that would imply the government needs to provide additional funding. Yet the government is fixated on initial rough order of magnitude estimates established before the detailed requirements are finalized – a recipe to be wrong every time. Cost estimating is difficult enough even when the requirements are known and agreed upon because the estimates are based on a set of assumptions around how a weapon system will be employed. Such assumptions are generally not agreed to by all the players involved and will inevitably change as the security environment evolves. Events in the Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula are an example of how unexpected events occur…

Dr. Craig Stone teaches resource management at the Canadian Forces College and was the Director of Academics until 30 June 2015. He is a defence economist who specializes in defence budgets, defence procurement and the defence industry [more here http://www.cfc.forces.gc.ca/136/292-eng.html ].
https://www.cdainstitute.ca/en/blog/entry/the-third-party-challenge-function-and-implementing-the-defence-procurement-strategy

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Petard on July 10, 2015, 07:36:33
Kind of like reading any Dilbert cartoon on cost estimates
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Retired AF Guy on July 10, 2015, 11:22:22
As an aside, I have a copy Roy Rempel's, "The Chatter Box: An insider's Account of the Irrelevance of Parliament in the Making of Canadian Foreign and Defence Policy." A little dated (2002), but I was wondering if its still worth while reading.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on July 12, 2015, 10:15:51
Now there is a report from CBC News (http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-s-cf18-bases-won-t-have-radar-units-replaced-as-55m-deal-cancelled-1.3145196) that, "Canada's CF18 bases won't have radar units replaced as $55M deal cancelled."

The report says that, "Another multimillion-dollar military purchase has gone off the rails ... The Harper government is terminating its contract with Thales Canada Ltd., which was to supply new radar units to support Canada's CF-18 fighter jet squadrons in Cold Lake, Alta., and Bagotville, Que ... The deal signed in November 2010 was initially worth $55 million for two tactical-control radar systems, with delivery to begin in 2013. Thales won the tender over one other bidder ... Defence Department documents show costs had risen to more than $78 million by 2013. And by November last year, the Public Works Department was deep in negotiations with Thales to resolve problems ... "In February 2015, Canada and Thales reached agreement in principle to terminate this contract by mutual consent," said Public Works spokeswoman Annie Trepanier."
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Larry Strong on July 12, 2015, 10:39:20
It's looking like it's more a Thales issue than DND. This is the second time they have made the news this week.

The city of Edmonton has issues with them as well.

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/City+contractor+odds+over+safety+NAIT+line/11195050/story.html


Cheers
Larry
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Good2Golf on July 13, 2015, 00:42:26
Several Western (and a couple of Eastern) democracies have tried to "fix" defence procurement but, it seems to me, that we must accept that the process is inherently political. (It's been that way, in our (British based) tradition since, at the very least, 1560 ot 70ish when Elizabeth I and her Lord Treasurer (William Cecil, Lord Burghley) took very direct control of the navy and its dockyards.)

It seems to me that the process can be both political and efficient.

Military requirements must be properly developed and presented. That means, first, that there must be a reference, a "baseline" capability statement ~ the (political) government's responsibility ~ against which deficiencies can be identified and requirements stated.

The government, the bureaucracy, must agree on the the requirements ~ and an independent "challenge" function is not a bad idea ~ and then, equally as importantly, agree on the price.

The "price" may have two components:

     1. The "fair market price" which must be agreed my bureaucrats and come from the defence budget; and

     2. The surcharges that politicians might want to "buy Canadian," etc ~ this should not be a charge against the defence budget.

The final decision on what to buy and how much to pay is 100% political. Admirals and generals get to say what they need (to meet the government's stated objectives) and want (to be flexible, etc) but they do not get to decide: cabinet does for a variety of reasons, some blatantly political and partisan.

One suggestion is to split PWGSC. "Common" use procurement should remain a core function of PWGSC but "special to service" items for DND and very high value projects should be managed by a reborn Department of Munitions and Supply (http://www.ceocouncil.ca/wp-content/uploads/archives/Arming_the_Nation_A_Paper_Prepared_by_Dr_Granatstein_May_2005.pdf) (you can call it whatever you want) which would answer to a separate minister and deputy, disconnected from both DND and PWGSC. It is still "government procurement," with all the current implications, but a separate, powerful, big spending ministry might be more efficient and effective.

:nod:

DND indeed gets a lot of grief for "Defence" procurement, but few acknowledge that DND actually has little control in the contractual terms and conditions and implementation of any purchase above $25,000 currently -- contracting authority is out of DND's hands and rests with Public Works and Government Services, heavily influenced by Industry Canada where value propositions (VPs) and industrial and technological benefits (ITBs) constrain implementation possibilities. The VPs and ITBs are where industrial, and arguably political and regional factors outpace the operational requirement by several tactical bounds.

COTS, or the "Holy Grail" of MOTS, while expediting the procurement process significantly, aligns to the specifics of an operational requirement in relatively few cases.  The C-17 and C-130J were good examples of MOTS that aligned with Canada's operational requirements for strategic and tactical airlift, because the manner that the RCAF conducts those conditions mirrors almost identically the manner in which other Western air forces conduct those missions.  Thus an RCAF rounded instead of a USAF rounded and that is really about it for Canada-specific 'modifications.'

The author may have gotten a little caught up in some of the initial elements of concern noted in the Auditor General's Fall 2010 report on helicopters and I believe gets some of the Chinook’s timelines cross-linked; splicing initial intended timelines into the final Government-approved schedules. 

Although DND initiated the Medium to Heavy-Lift Helicopter (MHLH) project in the fall of 2005, the project was not given official Government approval by the Treasury Board (TB) to enter into definition phase until June 2006.  Within TB's preliminary project approval (PPA) was approval of DND's High-Level Mandatory Requirements (HLMRs).  One of the HLMRs required that the first aircraft had to be delivered no later than 36 months after contract award (MACA), and the final aircraft of the fleet to be delivered no later than 60 MACA (five years). 

Although DND and PWGSC noted their intent to the Treasury Board to try and expedite the contract award for the Fall 2006 or Winter 2007 period, Government of Canada major capital project regulations (for all Depts, not just DND) require Departments to be granted final approval (then termed Effective Project Approval -EPA), which follows PPA, before they can enter the Implementation Phase.  Only with EPA granted can PWGSC then legally sign contracts.  Thus, DND and PWGSC, while intending to receive such approvals to permit a Fall 2006 or Winter 2007 contract award, were still subject to Governmental final approval by Treasury Board, EPA, which was granted in June 2009.  A contract with Boeing was signed one month later in July 2009. 

So the 2008 date for initial delivery was only used during initial pre-approval planning, and only when PWGSC was authorized by TB to enter into contract with Boeing and did so in July of 2009, did the legal/programmatic requirement to deliver first aircraft by July 2012 and the final aircraft by July 2014 take effect.  The first aircraft was accepted by DND in June of 2012 (35 months after contract, or one month before the limit) and aircraft 147301 remained with Boeing to be flown by RCAF and Boeing test pilots to finalize the aircraft's type certification.  The last aircraft was delivered to the RCAF in June 2014, 59 months after contract award, one month before the TB-approved limit of 60 months.


:2c:

G2G
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Lumber on August 07, 2015, 15:03:12
Only with EPA granted can PWGSC then legally sign contracts.  Thus, DND and PWGSC, while intending to receive such approvals to permit a Fall 2006 or Winter 2007 contract award, were still subject to Governmental final approval by Treasury Board, EPA, which was granted in June 2009.  A contract with Boeing was signed one month later in July 2009. 

I was actually able to follow your entire post clearly in my head which makes me both happy at my ability to understand governent procurement but scared in that I fear I may one day end up working in some form of it.

Anyways...

I have a question for you. Why did it take until June of 2009 (almost 3 years) to get EPA?

Cheers
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: dapaterson on August 07, 2015, 15:38:55
Keep in mind that the Trerasury Board is a board made up of members of the government.  Elections shut down the Board.  Government priorities heavily influence the agenda of the Board.  Departmental priorities have much less sway at the Board.

Internal processes to DND mean that approvals take roughly six months - that's the time it takes to confirm the costs have been identified in a reasonable manner, to confirm that the "ask" is clearly articulated, to get approval by the sponsor, the VCDS, the CFO, the CDS, the DM and the minister.  Certainly, sometimes those timelines can be compressed in the case of urgent matters - but most of the senior leadership want to take the time to read and understand when they are signing recommendations to spend bilions of dollars.  And then the documentation goes to the staff of the Board who review it in detail, ask more questions, and ultimately present it to the Board with recommendations.

So: MHLH got preliminary approval in 2006; at that point they began much of the heavy lifting (no pun intended) and analysis and review and planning.  That takes time - even when engaging in concurrent activity where possible.  Less than three years to plan a large undertaking is not an unheard of length of time - particularly when there are always other competing priorities both within the military and within the government.  And remember that the last six months of that was getting the final plan approved inside DND and then by TB.

One of the downfalls of many DND projects is someone deciding that they will try an end-run around the rules and processes.  Those rarely turn out well, and often result in even longer delays, once they go back to redo things they deliberately or accidentally skipped over the first time.  (Or, in other words, before you can effectively break the rules and outsmart the system, you need to know the rules and understand how the system works).
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Good2Golf on August 07, 2015, 15:54:47
I was actually able to follow your entire post clearly in my head which makes me both happy at my ability to understand governent procurement but scared in that I fear I may one day end up working in some form of it.

Anyways...

I have a question for you. Why did it take until June of 2009 (almost 3 years) to get EPA?

Cheers

I would say amongst other things, triage of procurement staff effort and the Government's own approval process (not just DNDs), primarily to rapidly procure an interim capability to move soldiers and supporters away from IED-laden routes and into the air, to wit the CH-147D foreign military sales procurement tailored specifically for the relatively rather small area of operations that was AFG.  There are only so many personnel to go around, and while the refinement of the capability to meet the SOR was being carried out, the Manley Report was released and re-prioritized staff effort for the immediate operational requirement.

What many people thought was asking for 'gold-plated cup holders' didn't align with Government's own expectations of how the long-term solution would have to operate, including operation over long, inhospitable distances with minimal logistical and technical support.  Unlike, for example, the American Army that operates in areas where there is relatively little distance separating support bases in the continental US, Canada is a stark contrast.  Go up North to Alert, one says?  Sure, same distance as Toronto to Vancouver...oh, you have Iqaluit (same distance as Winnipeg from Toront) and Resolute Bay (Edmonton, from Toronto), before you get there.  Thus the end-state aircraft needed longer range.  What needed to be coordinated was not to make new designs, but adapt already-certified capabilities (double-sized fuel tanks, etc...) and some pre-designed, but unproduced capabilities (solid-state electrical distribution) and make sure that they were all supportable for the long term...20, 30, 40 years.  Did the project team get it 100% right?  No, as the Auditor General noted in her Fall 2010 report, but even in her report, she noted continual improvement during the evolution of the project, so DND was working in earnest to improve. 

Since receipt of the full fleet, the CH-147F has travelled across the country and self-deployed successfully up to the North (Alert, NU and Iqaluit, NU amongst other locations) for two years in a row.  Interestingly, the 'Canadianizations' that many questioned have been critical to this success, and have in fact been of enough worth to merit inclusion in other nation's Chinook fleets (for which Canada sees returned benefit through OEM support credits for other users that equip their Chinooks with Canadian sub-systems).  Of particular note reinforcing the worth of the modifications/integrations that Canada required is the US Army's own Special Operations Aviation task force procuring new mission-specialized MH-47G Block 2 aircraft based not on previous versions of US SOA MH-47s, but on Canada's variant of the Chinook. US Army to acquire enhanced MH-47G Block 2 Chinooks (http://www.janes.com/article/53462/us-army-to-acquire-enhanced-mh-47g-block-2-chinooks)
Photo Credit: Janes Publiscations
(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.janes.com%2Fimages%2Fassets%2F462%2F53462%2F1565633_-_main.jpg&hash=f2458aa0dc0d9136fb717638ed7ed56e)

...and the Canadian variant that preceded the MH-47G Bk 2:

Photo Credit: Boeing
(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Ffilecache.drivetheweb.com%2Fmr5mr_boeing%2F88644%2FMPF13-0171_261_med.jpg&hash=d914ffeee34994e88f91d0f10c835db6)

As a tax payer, do I see the additional time it took to get things right as being time fairly well-spent?  Yes.  Does it looks like this will be a usable capability for several decades?  Looks to be.  Could it have been done faster?  Perhaps, but, as dapaterson notes, there is a lot more to getting a project approved than picking from a menu and saying, "There, I'll have [X] of those, please." 

:2c:

Regards
G2G
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MarkOttawa on January 06, 2016, 16:54:08
Latest from Dave Perry. Senior Analyst, Canadian Global Affairs Institute:

Quote
2015 Status Report on Major Defence Equipment Procurements
...
Executive Summary

Federal elections may be good for democracy, but the campaigns — particularly the lengthy one recently held in Canada — can be crippling for plans to better arm our military. Just before the election was called, there were public signs of important progress being made in what has long been a frustratingly slow and bureaucratically complex procurement process. But then the campaign left the Department of National Defence and other federal departments unable to secure approvals from either a defence minister or the Treasury Board, until the election ended and the new prime minister appointed the current cabinet.

There had already been upheaval prior to that: In the first seven months of 2015, the three senior leaders at the Canadian Forces and the Defence Department (including the minister) had been replaced, along with many other people critical to the procurement process. In addition, there had been changes in the Public Works Department and the Defence Procurement Strategy Secretariat.

Frustrating and disappointing delays have long been a matter of course in Canada’s defence procurement process. In 2014/15, the number of ministerial or Treasury Board approvals to allow projects to proceed was half of that in 2009/10. Yet the demand for approvals has not abated.

In addition to the turnover of key figures involved in the procurement and approval process, delays have come from a number of major steps added to the process, making an already lengthy and complex system even more so. To be sure, these steps were added in the pursuit of improved financial management and project management, with the aim of addressing longstanding problems. But it will take years to see if those objectives have been realized.

An irony here is that the budget for military procurement has increased. Between 2004 and 2009, the Defence Department’s procurement budget nearly doubled. But the funding was never matched by the capacity to manage it. In 2003, the Material Group had a ratio of 2,600 staff for every $1 billion in procurement funds. By 2009, ratio had become 1,800 staff for every $1 billion in procurement funds. Since then, the ratio has only gotten substantially worse.

New systems now require extensive analysis to determine if a more intensive Treasury Board review is required. A recently created panel designed to provide a “third-party challenge function” on requirements for major procurements has created some confusion among officials as to what documentation they should be producing to support procurement initiatives. And the panel’s terms of reference are extensive, ranging from evaluating a project’s alignment with government policy and the level of its fit with allies’ capabilities, to the role of Canadian suppliers and the anticipated support concept.

Still, there are some indications that changes enacted in 2014 to the procurement process may eventually help mitigate delays in the future. There are continual improvements being made to the way the Defence Department conducts project costing as well as how the Treasury Board Secretariat evaluates the costs, which will help improve the compatibility between estimates and newly introduced frameworks. New methods of better prioritizing projects have also been introduced. And there are plans underway intended to reduce the time involved in the department’s internal approval processes. For now, however, these attempts at improvement have been focused on the lower-dollar-figure approvals done by the minister. It remains to be seen if, first, they work, and secondly, if they can then be used to facilitate Treasury Board approvals, as well...
http://www.cgai.ca/2015_status_report_on_major_defence_equipment_procurements#executive

Rest follows.  CP story here:

Quote
Politics
Defence ministry turnover, marathon election hamper military purchasing: report
Murray Brewster
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/defence-ministry-turnover-and-marathon-election-hamper-military-purchasing/article28016184/

That first word sums up the problem with media reporting on Canadian defence--they treat it as all politics without going into the substance very much.

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Good2Golf on January 07, 2016, 09:38:57
Good articles. :nod:

:2c:

G2G
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on January 09, 2016, 16:06:52
Lighter side irrelevance -

You've heard of sharks with freaking lasers -

Here's the 3 Div version

(https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xta1/t31.0-8/12402074_342816122508802_2718891040238208272_o.jpg)
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on January 14, 2016, 16:38:44
Quote
In its complaint to the tribunal, Raytheon alleges that the evaluation of the equipment was “arbitrary and imprecise.”

It noted that the soldiers at Garrison Petawawa who performed the evaluation “lacked the necessary expertise,” that they based their evaluation on undisclosed criteria, and that the government failed to follow the stated process.

Raytheon complaining about an award to Rheinmetall after 2 CMBG conducted field trials.....

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/alberta-company-alleges-harper-government-unfairly-awarded-7-million-defence-contract-to-quebec-firm

This is actually a very serious problem.  It arises from the belief that all attributes can be anticipated and quantified.  This makes the lives of accountants and modern engineers very simple.  The engineers are given a number that they can target as a solution - just as they learned to do in exams.  And the accountants can use the same numbers to verify compliance.

On the other hand, as too many of us know, a system's compliance does not guarantee a functional, useable system - often, precisely because something fundamental was overlooked in the original design brief - one of Rumsfeld's unknown unknowns.

The procurement process can't be about facilitating bureaucrats lives by making it easier for them to work with vendors.  It can't be about supplying vendors with profits.  It can't be about supplying jobs.

It has to be about supplying useable kit in a timely fashion at a reasonable price. 

Full stop.

And the problem is not limited to the military.  It is endemic in the engineering world. 

Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MilEME09 on January 14, 2016, 16:55:19
We have been saying it here for years and it looks like it's finally happening.
http://www.embassynews.ca/news/2016/01/13/defence-minister-military-review-to-be-completed-by-end-of-2016/48092/?mlc=1038&muid=19523

Quote
Defence minister: Military review to be completed by end of 2016

Published: Wednesday, 01/13/2016 12:00 am EST

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says he plans to complete a thorough defence policy review by the end of 2016—and the public will be asked to participate.  In an interview with Embassy Jan. 12, Mr. Sajjan confirmed that Department of National Defence officials are already identifying how the review, or Defence White Paper, will be conducted.

Public consultation will be involved and foreign allies will be consulted, he said. The review is expected to set a road map for the next 10 to 20 years.

“I want to make sure that we get the 'How' part. It’s so important,” he said. “If we don’t get that right then the quality’s not going to be there at the end.”

Arctic sovereignty, NORAD prioritized

As the raison d’être for the Canadian Armed Forces is debated once again, Mr. Sajjan said there are elements of Canadian defence policy that he assumes will be prioritized. The safety of Canadians will always be the “number one priority,” he said, while continental defence, Arctic sovereignty and Canada’s responsibilities within the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will stay constant.

Even so, he said defence policy needs to be placed “in a wider context that suits the needs of the vision that our government is setting." The Liberal government, in its early days, has talked up a return to multilateralism and a greater focus on diplomacy.

Working with foreign allies is “critical,” Mr. Sajjan said. The minister has connected with his counterparts from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and France, as well as other NATO allies.

British, Australian lessons

“The British just did a defence review," he said, referring to the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015 released by the Cameron government on Nov. 23. "Australia is about to release theirs, and especially it’s important for us to be able to learn from those lessons."

He said he recently spoke with UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon in London. “It is helping me to shape how Canada can look at doing [the defence review],” he said, noting the UK had used an interactive website to get public input.

“I’ve got some really key ideas that Fallon provided, and I’m looking forward to reading the Australian review when it comes out as well,” Mr. Sajjan said.

The minister said the credibility and relevancy of the review was important. “We can do a white paper of everything on the wishlist, but if you don’t have the budget to support it it really doesn’t matter.”

Defence officials declared the previous Harper government's military wishlist, the Canada First Defence Strategy, unaffordable in 2011, but no updated document was ever released.

'Very focused' on procurement

Sitting in his office at National Defence headquarters—where staffers said reporters hadn't been seen in the past few years under the previous government—Mr. Sajjan told Embassy that procurement is being looked at in “extreme detail."

“Does it have the right number of people, the right type of expertise to be able to make it more efficient,” he posited.

A recent report from the Canadian Global Affairs Institute’s David Perry had warned that cutbacks to DND’s materiel department were causing major slowdowns to the process.

“To have an agile force we need to support it as well. Certain areas we do need to increase,” Mr. Sajjan said. Procurement is "definitely one of them."

Though hesitant to look back at the previous government’s record, he acknowledged a belaboured procurement process.

He is “dismayed” at the capability gap in the Canadian Navy, he said, “because we didn’t get the procurement process right.” So he is “very focused” on making sure that procurement becomes more efficient.

“We’re going through a process that’s going to be more transparent, so that it’s done in a manner that gives confidence to the Canadian public,” Mr. Sajjan said.

He would not confirm, however, whether the Statement of Requirements for new defence procurements would be released publicly. In 2013, DND quietly decided to no longer post these key technical documents on its website, which allowed the public to see the military’s requirements for crucial new planes, ships, and vehicles.

With the ubiquitous F-35 fighter jet program, shafted by the Liberals to replace the CF-18s in favour of an open competition, Mr. Sajjan said “the last thing I want to see with our fighters is what we have with our Navy right now: the gap in our capabilities.”

When it comes to figuring out how Canada's National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy should move forward—including narrowing down exactly which ships are needed and how many—the defence policy review will help to provide “a lot more clarity.”

'Consistent and predictable' funding

Asked about the transformation recommendations of fellow MP and retired general Andrew Leslie, whose controversial report recommended ways to improve the department’s efficiency, Mr. Sajjan noted there could be redundancies in some areas within the department. The defence review will identify these, he said.

Another thing the review will determine, he said, is the future for Canada’s reserve force. The previous government had committed to an accelerated expansion from 24,000 to 30,000 members.

“With the defence review it will allow us to look at what the capability and the role of the reserves will be for the future,” Mr. Sajjan said. “In some areas, as much as we want to grow, the population can’t support that growth.”

Ultimately, funding will play a big role in how the department will evolve. The Liberals committed to maintaining the current defence budget escalator—a three per cent increase to the budget annually, as of the 2015 federal budget.

The minister wouldn’t specify whether the government is thinking of increasing funding any more than that, but he said it’s his goal to make sure funding is “consistent and predictable” to better plan for the future.

“And as the economy improves, we can look at adjusting things as well,” he added.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: GnyHwy on January 29, 2016, 22:12:13
Procurement simplified in 7 easy steps.

1. Identify what the CF requires.
2. Convince treasury board that this is a priority.
3. Assure public works you are procuring fairly.
4. Settle contract with suppliers.
5. Deliver requirement with training.
6. Convince CF that this is what they required in the first place.
7. Sustain requirement for indefinite period.

Too ******* easy! What's the hold up?
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: dapaterson on January 29, 2016, 22:26:23
You left out

a. Satisfy the regimental mafias that one is not getting something the others are not
b. Post directors and managers willy nilly in, out and in-between projects, so there's a constant learning curve
c. Never learn from past mistakes, but double down on them
d. Overlook the fact that TBS hires very, very intelligent people who are much better at knowledge management and know what we promised and failed to deliver in the past
e. Assume away all the problems because, when they hit, see point b. above
f. Buy shiny without a well defined requirement
g. Pretend that there will be no incremental operating costs, and no incremental personnel demands


Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: PuckChaser on January 29, 2016, 22:52:43
b. Post directors and managers willy nilly in, out and in-between projects, so there's a constant learning curve

That would help cull the Col and LCol ranks if they're told they're posted to a new project office, they VR because they'll be stuck there for 10 years.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MilEME09 on February 01, 2016, 05:36:57
I'm reading a report this morning(Ottawa citizen) that the government is moving to increase DND's in house purchase limit to $5 million, which would reportly cover 91% of DND's procurement, with the goal of freeing up PSPC for the bigger projects. Good move by the government? sounds like it would make DND's life easier
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: PuckChaser on February 01, 2016, 09:24:07
Significantly easier. Random audits to ensure compliance with procurement rules to justify the switch. There's no reason why PWGSC (or whatever they are now) needs to be involved in a purchase of a stores shelving purchase of $35k. Low hanging fruit and does nothing but cause delays.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: jollyjacktar on February 01, 2016, 10:00:05
Oh god yes.  It will make things so much easier and faster.  Then we can do what we're here for, support the ships (in our case).  Can't wait for it to come.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MilEME09 on February 18, 2016, 16:08:43
Quote
Andrew Coyne: Canada's glorious bipartisan tradition of messing up military procurement

That was a cracker of a column my Postmedia colleague, Michael Den Tandt, unloaded the other day, taking the Harper government to task for its “disjointed, underfunded, poorly understood [and] chronically secretive” defence policy.

For all the prime minister’s tough talk about the growing list of strategic and security threats to the democracies — Russia, Iran, ISIS and beyond — there is, he noted, a widening gap between Canada’s professed readiness to “do its part” and our actual ability to do so. Indeed, so bad is the “rust-out” that “unless there are dramatic changes soon, it’s fair to ask whether Canada will even be able to field a capable military in a few years’ time.”

Others have offered the same criticism, usually with reference to recent cuts in spending on national defence. The specific complaint of underfunding strikes me as overstated. Defence spending rose more than 50% over the first seven years of the Harper government, from $15-billion in 2006 to $23-billion in 2013. If it has since been cut back somewhat, it remains higher, both as a percentage of program spending and as a share of GDP, than it was when they took office.

The more telling critique, it seems to me, has less to do with how much the government is spending on defence than how it is spending it — notably the enduring fiasco of military procurement.

It does beggar belief, for example, that we are still considering purchasing the F-35 fighter jet — there are reports, denied by the government, that it has quietly agreed to buy four of the jets next year, perhaps as a sort of amuse-bouche for the original order of 65 — given what a monumental bust it has turned out to be. Chosen without competition, to specifications that were written after it had been selected, the much-delayed “fifth generation” aircraft has been buried in mounting costs and growing doubts about its strategic purpose or even basic flight worthiness.

All this is quite apart from the comic opera surrounding the government’s public costing of the plane, in which it gave out an initial figure that would later prove to have understated the true cost by a factor of five, then refused to provide Parliament with the supporting documentation. Only after it had been safely re-elected was it discovered that it had maintained two sets of books, one with something closer to the correct number and one for public consumption, along the way stonewalling and deceiving the Parliamentary Budget Officer and smearing the Auditor General for backing him up.
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F-35 report prompts Tories to 'hit reset'
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So: worst procurement effort ever, right? No, that honour must remain with the still uncompleted attempt, four decades after it was begun, to replace the Sea King helicopters, now in their 52nd year in service. You remember: first the Mulroney government signed a contract to purchase 50 EH-101 military helicopters from a European manufacturer; then the Chretien government cancelled it, allegedly because it was too expensive, only to have to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation; then it decided, a decade later, to purchase the Sikorsky Cyclone instead, only to find that it did not work as advertised. The military historian Aaron Plamondon says this is quite possibly “the most poorly executed military procurement ever undertaken — anywhere.”

But those are just the highlights. There has also been the bungled purchase of four Victoria-class submarines from the United Kingdom, the delays in obtaining new fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft, on and on and on — and looming as the next big procurement mess, the $35-billion (actually more like $110-billion, when operating and maintenance costs are included) National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, already mired in the same sorts of delays, dubious costing and sole-source contracting controversies as the F-35.

What this long history of incompetence and waste should remind us is that messing up military procurement is a glorious bipartisan tradition. Plenty of factors are at work — political interference, DND empire-building, the endless susceptibility of all concerned to the contractors’ tales of high-tech wizardry — but the most consistent is the tendency of governments of whatever party to treat procurement as an economic development program, making so-called “industrial and regional benefits” the focus rather than simply getting the best equipment at the lowest price.

Not only does the resulting laundry list of local-sourcing requirements add materially to the end price but promises of job creation and technology “spin-offs” become yet another means by which defence contractors dress up military mutton as lamb for the benefit of gullible ministers and bureaucrats.

This is bad defence policy, but it’s even worse economy policy. When a government agrees to pay more than the competitive price for something, military hardware or anything else, it is effectively subsidizing the higher-cost provider. That isn’t just at the cost of the taxpayer, or foreign competitors. It’s at the expense of other domestic industries, outside the defence sector, from whom subsidy diverts scarce capital and labour.

Yet, incredibly, last year’s defence procurement strategy paper re-committed the government to the same failed approach, this time marked up with a lot of giddy verbiage about identifying Key Industrial Capabilities and “moving up the value chain.” To the extent this means anything, it means more costs, more lobbying, more pork-barreling — and less hardware for our forces in the field.

With our military needs on the rise and our budgets constrained, it would seem more important than ever that we get the most bang for the buck out of every dollar of defence spending. Dare I suggest a different approach, based on a radical new idea — that military procurement should be about military procurement?

Postmedia News

Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on February 18, 2016, 16:31:45
Quote
Plenty of factors are at work — political interference, DND empire-building, the endless susceptibility of all concerned to the contractors’ tales of high-tech wizardry — but the most consistent is the tendency of governments of whatever party to treat procurement as an economic development program, making so-called “industrial and regional benefits” the focus rather than simply getting the best equipment at the lowest price.

He forgot one.  It is not just DND that engages in empire-building.  Public Works and Government Services Canada - Public Services and Procurement Canada can't escape blame either.  I get the sense that the DND bureaucrats end up wearing a lot of Public Services egg.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Cloud Cover on February 18, 2016, 16:34:17
Did Andrew Coyne write that or ERC? :)
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on February 18, 2016, 16:38:15
Keep in mind that Andrew Coyne's beef with Harper was that PM Harper was not enough like Canadian Taxpayers Federation Harper.

Why he thought the Liberals would be better escapes me.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MilEME09 on February 18, 2016, 16:41:51
Did Andrew Coyne write that or ERC? :)

Didn't you know Andrew Coyne is ERC's Pen name? :P
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MCG on February 18, 2016, 18:00:30
Did Andrew Coyne write that or ERC? :)
Whoever did it, they did it last year:  http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/andrew-coyne-canadas-glorious-bipartisan-tradition-of-messing-up-military-procurement
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: milnews.ca on February 22, 2016, 16:44:58
The Procurement Messiah is here (http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1035509&tp=1)!
Quote
The Honourable Judy M. Foote, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, in partnership with the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Hunter Tootoo, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, and the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, today announced that Steve Brunton, has been selected as Expert Advisor to assist on the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS).

Steve Brunton is a retired Rear Admiral from the Royal Navy (United Kingdom), with extensive experience in overseeing shipbuilding programs and naval acquisitions. He will provide Ministers and senior government officials with independent expert advice on multiple facets of the NSPS, including risk and program management, construction benchmarking and competitiveness, and performance and operational improvements.

Through the NSPS, the Government is supporting the renewal of the Canada Coast Guard fleet, and is ensuring that the Royal Canadian Navy is able to operate as a true-blue water maritime force. The NSPS will also bring long-term economic benefits to the marine industry and related sectors in communities across Canada ...
What looks like his CV on LinkedIn (http://bit.ly/21asZTI).
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: PuckChaser on February 22, 2016, 18:12:56
Seems like a good choice, lots of experience outside of how we do things, so fresh ideas hopefully.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: jollyjacktar on February 22, 2016, 20:52:35
Seems like a good choice, lots of experience outside of how we do things, so fresh ideas hopefully.
Can't get any worse, unless PWGSC takes over the world...
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MarkOttawa on February 24, 2016, 18:20:31
New government not being very open and transparent:

Canadian Defence Procurement: Semi-Secret Cabinet Committee Confusion
https://cgai3ds.wordpress.com/2016/02/24/mark-collins-canadian-defence-procurement-semi-secret-cabinet-committee-confusion/

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: The Defence Budget
Post by: Old Sweat on March 13, 2016, 23:30:46
This report by Murray Brewster of the Canadian Press, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provision of the Copyright Act, highlights some major shortcomings in the DND procurement system.

Ottawa’s contract policies ‘perverse’ encourage industry gouging: leaked report

By Murray Brewster, The Canadian Press — Mar 13 2016

OTTAWA — A major independent study of federal government contract pricing and policies has warned that the current system provides "perverse incentives" for industry doing business with Ottawa to hike their costs, particularly in military equipment deals.

The report written by the research firm PricewaterhouseCoopers — a copy of which was leaked to The Canadian Press — also says that both Public Services and Procurement and National Defence don't have the in-house staff and expertise to understand technical matters that contribute to higher project costs.

The 32-page draft study, dated Nov. 17, 2015, was ordered by the former Conservative government, but delivered to the Trudeau Liberals, who promised in last fall's election to fix the broken procurement system to ensure the military gets the equipment it needs.

The eye-popping cost of ships, planes, and tanks has been the subject of a political debate, notably over the F-35 stealth fighter, but also more recently with the navy's planned frigate replacements.

Researchers at the multi-national audit firm were asked to examine how government policies, procedures and legislation contributed to the enormous price tags.

One of the key findings was that the structure of the contracting regime "provides perverse incentives for industry to increase costs" — particularly in sole-source deals — and there is "limited expertise in government" to review industrial processes and validate the increases.

"Neither (procurement services) nor DND has a sufficient knowledge base of subject matter experts that understand the 'Should-Cost' of a project, nor does either have the ability to understand the production process or other technical matters which are important drivers of cost and risk," said the study, which compared Canada's system with Britain, Australia and the U.S.

The report notes that there is a particular shortage of "military industrial specialists" and this "constrains Canada's ability to validate the reasonableness" of the costs claimed by contractors.

It warns that the country's global competitiveness in the defence sector is at risk, and that companies actually benefit by jacking up their prices.

"Profit is proportionate to cost under most of the basis of payment options — if the profit percentage is fixed, increased costs result increased profits," said the report, which added the government "does not have mechanism to counteract these perverse incentives."

The findings are significant because billions of dollars are about to be spent on the national shipbuilding program. The previous Conservative government set up a special relationship with two of the country's shipyards — Seaspan in Vancouver and Halifax-based Irving Shipbuilding Inc.

In exchange for directing federal contracts exclusively to both companies, procurement services pledged there would be strict oversight to ensure that taxpayers were not being overcharged.

Public Services and Procurement Canada did not respond to a request for comment.

Dave Perry, an analyst from the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, has studied military procurement woes from the defence department's perspective and found much the same.

He says the new report further "highlights the human capacity shortfall" of a system that was "gutted during program review in the 1990s and never recovered."

Perry and fellow defence analyst George Petrolekas, a retired colonel, wrote a groundbreaking report for the Conference of Defence Association Institute and the MacDonald-Laurier Institute in January 2015 that concluded, among other things, that brain drain and red-tape were responsible for the dysfunctional procurement system at National Defence.

Whereas the PricewaterhouseCoopers report looks at projects looks after they're launched, Perry and Petrolekas focused on the front-end planning at defence that's required on complex military equipment deals.

They assigned much of the blame to staffing cuts by both Liberal and Conservative governments in the acquisitions branch at National Defence.

In the early 1990s, there were 9,000 staff dedicated to buying military equipment. There were just over 4,300 by 2009 and those people were responsible for pushing through double the number of projects.

"Set against this significantly increased workload, there is simply not enough capacity in the acquisition workforce to manage it,'' said assessment by Perry and Petrolekas.

The Liberals, with both reports in hand, have an opportunity to start fresh, said Perry.

"We should move to treat defence procurement as its own specialty within government, and staff it accordingly," he said.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MCG on March 14, 2016, 00:53:59
Article link is here:  http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/federal-governments-perverse-contract-policies-encourage-industry-to-gouge-taxpayers-leaked-report
Title: Re: Cutting the CF/DND HQ bloat - Excess CF Sr Leadership, Public Servants and Contractors
Post by: Thucydides on March 22, 2016, 22:36:31
Overheard this weekend. Apparently someone was at a town hall(?) with the new MND, and the issue of "why can't we get things like boots" came up. The answer was there were over 130 steps in the procurement bureaucracy that had to be taken (including those outside DND).

If getting COTs and COTS equivalent items take 138 steps, then getting new ships or aircraft which are essentially bespoke items = "we're doomed"  (and BTW, another member actually had a pair of the "new" zipper boots. After 130 steps to ensure they were procured, the zipper failed on the first weekend....The warehouse where he went to get the issued boots was already full of failed pairs of zipper boots where the zippers failed as people were trying them on for size).

The triumph of process over productivity.
Title: Re: Re: Cutting the CF/DND HQ bloat - Excess CF Sr Leadership, Public Servants and Contractors
Post by: jollyjacktar on March 22, 2016, 22:43:36
Overheard this weekend. Apparently someone was at a town hall(?) with the new MND, and the issue of "why can't we get things like boots" came up. The answer was there were over 130 steps in the procurement bureaucracy that had to be taken (including those outside DND).

If getting COTs and COTS equivalent items take 138 steps, then getting new ships or aircraft which are essentially bespoke items = "we're doomed"  (and BTW, another member actually had a pair of the "new" zipper boots. After 130 steps to ensure they were procured, the zipper failed on the first weekend....The warehouse where he went to get the issued boots was already full of failed pairs of zipper boots where the zippers failed as people were trying them on for size).

The triumph of process over productivity.

Makes me think of the Soviet era of production horror stories.
Title: Re: Re: Cutting the CF/DND HQ bloat - Excess CF Sr Leadership, Public Servants and Contractors
Post by: cavalryman on March 22, 2016, 22:48:03
Metrics to evaluate the performance of senior ranks in the PS favour process and not productivity.  You get more of what you measure.
Title: Re: Re: Cutting the CF/DND HQ bloat - Excess CF Sr Leadership, Public Servants and Contractors
Post by: Sheep Dog AT on March 22, 2016, 23:58:51
Overheard this weekend. Apparently someone was at a town hall(?) with the new MND, and the issue of "why can't we get things like boots" came up. The answer was there were over 130 steps in the procurement bureaucracy that had to be taken (including those outside DND).

If getting COTs and COTS equivalent items take 138 steps, then getting new ships or aircraft which are essentially bespoke items = "we're doomed"  (and BTW, another member actually had a pair of the "new" zipper boots. After 130 steps to ensure they were procured, the zipper failed on the first weekend....The warehouse where he went to get the issued boots was already full of failed pairs of zipper boots where the zippers failed as people were trying them on for size).

The triumph of process over productivity.

That ****** should resign. Boots are bare essentials and the troops shouldn't have to pay out of pocket to get them.
Title: Re: Re: Cutting the CF/DND HQ bloat - Excess CF Sr Leadership, Public Servants and Contractors
Post by: Lean-N-Supreme on March 23, 2016, 00:39:29
Overheard this weekend. Apparently someone was at a town hall(?) with the new MND, and the issue of "why can't we get things like boots" came up. The answer was there were over 130 steps in the procurement bureaucracy that had to be taken (including those outside DND).
Can confirm this. I was there at the townhall a couple weeks ago.
Title: Re: Re: Cutting the CF/DND HQ bloat - Excess CF Sr Leadership, Public Servants and Contractors
Post by: jmt18325 on March 23, 2016, 01:53:11
That ****** should resign. Boots are bare essentials and the troops shouldn't have to pay out of pocket to get them.

Do you think this is a new process that the new MND brought in?
Title: Re: Re: Cutting the CF/DND HQ bloat - Excess CF Sr Leadership, Public Servants and Contractors
Post by: SeaKingTacco on March 23, 2016, 02:21:27
Do you think this is a new process that the new MND brought in?

No. But he is now the Minister. He now owns the problem.

Can't blame the Conservatives forever.
Title: Re: Re: Cutting the CF/DND HQ bloat - Excess CF Sr Leadership, Public Servants and Contractors
Post by: milnews.ca on March 23, 2016, 10:06:52
No. But he is now the Minister. He now owns the problem.

Can't blame the Conservatives forever.
Funny I didn't hear a load of calls for the resignation of the previous DefMin around these parts, then ...

Sincere question, here:  do we even know if the Minister (past or present) "knows" about the problem?  It's one thing to say it's been said @ a town hall, or mentioned in public posts on an online forum (where reporters can see the information, but choose not to act on it - probably because they'd never get anyone to speak on the record about being f**cked over), but does anyone here know if there's been official notification to levels that can make a difference that "hey, boots are so hard to come by that some recruits don't get any and have to buy them"?
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: George Wallace on March 23, 2016, 10:09:59
Well.....I am now wondering what his advice is on the best Pizza to buy.   >:D
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MCG on March 23, 2016, 10:19:11
That ****** should resign.
Gear down big rig.  I have heard "that ******" raise the same observation that there are so many steps in the procurement process and a lack of flexibility to treat simple kit any different from complicated capital.  He did it in the context of pointing out one of the problems he has discovered and intends to resolve.  Give him time to do something about it.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: milnews.ca on March 23, 2016, 10:23:17
Gear down big rig.  I have heard "that ******" raise the same observation that there are so many steps in the procurement process and a lack of flexibility to treat simple kit any different from complicated capital.  He did it in the context of pointing out one of the problems he has discovered and intends to resolve.  Give him time to do something about it.
There you go being reasonable - wherever are we going to be with THAT attitude?  ;D
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: jollyjacktar on March 23, 2016, 11:00:17
If we could just finally get PWGSC out of meddling with the process, it would vastly speed up the flash to bang.  They, are my true enemy as far as I'm concerned.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: PuckChaser on March 23, 2016, 11:17:44
Our project managers don't help either. Writing SORs that rule out everything but one supplier just sets us back further. Write what we need, and rule the crappy ones out in testing.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on March 23, 2016, 12:30:57
Our project managers don't help either. Writing SORs that rule out everything but one supplier just sets us back further. Write what we need, and rule the crappy ones out in testing.

You can start the weeding out a bit earlier than that by generating short lists of qualified suppliers and get yourself down to three vendors.  It doesn't matter if all of the vendors meet all of your requirements.  You pick three vendors with solid track records, preferably with you, but if not with people you trust, and allow them to provide their best option within the price and delivery constraints you have.

Then it becomes a relatively simple comparison of the compromises each vendor's solution requires you to make and which set of compromises you are willing to live with.   And you end up picking among the 75%, the 80% and the 85% solutions and making the selected solution work for you.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: milnews.ca on April 25, 2016, 21:10:24
A bit of a briefing note snapshot on the process (http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2016/04/25/bureaucrats-blocked-former-tory-governments-desire-to-buy-navy-landing-ships) ...
Quote
The bureaucracy at National Defence helped scuttle two attempts by the Harper government to acquire helicopter landing ships over the last few years, documents show.

The most high-profile of the cases involved the sale by France of two Mistral-class warships, which had originally been built for Russia, but were on the auction block after the Kremlin's annexation of Crimea.

Documents obtained by The Canadian Press under access to information legislation show former defence minister Jason Kenney received conflicting advice from top civilian and military commanders, but decided to ignore it and made a last-minute, personal pitch to French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Defence experts say the memos and briefings makes the current defence policy review by the Liberals more important because they underscore how the lack of clear direction can lead to in-fighting among bureaucrats with competing visions of what is necessary.

Kenney and Le Drian held a teleconference last June, a few months before President Francois Hollande's government decided to sell the 21,000-tonne vessels to Egypt.

The former Conservative government was interested in acquiring landing ships, which can carry troops, equipment and helicopters, as a way to boost the military's ability to respond quickly to trouble spots and humanitarian disasters around the world.

The documents reveal that, prior to discussions with the French, the Conservatives examined the idea of acquiring large, surplus British Bay-class amphibious ships — a proposal defence bureaucrats also shot down.

In his advice over the Mistral sale, deputy defence minister John Forster acknowledged that having such a capability would be a "strategic asset" to Canada, particularly in the Arctic, and allow the country to be "more self-sufficient in international operations, reduce dependency on allies, and assume greater leadership roles."

But then he went on — in a June 19, 2015 briefing — to provide a litany of reasons why the Conservative government should not go ahead, notably because the ships did not fit within the existing defence investment plans and would put unforeseen money pressures on National Defence "in the magnitude of billions of Canadian dollars." ...
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on April 25, 2016, 21:26:17
The most aggravating sound ever heard:  "You can't do that!"
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: jmt18325 on April 25, 2016, 21:33:07
The most aggravating sound ever heard:  "You can't do that!"

They weren't saying it couldn't be done.  They said it couldn't be done with money allocated - and they were right.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Good2Golf on April 25, 2016, 21:47:39
The most aggravating sound ever heard:  "You can't do that!"

Well...perhaps second to "The Most Annoying Sound in the World (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cVlTeIATBs)."  :nod:
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on April 25, 2016, 22:45:58
They weren't saying it couldn't be done.  They said it couldn't be done with money allocated - and they were right.

So tell me how much it would cost.  Let me decide if I can find the money, new or reallocated.

Plans are meant to be changed.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on April 25, 2016, 23:14:12
They weren't saying it couldn't be done.  They said it couldn't be done with money allocated - and they were right.

No, they weren't saying that jmt18325. Better read again.

They said two things (according to the article, which is all we have to go on):

"... notably because the ships (1) did not fit within the existing defence investment plans and (2) would put unforeseen money pressures on National Defence "in the magnitude of billions of Canadian dollars." ".

Number (1) is obviously true: Anything that is not already in the investment plan does not fit within the investment plan by definition. However, that is not a valid financial reason not to modify an investment plan, and any such change is the purview of the elected politicians, not the permanent officials whose job it is to advise only.

Number (2) is, simply put, complete civil service bullshit. First of all, this very  "billions" of pressure are "unforeseen", which is another way for the civili servant to say : we ain't got a clue but will hypothesize you could spend extra billions, its possible, just as you may not - who knows? We don't. And the civil service hasn't a clue unless they talk to the uniformed personnel on what is involved in the Navy manning and getting up to speed on those ships within its current framework (which in any event had been lightened by the retirement of two destroyers and two AOR's). The Navy must have thought they could do it because, as you may recall from earlier posts in this thread, the CDS was of the view and wished to advise the government that we should acquire them. You may rest assured that the CDS did not come up with such view without first consulting with the Admiral, who himself must have sounded the Naval Board informally.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MarkOttawa on April 25, 2016, 23:18:15
Blah, blah, blah.

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: jmt18325 on April 26, 2016, 00:08:42
No, they weren't saying that jmt18325. Better read again.

They said two things (according to the article, which is all we have to go on):

"... notably because the ships (1) did not fit within the existing defence investment plans and (2) would put unforeseen money pressures on National Defence "in the magnitude of billions of Canadian dollars." ".

That's exactly how I read that - we don't have the money.  If you want the ships, allocate more. 

Beyond that, the Conservatives underfunded the plan they already had.  The idea that we could have had things outside of that plan without sacrificing even more inside of the plan.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: jmt18325 on April 26, 2016, 00:09:20
So tell me how much it would cost.  Let me decide if I can find the money, new or reallocated.

Plans are meant to be changed.

You and I would have found the money to buy those ships.  Jason Kenney would have found the money.  Stephen Harper...not so much.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on April 26, 2016, 00:43:51
I'll assume you are voicing an opinion.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: jmt18325 on April 26, 2016, 01:06:14
I'll assume you are voicing an opinion.

DND, as broken as it is, was right (in my opinion) to protect itself from yet another expense that it couldn't afford within the framework it was given.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Good2Golf on April 26, 2016, 01:52:00
DND, as broken as it is, was right (in my opinion) to protect itself from yet another expense that it couldn't afford within the framework it was given.

Unless an amphib capability, such as it could have been, was deemed by the Government of the day to be worthy of reprioritization within the Department's capabilities and concomitant re-allocation of monies within the Investment Plan.

Regards
G2G
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Colin P on April 26, 2016, 11:35:09
The amphib and helicopter support these ships could have given us, would have payed dividends down the road and would force a change in focus even for the army and to an extent the air force. The ships could be a secure transport for NATO forces even without Canadian troops/helicopters aboard, not to mention a mobile base of operations for a variety of missions.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on April 26, 2016, 12:10:25
The amphib and helicopter support these ships could have given us, would have payed dividends down the road and would force a change in focus even for the army and to an extent the air force. The ships could be a secure transport for NATO forces even without Canadian troops/helicopters aboard, not to mention a mobile base of operations for a variety of missions.

Amen, said the choir.

But, and there is always the but, I continue to wonder if all of our defence establishment is on board with a capable expeditionary force, or are there elements within the structure that see their role as one of limiting or governing or even restricting that capability.

After all, there was an element opposed to the C17s.  Their acquisition, together with the CC-130s and CH-147s and the arming of the CH-146s led the CAF down a new, in my opinion, more useful trail.

The amphibs would do the same, this time bringing the RCN into the mix.





Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: dapaterson on April 26, 2016, 12:13:46
It is the Government that decides.  Not the staff.  If staff say "This isn't in the plan", Government can say "Yes, you're right, so we won't do it" or "Well then, change the plan".

Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Retired AF Guy on April 26, 2016, 12:18:05
A bit of a briefing note snapshot on the process (http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2016/04/25/bureaucrats-blocked-former-tory-governments-desire-to-buy-navy-landing-ships-2/#.Vx6wk3r52AW) ...

Link to article seems to be dead. Here is an  updated one (http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2016/04/26/bureaucrats-blocked-former-tory-governments-desire-to-buy-navy-landing-ships/).

Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: jmt18325 on April 26, 2016, 12:51:35
Unless an amphib capability, such as it could have been, was deemed by the Government of the day to be worthy of reprioritization within the Department's capabilities and concomitant re-allocation of monies within the Investment Plan.


From their perspective, there wasn't money to reprioritize.  The plan is already underfunded due to years of cuts.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on April 26, 2016, 14:10:02
It is the Government that decides.  Not the staff.  If staff say "This isn't in the plan", Government can say "Yes, you're right, so we won't do it" or "Well then, change the plan".

Agreed but....

If the Government gets the word from the Staff, the experts, that the price is high and the timeline is long, then the Government is less likely to do anything other than what the Staff wants.

I believe the process is variously known as situating the estimate or gilding the lily.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MilEME09 on April 26, 2016, 15:37:29
At the end of the day it is a loss for the Navy, and the CAF, because a group of bureaucrats didn't want it to happen, even when the military and the minister did. Kinda tells you who has the real power in the department.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: jmt18325 on April 26, 2016, 15:44:22
At the end of the day it is a loss for the Navy, and the CAF, because a group of bureaucrats didn't want it to happen, even when the military and the minister did. Kinda tells you who has the real power in the department.

I think the message was, if you want this, we need more money.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: dapaterson on April 26, 2016, 15:58:44
So, on re-reading the article, "... former defence minister Jason Kenney received conflicting advice from top civilian and military commanders, but decided to ignore it and made a last-minute, personal pitch to French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian."

Or, in other words, the minister read the advice he was given and took action on his own to contact the French - and then stopped.  Not bureaucratic advice.  Ministerial decision.

Ultimately it is the elected officials who are accountable.  Blaming someone else is convenient politics, but very bad public policy.  Ministers are accountable for their decisions.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: milnews.ca on April 26, 2016, 17:40:29
Link to article seems to be dead. Here is an  updated one (http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2016/04/26/bureaucrats-blocked-former-tory-governments-desire-to-buy-navy-landing-ships/).
Thanks for that - fixed the original link.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on April 27, 2016, 09:20:24
So, on re-reading the article, "... former defence minister Jason Kenney received conflicting advice from top civilian and military commanders, but decided to ignore it and made a last-minute, personal pitch to French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian."

Or, in other words, the minister read the advice he was given and took action on his own to contact the French - and then stopped.  Not bureaucratic advice.  Ministerial decision.

Ultimately it is the elected officials who are accountable.  Blaming someone else is convenient politics, but very bad public policy.  Ministers are accountable for their decisions.


Bingo!

And every single Canadian prime minister after John Diefenbaker was/is complicit is in trying to deny ministerial accountability and, thereby, weakening the Westminster system of responsible (accountable to parliament) government which has been built, slowly and painfully for 700+ or even, one might say, for 1,000+ years.

The Americans have a good system of representative, constitutional democracy ... good, but not as "good" as ours which is much more democratic. But we seem intent on following the US cultural lead, even when it is, demonstrably, not a good thing. That is indicative of a socio-cultural weakness on our collective part: we, Canadians, lack confidence so we look at the "big kid" next door and do what he does, even when he is wrong. We lack confidence because the "big kid" is bigger, stronger, richer and so on and we want to be like him ... but without doing the hard things he does to stay in top form.

Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on April 27, 2016, 10:26:33
I have to say that part of the report baffled me a bit: If minister Kenny wanted to get those ships and spoke with the French about it, I would tend to think the French would have welcomed Canadian ownership over Egyptian one any day.

But two things here: First, no one ever heard anything about it, which would mean that it was not  Kenny making a decision to acquire and then turning the department on to get it done. Second, if such "decision" was made to approach the French, wouldn't that have required assent of the PM before getting on with talks with the French - something that would have been noted somewhere in the briefing note also?

It seems to me more likely that what is referred to here, when talking about the minister, is that he, alone and on his own, might have approached the French government (likely his counterpart) to try and have them stall making their decision so he could work the idea through cabinet or the caucus and gain support for it.

Should that be the case, we are not dealing with ministerial accountability because the idea went nowhere outside the minister's own personal views: It never became expressed as government policy.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Underway on April 28, 2016, 17:05:02
...
And every single Canadian prime minister after John Diefenbaker was/is complicit is in trying to deny ministerial accountability and, thereby, weakening the Westminster system of responsible (accountable to parliament) government ....
I'm not entirely sure what you mean regarding complicit in denying accountability.  Can you please expand on that point?
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on April 30, 2016, 08:05:04
I'm not entirely sure what you mean regarding complicit in denying accountability.  Can you please expand on that point?

Certainly ...

The essence of our system is that a ministry (cabinet) is responsible to Parliament, and thereby, to the people. The ministry must always have the confidence of the House of Commons in order to govern; periodic elections are our way of affirming the public's trust in Parliament. Concomitantly, individual ministers are accountable, to Parliament (usually the HoC, but maybe in the Senate) for whatever happens in their departments. They may bring staff to committee meetings to help with detail but, in principle, the responsibility rests on the minister's shoulders.

Back in the 1950s and 60s (before, too, I suppose) it was fairly normal for ministers to resign when their department (not them, personally) blundered. They resigned, publicly, and sat on the back benches, often only for six months or so, while their reputation was refurbished ~ political memories are short ~ although some could never recover.

Starting in about 1970 we began to see a much more "businesslike" approach to politics and ministers morphed into executives instead of servants. It became less and less common for ministers to resign, even when their departments were rocked by scandals and mismanagement ... think about e.g. Bryce Mackasey, who was something of a poster child for ministerial unaccountability when he was e.g. Postmaster General, Labour Minister and Minister of Immigration and all of those departments were shaken by scandals but Minister Mackasey survived them all, immune to calls for his resignation as an act of accountability. Prime Minister Mulroney was talking about Bryce Mackasey when he made his "no ***** like an old *****" quip (re: patronage) but he, Mulroney, kept Trudeau's system of protecting ministers and, therefore, protecting the Party's brand, by refusing to allow ministers to resign when their departments screwed up.

It was fairly common, in the 1950s and '60s for ministers to rise in the House to "correct" misstatements made in response to questions. It was a tiny bit of public humiliation that served to remind Canadians, parliamentarians and ministers that they, the ministers, were personally responsible for everything that came out of or was done by their whole department, even one as big as DND. But that stopped in the 1970s, when the "professionals" took over the political process and decided that even a little, tiny bit of ritual humiliation was too much and we began to see situations where whole departments had to revise policies and projects to accommodate misstatements or even off the cuff remarks made by the PM or ministers in the house.

Now, I am not pining for the "good old days," there is, actually, some real principles involved in ministerial accountability and a proper system, in which ministers can be held to account, does not have to twist and squirm and waste countless millions in bureaucratic fictions to "cover" for a simple, honest, ministerial misstatement of fact. In a properly functions system of accountability/responsibility PMs do not need to wait for colossal, public ministerial bungles ...

          (https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lop.parl.gc.ca%2FParlInfo%2Fimages%2FPicture.aspx%3FItem%3D1bae908b-c421-4147-92e5-fe76a55c266f&hash=b7c310c0ae55409c316b780630c886ef) (https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lop.parl.gc.ca%2FParlInfo%2Fimages%2FPicture.aspx%3FItem%3D6cd25e8f-bb87-43d2-a3c7-d9d4c8112eba&hash=fbb8354af808c011414e3410fe20d9fc) (https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mofa.go.jp%2Fpolicy%2Feconomy%2Fapec%2F1995%2Fimage%2Fandre.gif&hash=f326f64cda93197fe1813599902c568b) (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4b/Bev_Oda_UNDP_2010.jpg/220px-Bev_Oda_UNDP_2010.jpg)
... before they "get rid of the losers," the bridge players say.

The system is, therefore, weaker because an important safety valve is not being used.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MCG on July 29, 2016, 02:38:51
Have any participants of this thread dropped their thoughts here:
http://www.defenceconsultations.ca/defence-capabilities-future-force/forum_topics/what-additional-measures-could-the-department-of-national-defence-undertake-along-with-partner-departments-to-improve-defence-procurement1

I know we have plenty of members with experience in the area from requirements definition through to implementation.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: CBH99 on July 29, 2016, 03:58:14
I truly hope the government listens to some of the ideas posted on that thread.  A lot of what has been said here for years, and some really common sense suggestions that would streamline a lot of the complications we currently have.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Good2Golf on July 29, 2016, 07:49:13
Have any participants of this thread dropped their thoughts here:
http://www.defenceconsultations.ca/defence-capabilities-future-force/forum_topics/what-additional-measures-could-the-department-of-national-defence-undertake-along-with-partner-departments-to-improve-defence-procurement1

I know we have plenty of members with experience in the area from requirements definition through to implementation.

 :nod:

...on my second day of retirement.  ;)

G2G
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MilEME09 on July 29, 2016, 14:57:05
I do hope the government listens and reforms the process, it should not take over half a decade to buy trucks, boots, and other equipment. I firmly believe that if process wasn't so broken we would have a lot more additional funds available to purchase equipment.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MarkOttawa on August 22, 2016, 16:57:53
Just made official--note Stephane Dion has been included (I speculate as to why):

Quote
Yes, Virginia, There is a Canadian “Cabinet Committee on Defence Procurement”
https://cgai3ds.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/mark-collins-yes-virginia-there-is-a-canadian-cabinet-committee-on-defence-procurement/

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: jollyjacktar on November 22, 2016, 16:59:31
Lieberals are looking at the F-18 Super Hornets as the close the capability gap measure with a purchase of 18 aircraft.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/fighter-jet-purchase-announcement-1.3862210
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on November 22, 2016, 17:58:26
Lieberals are looking at the F-18 Super Hornets as the close the capability gap measure with a purchase of 18 aircraft.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/fighter-jet-purchase-announcement-1.3862210

JJT - conversation going on over here

http://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,120786.msg1464887.html#msg1464887

In the meantime - According to this from Mercedes Stephenson they are not committing to buying they are committing to "explore the acquisition" -

Mercedes Stephenson ‏@CTVMercedes  4h4 hours ago Ottawa, Ontario
Govt says they will enter into discussions with US and Boeing about "use of these jets" re 18 Super Hornets. Weird language #cdnpoli #caf

 Mercedes Stephenson ‏@CTVMercedes  4h4 hours ago Ottawa, Ontario
#Breaking Canada will "immediately explore the acquisition of 18 Super Hornets" as interim buy #cdnpoli #CAF
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: jollyjacktar on November 22, 2016, 20:32:16
Thanks,  lousy search parameters of mine, it didn't come up.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MarkOttawa on December 11, 2016, 16:17:46
From the Libarary of Parliament:

Quote
The Evolution of Defence Procurement in Canada
http://www.lop.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2016-09-e.html?cat=international

Via Prof. Philippe Lagassé on twitter:
https://twitter.com/pmlagasse/status/807992348869349377

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MarkOttawa on December 13, 2016, 13:06:23
Matthew Fisher bang on:

Quote
New book pleads for fix to Canada’s dysfunctional military procurement system

The new book Charlie Foxtrot: Fixing Defence Procurement in Canada [ https://www.amazon.ca/Charlie-Foxtrot-Fixing-Defence-Procurement/dp/1459736753 ] is a “cri de coeur” for political leaders to forge a bipartisan approach when deciding what to buy for the Canadian Armed Forces.


The author, Kim Nossal, is not delusional. The Queen’s University professor [ http://www.queensu.ca/politics/people/faculty/kim-richard-nossal ] recognizes that for this to happen “involves a considerable leap of faith.” However, given how procurement blunders have “degraded the Canadian military,” he argues a better way must be found to replace them than the largely dysfunctional procurement system that exists at present.

Charlie Foxtrot — military shorthand for “clusterf—” — is particularly relevant today because the Liberal government is seemingly intent on equaling if not surpassing the their Conservative predecessors’ brutal mishandling of the multi-billion dollar programme to finally buy new fighter jets [see "What Stinking RCAF Fighter “Capability Gap” for NORAD and NATO?" https://cgai3ds.wordpress.com/2016/12/01/mark-collins-what-stinking-rcaf-fighter-capability-gap-for-norad-and-nato/ ]...

It has not only been the politicians who are to blame for Canada’s politicized procurement process. The media treat procurement as political theatre. There is little dispassionate analysis of the choices and the dilemmas involved in buying equipment that must last for decades in an environment where technological advances can render many acquisitions quickly obsolete [emphasis added, OH SO SADLY TRUE].

The government, for its part, has never hired enough procurement specialists, a problems that bogs down every purchasing process. Nossal argues that if Canada matched what its allies spend on a GNP basis, a lot of these problems would disappear. As it is, he writes, too many programs are always chasing too few dollars.

Nossal’s inevitable conclusion is that the “root cause” of Canada’s procurement failures has been an absence of political leadership. Governments have been able to get away with botching procurement for years because “the consequences of decisions made by one Parliament will not be felt until much later, usually well past the next general election.”

The only practical solution, Nossal says, is for Canada’s two leading political parties to create a bipartisan approach to defence procurement...There is zero chance that even an exceptionally brave Canadian politician would dare embrace such an obvious and honourable idea [OH SO SADLY TRUE]. Still, Charlie Foxtrot is worth reading to understand how much Canada would benefit if its leaders confounded voters and actually took the high road.
http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/matthew-fisher-new-book-pleads-for-fix-to-canadas-dysfunctional-military-procurement-system

Lots more on the constant Canadian procurement morass:
https://cgai3ds.wordpress.com/tag/procurement/

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Journeyman on December 13, 2016, 13:17:23
Quote
Governments have been able to get away with botching procurement for years because “the consequences of decisions made by one Parliament will not be felt until much later, usually well past the next general election.”
In the case of the delaying the CF-18 replacement, the current government isn't looking to "get away" with it, they're counting on it, by shelving any substantive discussion (which would include the F-35) until after the next election.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: dapaterson on December 13, 2016, 13:24:37
In the case of the delaying the CF-18 replacement, the current government isn't looking to "get away" with it, they're counting on it, by shelving any substantive discussion (which would include the F-35) until after the next election.

Except that, unlike their predecessors who also punted things past the next election, this government is at least acknowledging that the status quo is unsustainable and requires a Band-Aid solution.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Journeyman on December 13, 2016, 13:29:59
.... requires a Band-Aid solution.
Which the RCAF says isn't required.  Either the government or the Air Force has a 'credibility gap.'
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: dapaterson on December 13, 2016, 13:45:02
Which the RCAF says isn't required.  Either the government or the Air Force has a 'credibility gap.'

Given the length of the procurement cycle, is it reasonable to assume that a post 2019 decision would have aircraft in place in time to address the legacy Hornet replacement timeline?  Or is ordering an interim capability now a prudent measure?

Sort of like: We bought interim Chinooks for Afghanistan, when we could have just waited for 450 Sqn to be stood up and outfitted...
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: PuckChaser on December 13, 2016, 15:19:20
Sort of like: We bought interim Chinooks for Afghanistan, when we could have just waited for 450 Sqn to be stood up and outfitted...

You're equating people dying on roads because we didn't have integral helicopter lift to the current government changing how many fighters we need ready at any given time to justify their insistence to buy Super Hornets? Also the fact that the Chinook was literally the only medium lift helicopter around that wasn't Russian, whereas we can buy any number of Gen 4/5 aircraft to fit the bill?
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: jmt18325 on December 13, 2016, 17:11:39
So we picked the one most like the one we fly.  Why would we pick a different one?
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: PuckChaser on December 13, 2016, 17:27:15
So we picked the one most like the one we fly.  Why would we pick a different one?

Or you stop screwing around and announce the actual replacement instead of raiding money from the replacement pot to pay for a political promise? The Liberals are scared the F-35 would win, so the "5 year" plan is out there to get it after the next election. They're going to legalize pot with a 6 month task force report, and do a "complete" defense policy review in less than a year, but we can't buy a fighter aircraft after 20 years without 5 more years of punting the football?

We could have announced any number of COAs that weren't buying the SH: Take over retiring USN/USMC aircraft, get old airframes for parts from Monahan, rebuilt old airframes from those at Monahan. All completely viable.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: dapaterson on December 13, 2016, 17:46:22
Wow!  An aeronautical engineer, a cost analyst, a project approval expert, and FMS case expert, and a project management expert all rolled into one.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Loachman on December 13, 2016, 18:08:14
Why would we pick a different one?.

Because one of the different ones is superior and will be cheaper over its lifetime...?
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: FSTO on December 13, 2016, 19:07:54
Because one of the different ones is superior and will be cheaper over its lifetime...?

But that would violate the Canadian Government Prime Directive; Spend 20 bucks to save 10 cents!
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Eye In The Sky on December 13, 2016, 19:22:51
So we picked the one most like the one we fly.  Why would we pick a different one?

 :facepalm: holy frig, over.  We aren't buying a new car for Granny. 
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Loachman on December 13, 2016, 19:52:18
Given the length of the procurement cycle, is it reasonable to assume that a post 2019 decision would have aircraft in place in time to address the legacy Hornet replacement timeline?  Or is ordering an interim capability now a prudent measure?

An honest and logical decision could be made now and we could be accepting F35s by then.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MilEME09 on December 14, 2016, 02:10:11
Hitting the nail on the head

Quote
Matt Gurney: Australia is a grown-up country. We aren’t

Last week, my colleague Matthew Fisher, Postmedia’s senior international writer, had a column in the Post noting, correctly, that Australia has a lot to teach Canada about national security.

“What has evolved Down Under is an all-party consensus that robustly defending Australia is a top-level national interest,” he wrote. “Decisions on strategic policy, defence budgets and procurement policies reflect that. A common vision on security supercedes everything.”

In in other words, when it comes to defence matters, Australia is a grown-up country. Canada, sadly, isn’t. We have no coherent national security vision, haven’t upgraded our official defence plans through a white paper since I was in grade school, regularly reverse major military policies when we change governments, and can’t seem to organize a proper military procurement program to save our lives (or, more to the point, the lives of Canadian personnel who might have to go into action in outdated or inappropriate equipment — recall the Iltis jeeps we first sent to Afghanistan). The Canadian Forces work miracles with what they have, but they don’t have enough. Not enough equipment, not enough units, not enough manpower, not enough training time.

Fisher is right to note that Australia’s political culture is simply more advanced on these matters than ours. But the problem, as I see it, is more public than political. In Australia, I don’t know what came first: the chicken of political maturity or the egg of public expectations of same. But I do know that in Canada, our political immaturity isn’t a glitch or anomaly. It’s an entirely predictable and understandable, if unacceptable, byproduct of the Canadian public’s low literacy on military matters.

As Fisher notes in his column, the easy explanation for Australia’s comparative maturity is that it is isolated and alone, in a rough neighbourhood, far from its major Anglosphere allies. If Australia was suddenly threatened by one of its neighbours, even if its allies came rushing with aid, it could still take weeks or months to rally a major force (there are some U.S. units in the Pacific at all times, of course, and a contingent of U.S. Marines is always in Australia, as a tangible sign of U.S. commitment, but not enough to win a war). That’s the easy explanation, granted, and probably not the full one, but it’s actually probably true enough.

Canada, of course, is in the opposite position. Our closest ally and primary military partner is literally next door, and would protect us because our stability and sovereignty are essential to its own security. We don’t have to think about national defence, or invest heavily in it, so we don’t. We should, because that’s what sovereign countries and reliable allies do, and it would allow us to be a much greater force for good in a world that could indeed use more Canada. But you admittedly can’t make a case for a larger, more capable Canadian military force on the basis of literal need. So we don’t talk about it at all.

But there’s another issue at play here. It’s not entirely separate from having our big, heavily armed brother next door, but it’s distinct enough to note on its own: Canadians don’t understand the military because, in general, we don’t see it. It’s out of sight and largely out of mind. Canadians support their troops. They admire the military and respect the courage of our armed forces personnel. But it’s not a top of mind issue because the Armed Forces are generally tucked out of the way in remote areas of the country, far from our major population (and cultural) centres. With the exception of small arsenals, most of the military’s real estate in the big cities was sold off years ago. I’m sure it fetched a pretty penny.

We barely teach history at all in the schools, and what we do teach downplays our military conflicts. We don’t have officer training programs on post-secondary campuses, where students could get some exposure to the military and the kind of people who choose to serve in it (though some associates of mine are working to change that). And because our military has been very small since the end of the Second World War, there are many Canadians, including generations who came here after the 1940s, who may not have a single serving member or veteran in their families. Indeed, I recall the first time I ever saw a Canadian soldier in real life. I was probably 13 or 14 years old, and it was one poor guy walking home from a bus depot, hauling a gigantic backpack through frigid winter cold. I stared at the poor man. I was amazed to actually see a soldier, a real one, in public, in Toronto’s suburbs. It was unheard of.

If Canadians had more exposure to the Armed Forces, if they felt more of a sense of understanding and ownership of the military, and the incredible role it plays at home and abroad, we wouldn’t let the politicians get away with the shameful neglect that has been the reality of governments Liberal and Conservative. Recruitment shortfalls would be big news. Military procurement debacles would be public scandals, not fodder for mostly ignored auditors-general reports and the odd oped or column, a distressing proportion of which are written by Fisher and me, along with a few other colleagues.

But we don’t. And our politicians will continue to treat the military like an afterthought for as long as there’s no public demand for better. If our friends in Australia have any advice on how to change our entire cultural perspective on this matter, I hope they don’t keep it a secret.

National Post
mgurney@nationalpost.com
Twitter.com/MattGurney



Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: ballz on January 18, 2017, 21:15:32
Just wondering, are there any countries (NATO or other developed, democratic nations) that people feel have a functioning / ideal model for military procurement? And how does their model work?

I have heard something about the Netherlands literally waiting for NATO partners to do their procurement and then essentially buying the stuff they liked best. Not sure the truth behind this or the details of how it actually works though.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Good2Golf on January 18, 2017, 22:07:05
Aussies aren't bad, and the Kiwis are following fairly well. :nod:

Regards
G2G
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: ballz on January 18, 2017, 22:17:54
Aussies aren't bad, and the Kiwis are following fairly well. :nod:

Regards
G2G

What is the jist of how theirs works?

I was at a conference where a woman from the industry spoke about how our system worked and the problems its caused for everyone including the companies trying to meet the needs of the SOR. Question period came at the end and I never thought of it at the time, but I wish I would have asked her if she had a "model" country and how their system worked.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Good2Golf on January 18, 2017, 23:36:01
Australian Defence Procurement Policy Manual (DPPM) (http://www.defence.gov.au/casg/Multimedia/DPPM_March_2016_Entire-9-5247.pdf).
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: AK on January 19, 2017, 08:28:52
It is however, easier for Australian and New Zealand to make major equipment purchasers because they don't have the in-country military/industrial complex that we do. 
Our politicians are unlikely to ever allow the purchase of a major piece of equipment simply because it is the most appropriate; the buy also has to bring substantial economic benefits into the correct ridings.  And in this risk-adverse era, the fact that awarding any major contract is likely to lead to legal challenges from the losing companies gives the high-priced help cold feet. Far easier to waffle and push necessary buys to the right rather than assume the risk.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Dimsum on January 19, 2017, 10:19:14
It is however, easier for Australian and New Zealand to make major equipment purchasers because they don't have the in-country military/industrial complex that we do. 

For the Aussies, you're partially right.  They do have a shipbuilding industry - hence why their ships are built in Australia and their attendant issues (the Collins-class sub replacement program, for one).  They don't really have much in the way of a MIC like us in other things though.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: RDBZ on January 19, 2017, 15:00:04
For the Aussies, you're partially right.  They do have a shipbuilding industry - hence why their ships are built in Australia and their attendant issues (the Collins-class sub replacement program, for one).  They don't really have much in the way of a MIC like us in other things though.

Thats's correct about shipbuilding, but not so much the latter.  A few other examples of Australian defence industry: small arms production, radar design and construction, conversion of A330 into KC-30s, E-7A integration, component manufacture for F-35, design and manufacture of vehicles eg Bushmaster and Hawkei.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MilEME09 on January 20, 2017, 22:27:54
Now maybe this is a crazy Idea but given our track record vs our allies in procuring equipment, would it not be maybe a good idea to invite our allies in and say "here is our system, give us a fresh set of eyes on how to make it better" because if you ask me everyone on that file was trained by the previous people, and it has not turned out well.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Dimsum on January 21, 2017, 01:24:30
Now maybe this is a crazy Idea but given our track record vs our allies in procuring equipment, would it not be maybe a good idea to invite our allies in and say "here is our system, give us a fresh set of eyes on how to make it better" because if you ask me everyone on that file was trained by the previous people, and it has not turned out well.

It would work up until the moment Govt optics thinks "the military doesn't trust us" or worse, "they would rather another country fact-check our processes".

ie. makes sense on paper, hence why ego/politics would never allow it.  They'd also take one look at the Irving/Quebec issues and say "well, you're screwed."
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Journeyman on January 21, 2017, 09:59:03
Now maybe this is a crazy Idea but given our track record vs our allies in procuring equipment, would it not be maybe a good idea to invite our allies in .....
Not required. There is no shortage of analyses (and outright, but informed, rants) on causes and solutions.

One of the better ones is available via Amazon.ca (https://www.amazon.ca/Charlie-Foxtrot-Fixing-Defence-Procurement/dp/1459736753) for as little a $7.69: 
Kim Richard Nossal, Charlie Foxtrot: Fixing Defence Procurement in Canada  (2016).

Knowing and addressing what's wrong has never been the problem;  the stumbling block has persistently been...... well, go to the Amazon site, click on LOOK INSIDE!, and read the available parts of the conclusion (p.166-169).  You'll see that it's nothing new. 

What is required is the government of the day -- regardless of party  -- to make hard decisions, accepting that some constituencies will be unhappy. 

And good luck getting that to happen.
 

Fine print:  The author is a friend;  I did not, however, get paid for recommending this book.   ;)
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: ballz on January 21, 2017, 11:08:51
Australian Defence Procurement Policy Manual (DPPM) (http://www.defence.gov.au/casg/Multimedia/DPPM_March_2016_Entire-9-5247.pdf).

Thanks.

Not required. There is no shortage of analyses (and outright, but informed, rants) on causes and solutions.

One of the better ones is available via Amazon.ca (https://www.amazon.ca/Charlie-Foxtrot-Fixing-Defence-Procurement/dp/1459736753) for as little a $7.69: 
Kim Richard Nossal, Charlie Foxtrot: Fixing Defence Procurement in Canada  (2016).

Knowing and addressing what's wrong has never been the problem;  the stumbling block has persistently been...... well, go to the Amazon site, click on LOOK INSIDE!, and read the available parts of the conclusion (p.166-169).  You'll see that it's nothing new. 

What is required is the government of the day -- regardless of party  -- to make hard decisions, accepting that some constituencies will be unhappy. 

And good luck getting that to happen.
 

Fine print:  The author is a friend;  I did not, however, get paid for recommending this book.   ;)

Thanks. I'll be picking that up.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on January 24, 2017, 00:42:38
USMC "short-circuiting" the system - Apparently joining the US Army and the USAF.

Quote
Marines stand up rapid capabilities office

By: Mark Pomerleau, January 23, 2017

The Marine Corps is following in the footsteps of the Air Force and Army before it, though more subtly, in establishing a rapid capabilities office, C4ISRNET has learned.

Officially launched in December of 2016 and housed at the Warfighting Lab at Quantico, Virginia, the new office was created to “accelerate prototyping, demonstration, experimentation, and limited equipping of emerging capabilities.” The ultimate goal is increasing the operating force’s survivability and lethality as well as informing future force requirements and investment planning, officials said in a statement. “The Marine Corps RCO seeks to reduce the time between requirement identification and delivery of warfighting capabilities to the operating forces.”

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller “directed the establishment of the Marine Corps Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) to accelerate the identification, assessment and development of emergent capabilities that will inform future requirements and enterprise investment planning for the acquisition process,” Masco Settles, the RCO’s deputy director, told C4ISRNET via email. The office’s initial mission set will include unmanned logistics transport platforms, sea-based expeditionary fires and ship-to-shore maneuver exploration and experimentation (S2ME2), Settles added.

The Army RCO, which was unveiled in a much more public fashion by outgoing secretary Eric Fanning in August, is currently focusing on delivering the ability to operate in electronic warfare-contested or GPS-denied environments, as well as trying to accelerate the Army’s capabilities in cyber.

In line with other similar efforts across the joint force, the Marine RCO will have a prototyping component. “The RCO will lead and build collaborative partnerships with a variety of organizations in the joint, naval, Marine Corps and commercial sectors to maximize resources and to provide venues to rapidly conduct operational assessments of relevant capability prototypes,” Settles said.

The RCO will draw upon several other Marine Corps and DoD components such as Marine Corps Systems Command, Department of Defense Joint Test and Evaluation Program, Defense Innovation Unit-Experimental, Strategic Capabilities Office, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Marine Corps Operational Test and Evaluation Activity, Program Executive Office Land Systems and Marine Corps Special Operations Command.

Moreover, the RCO has been chartered in partnership with the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, Test & Evaluation and the Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration to lead the S2ME2 task force. This task force will look to improve on how Naval forces conduct future amphibious operations in contested littoral operating environments.

Officials have previously expressed how unmanned technologies can assist in amphibious assault challenges, acting as the first wave off a ship.

The Marines are planning for a technical assessment in April 2017 at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, followed by an operational assessment in the Fall of 2017 at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, for the task force.

Settles noted the RCO will have acquisition and funding authorities leveraging strategic partnerships and legal authorities as to allow it to learn through rapid prototyping assessments, all to enhance equipping the force in a timely and efficient manner.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: jollyjacktar on March 07, 2017, 14:03:42
Very cutting commentary and not the least bit unfair, to be frank.  Shared under the fair dealing provisions of the copyright act.

Quote
John Robson: We defeated the Nazis in less time than it takes to order a combat knapsack
John Robson | March 7, 2017 11:26 AM ET
Aha! Progress at last on the fighter plane file. At least progress as defined in the public sector. And they get away with it because they wear us down.

According to Monday’s National Post, “The Liberal government plans to request bids for a new fleet of fighter jets as early as 2019.” Hey, that’s only about two years. Whoosh. Talk about supersonic. Finally.

Until you realize they’re promising to take two years to ask people to send them tentative descriptions of something they might eventually build if the government eventually says yes to it. Realistically, we might get whatever emerges from this process when? In the next decade? The next century? After the next election?

There’s the rub. Politically speaking, the announcement is perfectly timed. It tends to neutralize criticism of the Liberals for (a) pledging an open competition with a predetermined outcome; (b) doing nothing while our armed forces fall to rusty bits; and (c) recklessly wasting money.

Remember this story? “The Conservative government will be able to go into the next federal election saying it is delivering on its shipbuilding plan, although the program faces delays and increased budgets.” (Ottawa Citizen, January 2015.) Plus ca change.

The Liberals may still be rigging the competition, doing nothing useful and wasting money, of course. Even on the costly “interim” Super Hornets of limited military value, the Post says “the government expects a deal in place by the end of 2017 or early 2018”.

Again, it sounds brisk and businesslike until you realize they plan to take about a year to sign off on already-chosen “off-the-shelf” airplanes in service since … wait for it… a long time … 1999. What exactly are we pondering?

Don’t say up-to-date interoperable avionics. The Australian Air Force flies dozens of Super Hornets and the U.S. Navy has literally hundreds. They probably have modern computers in them.

I sometimes wonder if anybody in our Department of National Defence knows the Second World War took just under six years from the invasion of Poland to the surrender of Japan, from cavalry and biplanes to jet fighters and nuclear bombs. In that time Canada went from six obsolete tanks and soldiers manoeuvring with sticks going “Bang” at one another to the fourth-most powerful nation in the world.

The First World War only took four and a quarter years, from the invasion of Belgium to the armistice/surrender of November 1918, and from pilots firing revolvers at one another over cavalry regiments to 200 horsepower fighters with synchronized machine guns above clashing tanks. And progress is far more rapid today; there was no such thing as a “tablet” before 2010 and there’s hardly a child alive in the West today who isn’t more familiar with one than with hopscotch or sunlight.

The problem is, we’re numb by now, after the Sea King saga, those used British subs or three years spent not developing a “combat bra.” In 2004 the Post wrote breathlessly of new military supply ships being “launched in 2015.” Eleven years later, we sometimes rent one from Chile. Yawn.

When our destroyers rusted out, a Navy press release boasted “Royal Canadian Navy Begins Transition to the Future Fleet.” Yeah. Land-based. We also spent almost a dozen years trying to buy military knapsacks and wound up with a “CF Small Pack Load Carriage System.” One shudders to think of the manpower expended on that appalling name alone, never mind the cost premium over off-the-shelf packs people just climb mountains with.

Now you may object that knapsacks and bras are more familiar than “fifth-generation” fighters. True. But this file did not just suddenly land on the desks of interested parties.

The issue of replacing Canada’s aging CF-18 Hornets, in use since 1983, has been on the radar since Chrétien’s first term. Canada first became involved in the “Joint Strike Fighter” program that led to the F-35 in 1997, 20 years ago. About as long as it took to get from the First World War to the Second. What on earth does the government not know today about the operational requirements for a new fighter plane, or the capacities of various contenders, that it will know in two years?

Bupkis. Yet according to something called Public Services and Procurement Canada, “Planning for the competition is already underway and we anticipate a request for proposals will be issued in 2019.” Planning for the competition will take as long as from the Fall of France to El Alamein. Or from now to Liberal re-election. Whatever.

What the government really just announced is that the procurement logjam is tentatively planned to break after the next election maybe, a bit, conceptually in the early stages, with superb gear they can’t name at prices they can’t estimate on a timeline they can’t lay out.

Don’t applaud. It just encourages them.

National Post

http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/john-robson-we-defeated-the-nazis-in-less-time-than-it-takes-to-order-a-combat-knapsack
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Eye In The Sky on March 07, 2017, 15:36:36
Folks can say what they want...I like it.  We need more people to say it like it is, and right now *its* usually a bit of a clusterfuck.  There is more GAFF about *everyone completing GBA+!!!!* than there is to things like combat capabilities, operational effectiveness, and other boring topics like that.

All this  :blah: from some of the talking heads now about commitments, deployments 'with real meaning', etc.  Yup, the government is full of great ideas.  Now, try to go into a Wing Clothing supply and get a common size flightsuit.  There aren't any, because there is no money for them.  But, hey, that's not important.  All they do is protect flyers from fire and stuff if the SHTF. 

Now...lets talk army combat boots.  No?  Cyclone helicopters then?  No?  Then let's talk about the next DEU change.  You know...the important stuff for our military.   ::)
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Colin P on March 07, 2017, 16:27:37
Clothing that is already standard issue is easy to fix, I see government tossing money at problems all the time. Have the government free up some funds from their magic pots (they do exist) Go back find the old contracts, copy them and re-issue to be filled asap. Makes a wee bit of the problem disappear and pumps money into Canadian businesses. Now for the boots, one would imagine it is easy, but apparently that is beyond them. Find a NATO partner that has good boots, get them to do the contract and ship us the boots and pay them. When the Canadian companies complain, dump buckets of complaints and failed boots in front of the press and say "This is why, you failed again and again".   
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Eye In The Sky on March 07, 2017, 18:02:18
Clothing that is already standard issue is easy to fix

okay...how?

Quote
Have the government free up some funds from their magic pots (they do exist)

Andddddddddddddddddd...now I see why there is still a shortage of things like flight suits and NCDs, at least IVO my postal code.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Rifleman62 on March 07, 2017, 18:19:46
Want boots for the jungle (Africa)?

US Army unveils new jungle boot, steps up efforts to combat trench foot
Published March 07, 2017 FoxNews.com


These boots are made for walking…in the jungle.

On Monday, the US Army updated plans for its Jungle Combat Boot (JCB), a boot that it hopes will tackle trench foot, among other things.

Traditional issue footwear works well in sand, asphalt and high heat, but falls short in humid, wet conditions, which can lead to trench foot, according to the US Army. And, soldiers on the ground in jungle-like conditions are subjected to obstacles such as vines, which can snag their boots, and sharp objects, that can sideline foot patrols.

The JCB is designed to account for these obstacles by incorporating features that include a low heel to prevent snags and ballistic fabric-like layers under the soldiers’ feet. In addition, the JCB has extra drainage holes for water, an insert for water drainage and speed laces for faster putting on and taking off of the boots. The JCB also contains a lining that helps it to breathe and dry faster, according to the US Army. 

In order to design a useful boot, the US Army said it worked with soldiers.

"We take what soldiers want and need, we boil that down to the salient characteristics, hand that over to our science and technology up at Natick; they work with us and industry, the manufacturing base, to come up with this product," said Capt. Daniel Ferenczy, the assistant product manager for Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment, on the US Army's website.

Soldiers with the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii will be the first to test out the JCB prototype, according to the Army. A final version is expected to be authorized to be worn by all soldiers, regardless of the terrain where they are stationed, according to the US Army.

Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: GAP on March 07, 2017, 18:56:32
Hmmmmm......

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jungle_boot (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jungle_boot)

In the early years of the Vietnam conflict, some U.S. Army units were equipped with the M-1945 Tropical Combat Boot.[7] In 1965, a boot incorporating most of the improvements developed since the end of World War II for tropical climates was adopted by the U.S. military as the M-1966 Jungle Boot.[1][7] In the improved boot, the upper was made of cotton canvas duck, with leather for the toe and heel, and nylon reinforcements for the neck of the boot.[1][7] The new Jungle boot originally used a Vibram-type lugged composition rubber sole strongly vulcanized to the leather toe and heel.[1][9] Water drains (screened eyelets) were added to the canvas top near the sole to quickly drain water from the inside of the boot.[1] Removable ventilating insoles made of fused layers of Saran plastic screen, first invented in 1942, were issued with the Jungle boot.[1][2]

In May 1966, after numerous widely reported incidents of foot injuries to U.S. forces caused by punji stake traps, issue Jungle boots were fitted with a stainless steel plate inside the boot's sole to protect the wearer from punji stake traps.[7][10][11] Later Jungle boots were given nylon canvas tops in place of cotton duck. The boot was also fitted with other improvements, including the Panama mud-clearing outsole and nylon webbing reinforcement on the uppers.[7] However, Vibram-soled jungle boots continued to be issued to troops into 1969.[7]
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Colin P on March 08, 2017, 13:31:36
okay...how?

Andddddddddddddddddd...now I see why there is still a shortage of things like flight suits and NCDs, at least IVO my postal code.

If you have a workable standard and experienced suppliers in place who have produced workable clothing, it's fairly easy to reissue such a contract and identify the sizes needed. In this case it's not quality or ability to provide the item, it's the size and frequency of the orders. Every Minister and Cabinet keeps back funds to deal with crisis or unexpected funding opportunities. Identifying some of that funding expressly to fix a shortage of clothing could lead to a rapid filling of the contract. I suspect the current shortages has been budget related as only a portion of the current budget is allocated to fulfilling clothing contracts. Give the people money and a keen interest from the Ministers Office and you be amazed how fast things can happen.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Eye In The Sky on March 08, 2017, 14:33:28
But the money is the problem.  There isn't any.  I went to get 2 x 2 piece flight suits exchanged...none in my size.  None in my size of 1 piece either.  Hmmmm.  The Sgt I ended up talking to said there is no money, there are none in the system.  I asked if she could maybe try calling the other Wing that is close to me...one of my size there.  They held it for me, but I ended up taking a day off (NWD from the CO) to drive to that Wing, drive back to my own so I could get it tailored.  The guy I spoke to at *other wing Supply* said they have the same problem, there just aren't any and none being made because..there is no money for the contracts for them.  He also said they just shipped 99% of their NCDs to another location because they had a shortage and...sailors need NCDs, its the operational dress.  End state, I ended driving 5ish hours, so that I could have *most* of my kit before leaving on a tasking and I still ended up with a 2 piece flight suit that is too big and a 1 piece flight suit that is too small. 

So...that's what I mean about all the talking heads with their "we will ensure out soldiers have the right orders, kit and  :blah:" standard party line crap messages.  Because the fact is...they can't even supply people with the Basic kit like NCDs and flying suits.  Its all talk, no walk.  I shouldn't have to drive around my province trying to chase down kit that is my basic issue, operational wear.

I'm not supply and can only go off what they say but the basic message was yes, there are none in the system and none coming because there is no money for that right now.   :orly:
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Cdn Blackshirt on March 08, 2017, 14:39:54
Question:  How much red tape would be cut if someone had the balls to eliminate the Industrial Regional Benefit requirements?

That must add 30% or more to the costs of the bidders, and likely the same amount of $ in bureaucracy to assess if bids are IRB compliant....not to mention probably doubling the time requirements to both prep and assess bids.



Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Cdn Blackshirt on March 19, 2017, 11:34:07
Just out of curiosity, has the military procurement issue appeared in the PC leadership debates or in any of the platform anone has read?

Just thinking out loud, but the 5-year knapsack example would be a great rallying point for all PC candidates to get behind as a party platform plank. 

It provides a short concise soundbite which is easily picked by media and absorbed by voters.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Log Offr on March 20, 2017, 00:13:23
Question:  How much red tape would be cut if someone had the balls to eliminate the Industrial Regional Benefit requirements?

That must add 30% or more to the costs of the bidders, and likely the same amount of $ in bureaucracy to assess if bids are IRB compliant....not to mention probably doubling the time requirements to both prep and assess bids.

For many Canadians (and a good chunk of politicians), jobs for Canadians is the PRIMARY aim of defence procurement. Primary. The suggestion that this is not the case causes many people to assume we are selfish and want the best kit even if it means unemployment for some Canadians. Seriously. The idea of spending billions of dollars of Canadian taxpayer money outside Canada is a non starter. The current requirement that all projects valued at over $100 million MUST have the full value of the contract spent in Canada simply won't go away. Politicians of both major parties know that removing or watering down that requirement gives the opposition parties a blank cheque to fire for effect.

ps. your assumption that getting rid of ITBs (they are called Industrial Technical Benefits now) would speed up and simplify the process is 100% correct. And it's not just cost, it's complexity and time. We ask manufacturers to transplant their finely tuned production and supply chains into Canada. They aren't set up to do that. They have refined and optimized their manufacturing process in their home nation, and we make them tear it down and do much of the work in Canada, using materiels, suppliers, and companies they don't normally work with, at enormous expense as you identify, and at great cost to their efficiency, quality and speed of execution.

But alas, we aren't here to fight. We are here to provide jobs for Canadian industry. Sigh.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Quirky on March 20, 2017, 00:26:52
For many Canadians (and a good chunk of politicians), jobs for Canadians is the PRIMARY aim of defence procurement. Primary. The suggestion that this is not the case causes many people to assume we are selfish and want the best kit even if it means unemployment for some Canadians. Seriously. The idea of spending billions of dollars of Canadian taxpayer money outside Canada is a non starter. The current requirement that all projects valued at over $100 million MUST have the full value of the contract spent in Canada simply won't go away. Politicians of both major parties know that removing or watering down that requirement gives the opposition parties a blank cheque to fire for effect.

ps. your assumption that getting rid of ITBs (they are called Industrial Technical Benefits now) would speed up and simplify the process is 100% correct. And it's not just cost, it's complexity and time. We ask manufacturers to transplant their finely tuned production and supply chains into Canada. They aren't set up to do that. They have refined and optimized their manufacturing process in their home nation, and we make them tear it down and do much of the work in Canada, using materiels, suppliers, and companies they don't normally work with, at enormous expense as you identify, and at great cost to their efficiency, quality and speed of execution.

But alas, we aren't here to fight. We are here to provide jobs for Canadian industry. Sigh.

This makes me wonder why companies bother making bids at all. Canada seems like a giant pain in the *** to sell things to. Canadian companies need to make better products, it's from boots to planes.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: jmt18325 on March 20, 2017, 01:02:32
This makes me wonder why companies bother making bids at all.

Because there's obviously still a profit to be made.  They wouldn't do it otherwise.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MilEME09 on March 20, 2017, 02:05:53
Because there's obviously still a profit to be made.  They wouldn't do it otherwise.

True but take ship building and the CSC for example, the Italians have said they have issues with the system and might not bid, now imagine if everyone walked away? how big of a political football would that become?
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: jmt18325 on March 20, 2017, 03:21:37
True but take ship building and the CSC for example, the Italians have said they have issues with the system and might not bid, now imagine if everyone walked away? how big of a political football would that become?

It would be quite a thing.  Everyone won't be walking away though.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Good2Golf on March 20, 2017, 11:48:01
It would be quite a thing.  Everyone won't be walking away though.

True.

There is money to be made in defence, however, no one should doubt that.  If someone is 'telegraphing' that they may not bid, perhaps there are other factors at play with such an organization.  Not sure why soccer players' reactions to 'grave injuries' comes to mind...

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pbh2.com%2Fwordpress%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F09%2Fsoccer-dive-gifs.gif&hash=53d64a20c4b297ba71930f4595b4e4d0)
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: jmt18325 on March 20, 2017, 12:02:22
The Italian request was pretty clear - they wanted to build 3 of the ships.  Whatever your feelings on the NSS, it was also very clear.  They shouldn't waste their time bidding if they don't like the rules.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on March 20, 2017, 12:58:56
Isn't that how we ended up with the Navstar MilCOTS MSVS?  Only one company bid?
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MilEME09 on March 20, 2017, 20:22:24
Isn't that how we ended up with the Navstar MilCOTS MSVS?  Only one company bid?

pretty much, but at least they realized before it was too late the issues and cancelled the remaining of the contract, and now we have the Kerax 8x8 from Mack Defense coming our way this fall. Honestly who orders a military truck that says warranty void if used off road? people that make these contracts don't know what the military needs.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MCG on March 20, 2017, 22:12:39
pretty much, but at least they realized before it was too late the issues and cancelled the remaining of the contract, and now we have the Kerax 8x8 from Mack Defense coming our way this fall.
That is not at all what happened.  The MSVS project was always intended to deliver two types of trucks.  The MSVS MilCOTS and the MSVS SMP versions.  Neither should be replacing the simple to drive little MLVW.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Navy_Pete on July 30, 2017, 14:26:47
Apologize if this is a repost; couldn't find it anywhere

From the CBC story athttp://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/zodiac-inflatable-boats-procurement-tender-public-services-national-defence-cancelled-1.4220375 (http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/zodiac-inflatable-boats-procurement-tender-public-services-national-defence-cancelled-1.4220375)

Quote
Botched procurement delays inflatable boats for military - Politics
Dean Beeby Senior reporter, Parliamentary Bureau


Call it the case of the delayed dinghies.

The Canadian military wants to replace its fleet of inflatable landing craft, which is more than a quarter-century old, with 350 new inflatables designed for rapid deployment of up to a dozen infantry or engineers in each boat.

Public Services and Procurement Canada has flubbed the order twice since last year – and will be trying to place an order for a third time later this year.

The first request for competitive bids was issued May 30, 2016, revised that July, and was cancelled soon after "following questions from industry regarding the performance specifications," says a memo to then Public Services Minister Judy Foote.

The department reissued the tender Nov. 23 and attracted four bidders. One of the bids was eliminated because it didn't meet the technical requirements.



Read through the RFP and all the amendments with the questions (link below).  Looks pretty straightforward, so not sure where it could have gone off the rails.  There was the two step bid process though, which is relatively new.  Sounds like it may have gotten messed up, but not sure why it would have been bad enough to cancel and awarded contract.  Basically it lets you ask bidders that were non-compliant to clarify something in their bid (ie where in the bid does it show you meet requirement x, certificates missing, etc), but it's not something that has been applied across the board, so someone may have made a mistake.  Still, canceling a contract is pretty significant, and I'm assuming if there was nothing that Zodiac had done, they would have been compensated.

https://buyandsell.gc.ca/procurement-data/tender-notice/PW-MC-032-26068 (https://buyandsell.gc.ca/procurement-data/tender-notice/PW-MC-032-26068)
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Wookilar on August 01, 2017, 11:19:33
The SOR is fairly straightforward honestly. I don't know a boat /ship/hole in the ground from any other, but I know how to write specs, and these ones are pretty clear. A few of the questions from potential bidders are good, but as always, some are being a bit...dickish lol (generally due to their not being able to meet one or more of the requirements).

From what I am reading, the SOR was actually well done. It was the selection process at PWGSC that seems to have gone off the rails. I dealt with the office in Moncton the most and have to say I usually had no issues, even with larger (relatively) SOR's similar to this one or even the more complicated SOW's for services.

Any Sappers/SAR Techs/Bosun types with inflatable boat experience have anything to say about the specs?
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MarkOttawa on September 14, 2017, 15:16:49
I suspect CGAI's Dave Perry is rather optimistic about RCN shipbuilding going as planned--and new RCAF fighter is a total balls-up.  Liberals heart just isn't in military except for Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! (as middle-class as possible).  Still lots of good work here:

Quote
September 2017
2016 STATUS REPORT ON MAJOR EQUIPMENT PROCUREMENT
https://www.policyschool.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Equipment-Procurement-Perry.pdf

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MarkOttawa on September 14, 2017, 17:31:01
Of course Stephen Harper's and Conservatives' heart not with military either when procurment push came to budgetary shove, or when fatalities (Afghanistan).  Basically Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! for both parties.

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MarkOttawa on October 26, 2017, 20:47:33
All of this of course assumes best case scenario sous les circonstances that Canadian gov't (whichever party) will actually provide funds:
Quote
Shortage of procurement staff identified as top threat to Liberals' defence plan
'The money is coming, and our feet are being held to the fire to do what we said we could do'

Senior officials at the Department of National Defence are admitting that they will be challenged to make good on the Trudeau government's promise to buy billions of dollars in new military equipment in the coming years.

The top concern? A shortage of staff to manage the dozens of increasingly complex — and risky — projects that have already been or will soon be launched to obtain the equipment that the Canadian Armed Forces needs.

The frank assessment was delivered Thursday at a conference hosted by the Canadian Global Affairs Institute that focused exclusively on the federal government's troubled defence procurement system.

Officials insisted they aren't just determined to deliver on the promises included in the new defence policy, which promised an extra $62 billion over the next 20 years, but that the government expects them to follow through as well.

"Financially, we've been very well resourced through defence policy, and now we have to deliver on it," said Maj.-Gen. Jean-Marc Lanthier, who is responsible for managing National Defence's corporate strategy.

"The money is coming, and our feet are being held to the fire to do what we said we could do."

Efforts are underway to streamline the system and hire hundreds of additional staff, including procurement experts, engineers and technicians, and officials said they are optimistic that they will deliver.

But while National Defence is hiring as fast as possible, numbers alone won't be enough — staff need certain skills and experience to deal with intricate intellectual-property rules and technical requirements.

"Recruiting people is not easy," Andre Fillion, chief of staff within National Defence's procurement section, told the audience, which was comprised of industry representatives, government officials and military officers.

"Our business is not getting easier, it's getting tougher and tougher. As we put together contracts, things like intellectual property, the defence market itself, the technology that we're buying is increasingly complex."

Projects delayed

The department's challenge was highlighted in the federal economic update this week.

The update revealed that the Liberals quietly reduced the amount of fiscal space set aside for new military equipment over the next five years before releasing their defence policy because of delays in several projects [emphasis added].

It's the latest in a string of such delays that have seen billions of dollars in planned defence spending pushed to future years as projects remain snared in the procurement system — or at the whim of politicians.

The government insists the fiscal space, which totals about $382 million, will be available when those projects are actually delivered...
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/military-procurement-delays-staffing-1.4374008

Tee hee.

Mark
Ottawa

Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on October 26, 2017, 22:22:18
(https://i.redditmedia.com/XxliVCATRbVwbGY-gKSraETVYtr0bb9gr7k3D5fPljs.jpg?w=1024&s=39ec3a17ccf12ee9bb509eca7a989518)

Keep your eyes open for that bow wave.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Rifleman62 on November 07, 2017, 10:48:20
http://www.canada.com/business/military+procurement+turned+corner+official/15560620/story.html

Military procurement officials hopeful years of troubles finally behind them
- LEE BERTHIAUME, THE CANADIAN PRESS NOVEMBER 7, 2017

OTTAWA — For anyone hoping the Liberal government plans to blow up Canada's much-maligned military procurement system, Patrick Finn has some advice: Don't hold your breath.

Finn is the Defence Department official responsible for overseeing the $6-billion-per-year procurement system, which has been criticized far and wide in recent years over a perceived failure to deliver critical military equipment.

The problems have been blamed on poor planning, red tape and internal bickering, which has tied up efforts to buy new aircraft, naval ships and other equipment.

There were expectations that the Liberal government would finally start to unravel the problem with its new defence policy last month, which promised an extra $62 billion for the military over the next 20 years.

But the policy made little mention of the procurement system, even though its proper functioning will be all the more critical if and when the promised new defence spending starts to flow.

Finn, whose official title at National Defence is assistant deputy minister of materiel, believes that after a decade of hard-earned lessons, the system has finally turned a corner.

"Do I think we're on the right path? I do," he said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

"Do I think we're at the end of that path? We're not. Do I think we're through all the growing pains? We're not, but we're a lot more mature than we were three, five, eight or 10 years ago."

The reference to 10 years ago is important.

National Defence's materiel section had only a handful of procurement specialists, many of whom were inexperienced, when the Harper Conservatives unveiled their own defence policy in 2008.

Gutted in the 1990s, the section struggled to produce accurate cost estimates and schedules for the billions of dollars in new military equipment the Tories promised.

Finn said many of the problems can be traced back to that shortage of staff and experience, and he acknowledged that having enough skilled personnel remains his top risk.

His 4,200-strong workforce is in the process of adding 300 more staff by the end of next summer, he said, while many of his staff have the hard-earned experience to know what works, and what doesn't.

"The nature of the conversations that we're having compared to 10 years ago, it's kind of exciting because we're really kind of getting into: 'Be careful, we've done this over the years,'" Finn said.

Another significant problem was the fact the Conservatives didn't set aside enough money for their policy, which led to a merry-go-round of trying to match available funding to the military's needs.

Finn is hopeful that the Liberals' defence policy, which the government says has been rigorously costed by six accounting firms, will finally fix that problem by acknowledging the real cost of different gear.

One example: while the Conservatives said 15 warships would cost $26 billion, the Liberals say the actual price tag will be closer to $60 billion — the same number as reported by the parliamentary budget officer.

Many critics of the military procurement system, including some of those who held Finn's position before him, have also lamented what they see as an onerous amount of red tape and lack of accountability.

The reason is that while the ultimate purpose of the system is to buy the gear the military needs, there are other interests as well, notably the desire to maximize economic benefits and competition. That means heavy involvement in the system by two other federal departments: Economic Development Canada and Public Services and Procurement Canada.

Critics of the system have repeatedly asked the government to create one single department responsible for all military procurement. Finn said that isn't on the radar right now.

"Are we going to fundamentally change the authorities of ministers or are we going to smash it all together? Not at this point," he said.

"And I would caution to anybody: Be very careful. Because even just smashing that all together is probably going to distract us for a year or two while this kind of stuff sits on the back burner."

Finn's optimism will soon be put to the test. The Liberal defence policy promises to spend tens of billions of dollars on 50 major military equipment purchases over the next 20 years.

Those include the long-delayed purchase of new fighter jets and warships that are expensive, complex and politically sensitive, but absolutely necessary if Canada is to have a modern military.

Finn noted many other projects previously tied up in the system are moving ahead or being delivered, such as new armoured vehicles for the army, Arctic patrol ships for the navy, and search-and-rescue planes.

"It's up to us now," he said of his unit. "The government has done their part to kind of sign up to this, and we're very seized departmentally." (?)
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Colin P on November 07, 2017, 11:37:09
We are likely to have more Procurement Specialists, than Infantry at this rate......
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on November 07, 2017, 11:44:51
We are likely to have more Procurement Specialists, than Infantry at this rate......

You say that like it is a bad thing.

Here's a thought.  Enrol all those procurement specialists in the Reserves as infantry.  Twofer - and they might think twice about the functionality of what they are buying.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: dapaterson on November 07, 2017, 11:59:36
The infantry (Reg & Res) is roughly 4x the size of the Material group's civilian workforce.  That workforce includes (mostly) technicians & tradespeople at maintenance facilities, life cycle materiel managers, procurement specialists, and admin personnel.


And your slur against the professionalism of procurement staff says far more about you than about them.  If equipment doesn't meet the need, that's the fault of those who define the specifications, not those who purchase what the specifications require.

Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on November 07, 2017, 12:14:46
The infantry (Reg & Res) is roughly 4x the size of the Material group's civilian workforce.  That workforce includes (mostly) technicians & tradespeople at maintenance facilities, life cycle materiel managers, procurement specialists, and admin personnel.


And your slur against the professionalism of procurement staff says far more about you than about them.  If equipment doesn't meet the need, that's the fault of those who define the specifications, not those who purchase what the specifications require.

My apologies.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Colin P on November 07, 2017, 14:33:25
The infantry (Reg & Res) is roughly 4x the size of the Material group's civilian workforce.  That workforce includes (mostly) technicians & tradespeople at maintenance facilities, life cycle materiel managers, procurement specialists, and admin personnel.


And your slur against the professionalism of procurement staff says far more about you than about them.  If equipment doesn't meet the need, that's the fault of those who define the specifications, not those who purchase what the specifications require.

Almost every Coast Guard ship since the mid 80's has had stability problems and a few before that. We have been unable to buy trucks, boots, clothing. We have multiple piss poor database systems within government. It's not just a DND thing. Procurement government wide is generally terrible with far fewer success stories then failures. I wish I could say better, but they have not as a group earned it. 
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Good2Golf on November 07, 2017, 14:42:29
#onestopshoppingdoesntalwayswork
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MarkOttawa on February 01, 2018, 17:55:35
Tweet by CPAC:

Quote
CPAC‏Verified account @CPAC_TV

Tonight on #PrimeTimePolitics 8pmET /5pmPT: We continue our "Big 5" series.
How has the bureaucracy reacted to efforts at reforming the military procurement process? Carla Qualtrough: “It takes a little bit of movement. It takes a little bit of pushing.”
https://twitter.com/CPAC_TV/status/959170221826244608

Program is already online!
http://www.cpac.ca/en/programs/primetime-politics/episodes/58773619

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Good2Golf on February 01, 2018, 19:50:42
Tweet by CPAC:

Program is already online!
http://www.cpac.ca/en/programs/primetime-politics/episodes/58773619

Mark
Ottawa


By continually adding more steps to the Defence Procurement Strategy (https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/app-acq/amd-dp/samd-dps/index-eng.html)...that'll speed things up.  I wonder if Minister Qualtrough will address any of Dave Perry's concerns about the growing burden of the Defence Procurement framework itself?

Regards
G2G

Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on February 01, 2018, 20:48:46

By continually adding more steps to the Defence Procurement Strategy (https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/app-acq/amd-dp/samd-dps/index-eng.html)...that'll speed things up.  I wonder if Minister Qualtrough will address any of Dave Perry's concerns about the growing burden of the Defence Procurement framework itself?

Regards
G2G


Hey, it's working for pipelines, refineries and LNG stations.... Isn't it?
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MarkOttawa on February 01, 2018, 21:45:08
CPAC interview--procurement min Qualto says Canada cannot choose and have new fighter delivered (one now in production) in much under 10 years.  About the time of our two world wars.  Hurl, upchuck at this balderdash.

Also very telling that in all the procurement talk on the show by min Qualtro, experts and other pols there was zero discussion of what missions/roles the equipment is for and what capabilities are needed for future.  All about process not product for real purposes.

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: jollyjacktar on February 01, 2018, 22:51:50
As Mel Brooks said in Blazing Saddles. "Gentlemen, we have to protect our phony baloney jobs".
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MarkOttawa on May 21, 2018, 12:46:56
Plus ça change...note RCN A/OPS, JSS:

Quote
Defence Department reports new delays in 10 major procurement projects

The Defence Department is reporting fresh delays in 10 major military procurement projects, even as defence officials cast about for better ways to predict and manage when new equipment will get to the troops.

The schedule slippage is detailed in a new report to Parliament and runs the gamut from a minor snag in the final delivery of engineering vehicles for the army to years of delays in the planned delivery of naval vessels.

Many of the projects, such as the naval vessels and new transport trucks for the army, were already several years behind schedule, meaning they are now extra late.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, the Defence Department's head of procurement touted the last year as one of the more successful in terms of getting new equipment to the Forces.

But Patrick Finn, the assistant deputy minister of materiel, also conceded that more must be done to address the scheduling problems, which he described as the factor that "we struggle with the most, much more than scope and cost.

"There's not a day that goes by that we're not delivering stuff and doing stuff," Finn said.

"There's also almost not a day that doesn't go by that we're not dealing with a technical issue or a schedule issue, whether it's a vendor, whether it's us causing delay or whatever it is. We're spending a lot of time trying to get in front of it all."

That is why the department, which changed the way it estimates the cost of new equipment as part of the Trudeau government's new defence policy, is looking to do the same with schedules.

"How do we build in kind of schedule contingency, other best practices that we're looking at so that, again, we don't have unrealistic schedules we're marching to," Finn said.

The focus on schedules comes as the government is preparing to unveil the next leg of its defence policy in the coming weeks, namely a plan detailing the investments it will make on new military equipment over the next five years [emphasis added].

The 10 major projects identified in the Defence Department report as having experienced new delays include:

— The navy's new Arctic offshore patrol ships. Finn attributed the delay to problems with a subcontractor. The first vessel was supposed to arrive this year, but now won't be delivered until 2019 [emphasis added].

— The air force's CP-140 surveillance planes, which are due to be upgraded. The report appeared to pin the blame on the company responsible for the work, saying negotiations had "increased cost and reduced flexibility."

— The navy's new support ships, with delivery of the first pushed to 2023 from 2021. The government has recently approved a plan to start work early on the vessels, which officials are hoping will result in delivery in 2022 [emphasis added].

— The army's new transport trucks, with the delivery scheduled pushed back six months at the company's request, though Finn also indicated that there were some design concerns.

Some of the equipment listed as delayed have already been delivered, such as the army's M777 howitzers, which saw service in Afghanistan, but parts of the contract, in this case a new type of ammunition, remain outstanding.

There are several reasons that delays in the military procurement system are considered a serious problem. In some cases, such as fighter jets, a delay means the Forces is required to keep using old equipment longer than expected...
http://www.richmondsentinel.ca/Lateststories/3442/defence-department-reports-new-delays-in-10-major-procuremen

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: CBH99 on May 21, 2018, 14:25:42
https://www.armytimes.com/industry/2018/05/21/sikorskys-pitch-for-canada-our-new-helos-are-cheaper-than-upgrading-yours/


I don't suppose it's too much to ask, to provide us with a working helicopter FIRST, before we suggest purchasing more? 
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MarkOttawa on May 21, 2018, 15:06:08
CBH99: In fact Sikorsky is pitching a SAR version of its civilian S-92 helo which does work (the H-92/CH-148 Cyclone, though derived from S-92, is effectively a new aircraft):

1) S-92

Quote
...In December 2005, an order was placed by CHC Scotia for four S-92 helicopters for the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency. Deliveries began in March 2007...
https://www.aerospace-technology.com/projects/s92/

2) H-92--RCAF only customer:
https://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/superhawk/

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on May 21, 2018, 17:15:03
Two thoughts spring to my mind:

First, didn't somebody already figured it out in the past, that using the same helicopter for SAR and Maritime Helicopter was a good idea? Oops! Sorry! I forgot someone else, after that fact, said "I'll write zai-roo helicopters!"

Second: 2023 for the first JSS!!! Can we revisit getting Obelix 16 months from ... now, per chance?
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Dimsum on May 21, 2018, 17:50:25
I, for one, am shocked that there are issues with the Aurora Block 4, which is supposed to be integrating a bunch of new systems.

 ::)
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: dapaterson on May 21, 2018, 17:52:57
Are the issues with integration, or with keeping the mod line on time?
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: CBH99 on May 21, 2018, 18:22:06
CBH99: In fact Sikorsky is pitching a SAR version of its civilian S-92 helo which does work (the H-92/CH-148 Cyclone, though derived from S-92, is effectively a new aircraft):

1) S-92

2) H-92--RCAF only customer:
https://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/superhawk/

Mark
Ottawa


Thanks for the clarification Mark.  Initially my thoughts were "Wow, that's pretty ballsy to suggest we buy more of the helicopter they've failed to deliver" -- but I see the difference now.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Colin P on May 22, 2018, 12:42:33
Two thoughts spring to my mind:

First, didn't somebody already figured it out in the past, that using the same helicopter for SAR and Maritime Helicopter was a good idea? Oops! Sorry! I forgot someone else, after that fact, said "I'll write zai-roo helicopters!"

Second: 2023 for the first JSS!!! Can we revisit getting Obelix 16 months from ... now, per chance?

In my little "perfect world" Start the Obelix now, continue with the Kingston class, replace 1 Griffon squadron with H-92's rigged for troop/cargo/slinging and guns. Upgraded the remaining Griffons the same was the USMC "upgraded" their helo's. 
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Good2Golf on May 22, 2018, 14:27:01
...replace 1 Griffon squadron with H-92's rigged for troop/cargo/slinging and guns...

 ???

Which one?  The schoolhouse, or one of the two conventional line units?  If one of the line units, you'd wish to see the three operational line units then look like:  1 x Griffon, 1 x S-92 & 1 x Chinook?  How would you assign armed escort support of the Griffons to the two different heavier types of helicopters?

G2G
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Colin P on May 22, 2018, 15:13:29
???

Which one?  The schoolhouse, or one of the two conventional line units?  If one of the line units, you'd wish to see the three operational line units then look like:  1 x Griffon, 1 x S-92 & 1 x Chinook?  How would you assign armed escort support of the Griffons to the two different heavier types of helicopters?

G2G

I thought we had 3 squadrons of Griffons and the school?
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Good2Golf on May 22, 2018, 16:06:41
408 in Edmonton and 430 in Valcartier are the two conventional line Griffon squadrons.  438 in St-Hubert is a Reserve unit that augments and provides technical evaluation and maintenance training, but is not used to provide a main basis of rotation capability.  Arguably, 408 and 430 are stretched to support the utility/armed helo demand. Rarely is the issue about numbers of hardware, but rather about personnel to operate, maintain and support the hardware.  Re-equipping 408 or 430 with S-92s would worsen the situation currently balancing Griffon and Chinook capabilities.

Regards
G2G
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Colin P on May 22, 2018, 16:15:10
What can a Griffon do that the H-92 could not do? Perhaps slinging and small LZ's. In "My perfect world" I would raise up a new squadron, but have heard the issue of manning, it would seem you would get more bang for your personal manning buck with the H-92 than the Griffon.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Chris Pook on May 22, 2018, 16:26:27
With 427 being Special Ops (in support of CANSOFCOM) doesn't that leave 408, 430 and 450 to support the CMBGs?  Am I wrong to assume that on deployment, as opposed to garrison, that 450 and the Griffon squadrons would swap some flights to produce 3 mixed squadrons of both CH-146s and CH-147s?  Leave that as an Army-Centric force multiplier (with reservists in some of the billets as they have now).

If there is money for more CH-148s where would you put them and where would you find the crews to man them?

A Naval Task Group will only have hangars for 5 CH-148s:  2 in the AOR and one in each of the three CSCs.  At a push those aircraft could lift Company of infantry (22 in the back of each if the electronic stuff is kicked out).  More generally I would imagine that the aircraft would be employed with all the electronic gear on patrols, occasionally dropping a boarding party and once in a decade invading a distant shore.

I like the idea of more helos on the CSCs. I even like the idea of increasing either the number of 148s or 149s. 

But most of all I like the idea of a large flat deck from which 146s and 147s could lift when and as the need arose.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 22, 2018, 19:39:45
408 in Edmonton and 430 in Valcartier are the two conventional line Griffon squadrons.  438 in St-Hubert is a Reserve unit that augments and provides technical evaluation and maintenance training, but is not used to provide a main basis of rotation capability.  Arguably, 408 and 430 are stretched to support the utility/armed helo demand. Rarely is the issue about numbers of hardware, but rather about personnel to operate, maintain and support the hardware.  Re-equipping 408 or 430 with S-92s would worsen the situation currently balancing Griffon and Chinook capabilities.

Regards
G2G

If the Reg F worked Saturdays and Sundays (and took Mondays and Tuesdays as their 'weekend') you'd have way more troops (reservists) available to both service and utilize these airframes....

Heads exploding in 3....2....1....  ;D

Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Good2Golf on May 22, 2018, 21:10:41
If the Reg F worked Saturdays and Sundays (and took Mondays and Tuesdays as their 'weekend') you'd have way more troops (reservists) available to both service and utilize these airframes....

Heads exploding in 3....2....1....  ;D

Often done in the East.  Sorry, no pipeline, no weekend support for you, D&B!  ;)

G2G
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 23, 2018, 01:11:19
Often done in the East.  Sorry, no pipeline, no weekend support for you, D&B!  ;)

G2G

 :alone:
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Good2Golf on May 23, 2018, 11:44:14
What can a Griffon do that the H-92 could not do? Perhaps slinging and small LZ's. In "My perfect world" I would raise up a new squadron, but have heard the issue of manning, it would seem you would get more bang for your personal manning buck with the H-92 than the Griffon.

Considering the -92 family (S and H) was based on the Super Hawk, it's not a bad base airframe, but it would lose benefits in its present form, the further and further dry/away it gets from the Littorals.  If I were doing 'stuff' over the water that didn't need a fast flying and floating fortress (147), the 92 wouldn't be a bad machine at all, compared to the 146, but back feet-dry, 146 is not at all a bad airframe - it gets a bad rap, but much of that was based on non-optimal to poor (mis-)employment in the past.

Regards
G2G
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MarkOttawa on August 28, 2018, 17:27:07
Cabinet committee Treasury Board now in charge of defence procurement--PM's announcement:

Quote
Prime Minister announces changes to the Cabinet committees
...
The Treasury Board will assume responsibility for key delivery challenges including defence procurement and modernizing the public service pay system. As the management board of government, the Treasury Board is well-placed to lead the whole-of-government approach needed on these key files...

The Prime Minister is also creating a new Incident Response Group, similar to those in place with our Five Eyes allies. It will be a dedicated, emergency committee that will convene in the event of a national crisis or during incidents elsewhere that have major implications for Canada. The Group will bring together relevant ministers and senior government leadership to coordinate a prompt federal response and make fast, effective decisions to keep Canadians safe and secure, at home and abroad...

The Treasury Board – as the management board of government – will actively assume responsibility for the issues previously addressed by the Cabinet Committee on Defence Procurement...
https://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/releases

New committees:
Quote
...
Treasury Board

Acts as the government’s management board. Provides oversight of the government’s financial management and spending, as well as oversight on human resources issues. Provides oversight on complex horizontal issues such as defence procurement and modernizing the pay system. Responsible for reporting to Parliament.

Is the employer for the public service, and establishes policies and common standards for administrative, personnel, financial and organizational practices across government.

Fulfills the role of the Committee of Council in approving regulatory policies and regulations, and most orders-in-council.

Chair
The Hon. Scott Brison

Vice-Chair
The Hon. Jane Philpott

Members
The Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos
The Hon. William Francis Morneau
The Hon. Mary Ng
The Hon. Carla Qualtrough

Alternates
The Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau
The Hon. James Gordon Carr
The Hon. Patricia A. Hajdu
The Hon. Ahmed Hussen
The Hon. Mélanie Joly
The Hon. Seamus Thomas Harris O’Regan
The Hon. Ginette C. Petitpas Taylor
The Hon. Harjit Singh Sajjan [emphasis added--industry min. Bains not on]
...
Cabinet Committee on Canada in the World and Public Security 

Considers issues concerning Canada’s engagement with and participation in the international community.  Responsible for issues related to domestic and global security and the consideration of intelligence reports.

Chair
The Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor

Vice-Chair
The Hon. Kirsty Duncan

Members
The Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau
The Hon. William Sterling Blair
The Hon. Scott Brison
The Hon. Chrystia Freeland
The Hon. Marc Garneau
The Hon. Ralph Goodale
The Hon. Karina Gould
The Hon. Harjit Singh Sajjan [emphasis added]
https://pm.gc.ca/eng/cabinet-committee-mandate-and-membership

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Good2Golf on August 29, 2018, 09:10:59
Sounds like TB doing what it always did, now with six members (and seven alternates) in stead of the original five members. Since it’s now considered a Committee, does this mean all the members and alternates now get the additional Cabinet Committee stipend added to their salary? 
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: MarkOttawa on August 29, 2018, 12:01:14
Important procurement qualification from Mercedes Stephenson (now Global) at twitter:
https://twitter.com/MercedesGlobal/status/1034576184019890176

Quote
@MercedesGlobal

Ok SO very important information to correct and clarify what is in the PMO release about changes to cabinet. The responsibilities for defence procurement and Phoenix are changing cabinet committees NOT Ministers

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Dimsum on October 03, 2018, 18:42:00
I wanted to post this in the Fighter discussion, but the line below would work equally well with the P-8 that the US, UK, Australia, NZ, South Korea, Norway and India currently have or are ordering.

Quote
But there’s an additional irony here. The F-35 was not just the choice of the Harper government. It was initially selected by the Liberal government of Jean Chrétien. The primary reason: interoperability with our primary allies. The U.S., U.K. and Australia would all be buying the F-35 so it just made sense.

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/canadas-fighter-jet-debacle-this-is-no-way-to-run-a-military?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#Echobox=1538563618
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Journeyman on October 04, 2018, 09:02:18
Important procurement qualification from Mercedes Stephenson (now Global) at twitter:
Quote
Ok SO very important information to correct and clarify what is in the PMO release about changes to cabinet. The responsibilities for defence procurement and Phoenix are changing [or gripping] cabinet committees NOT Ministers
I agree that changing Ministers is mere theatre, allowing the gov't to proclaim "look, we've done....something  :dunno: " -- most real work is overseen at DM and A/DM level. 

A recurring, but often overlooked procurement problem is that "procurement" doesn't start until after  'options analysis' is complete, producing a statement of requirements.  In some instances these analyses have dragged on for 10 years;  as they dither, yes, technology advances, so naturally, it must be included, adding further delays as 'the plan' gets re-jigged..... again.

So one acquisitions step could be reduced by telling the good idea faeries (Mil & Civ) to STFU much earlier, and adapt the construction process to the realities of time/tech advancement.  For example, UK shipbuilding factors in the higher-tech only after construction of hulls, propulsion, etc has already commenced... thus moving inevitable tech obsolescence to the right.


And don't get me going on how 'sole-sourcing' is supposedly some ultimate evil.   ::)
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: Dimsum on October 04, 2018, 09:07:49
And don't get me going on how 'sole-sourcing' is supposedly some ultimate evil.   ::)

Well of course it is when Bombardier/Irving doesn't get the contract.   :nod:
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on October 04, 2018, 09:53:28
...

And don't get me going on how 'sole-sourcing' is supposedly some ultimate evil.   ::)

Sole source procurement make good sense, and is, in fact, the ONLY sane thing to so when:

1. You know what it is that you need, i.e. a C-17 not just any big transport aircraft. You may know that because, for example, you know that you want an aircraft that is built and supported by an ally, not by e.g. the Russians;

2. You need it sooner rather than whenever any competitive process might be finished;

3. The item you need is in production; and

4, There is only one source ... thus, there's no point in any competition.

Sole source procurements should, almost always, be political decisions, rarely bureaucratic and almost never (maybe some specialized, super-secret stuff like crypto is the exception) a military one. The C-17s, the Chinooks and the Leopard 2A6M CAN tanks are good examples of good, smart, sole-source procurements. In each case it needed a minister to overrule the bureaucrats, including the ones in CADPAT, because, sometimes, the standard, much loved and defended to the bureaucratic death ~ paper cuts and eye strain ~ process isn't useful or even desirable.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: dapaterson on October 04, 2018, 10:23:53
Moving away from a two year posting cycle, and the assumption that receipt of a posting message magically transforms someone into the CAF expert on a subject would also assist.
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on October 04, 2018, 11:58:52
Moving away from a two year posting cycle, and the assumption that receipt of a posting message magically transforms someone into the CAF expert on a subject would also assist.


 :rofl:  Too true!   [:D  As those of us who spent year after painful frustrating year in both requirements and engineering can attest.   ::)
Title: Re: Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)
Post by: dapaterson on October 30, 2018, 00:40:18
Why the Pentagon Could Never Build A Death Star

https://taskandpurpose.com/pentagon-death-star/

Say what you will about Darth Vader, but he knew how to run a modernization program. When he was put in charge of the Death Star Joint Program Office, that battle station reached initial operating capability on time – a feat the Pentagon seems unable to replicate many years later.

The Defense Department could learn a lot from Vader. For example, is there any mention in the “Star Wars” trilogy of the second Death Star being over budget? Of course not. You best believe that the Sith bad-*** would have locked the prime contractor into a fixed-price contract that included a clause such as, “JPO reserves the right to force choke your CEO every time the software doesn’t work as advertised.”