Sunday, August 29, 2010

Speaking of open and transparent competitions ...

Welcome to Merx, darlings, the Canadian Public Tendering site used by all levels of government to solicit proposals for business opportunities. The following SOIQ (Solicitation of Interest and Qualification) for the Close Combat Vehicle Project was posted on Thursday, August 26:

Close Combat Vehicle Project

Trade Agreement: Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT)
Tendering Procedures: All interested suppliers may submit a bid
Attachment: None
Competitive Procurement Strategy: Best Overall Proposal
Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement: No
Nature of Requirements: W6508-10CC01/E

Close Combat VEHICLE Project

This solicitation cancels and supersedes previous solicitation number W6508-10CC01/D dated April 26, 2010 with a closing of June 25, 2010 at 14h00.

Due to an urgent requirement this solicitation W6508-10CC01/E is being posted for 15 days only.

Respondents wishing to receive the IBM Rational DOORS CD package, as outlined in this solicitation, should make their request as soon as possible to the Contracting Authority.

Interested respondents should review this solicitation in its entirety prior to responding.

The Department of National Defence (DND) has a requirement for the provision of 108 Close Combat Vehicles (CCV) in various configurations, with an option to procure up to thirty (30) additional vehicles.

The initial series of deliveries and logistics requirements will be specified in detail in the RFP. The option to procure an additional quantity of up to thirty (30) CCV may be exercised at the sole discretion of Canada within four (4) years after contract award. Further, the contractor will be required to provide long-term In-Service Support (ISS) services for approximately twenty-five (25) years to commence after the interim support period.

The CCV must be an integrated, supportable, existing or upgraded version of a Military Off-the-Shelf (MOTS) BASE VEHICLE and MOTS TURRET, each of which is in production for and/or in service with another military recognized by DND as of the closing date of this Solicitation of Interest and Qualification (SOIQ).

Procurement Approach
The procurement approach for the Close Combat Vehicle is in two discrete phases. The first phase, referred to as the Solicitation of Interest and Qualification (SOIQ), will be the pre-qualification of potential bidders. Those Respondents who qualify will be registered on a CCV Pre-Qualified Bidders List. The second phase, referred to as the Request for Proposal (RFP), will invite those firms who are registered on the CCV Pre-Qualified Bidders List to submit a proposal.

This SOIQ is subject to the provisions of the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT).

No further Notices of Proposed Procurement (NPP) will be issued on GETS/MERX after this SOIQ.

The Contracting Authority for this SOIQ is:
Public Works and Government Services Canada
Defence and Major Projects Sector
Close Combat Vehicle Project
Attention: Mrs. Kristen Ward
Telephone: 819 994-4758
Delivery Date: Above-mentioned

The Crown retains the right to negotiate with suppliers on any procurement.

Documents may be submitted in either official language of Canada.

Ward(CCV Div.), Kristen
105 Hotel de Ville, 3rd Floor
K1A 0S5
(819) 994-4758 ( )

As someone who’s worked in the oh-so crazy business of writing proposals for 10 years this is highly unusual. Standard practice for a bid of this size calls for a closing date of a minimum of 40 days out, as required by NAFTA and WTO-AGP agreements. In fact, the original SOIQ (which this one cancels and supersedes, leading one to believe the government did not a) get what they were looking for or b) the price they wanted) was posted on April 26, 2010 and closed on June 25, 2010 – 60 days later.

But if you look at the abstract, you’ll see that the only agreement type cited is the Agreement on Internal Trade which is an intergovernmental agreement first signed by provincial premiers in 1995. Essentially this allows for the free movement of goods and services between provinces.

In other words, AIT is solely an interprovincial trade agreement. Which begs the question, exactly how many provinces currently boast the industrial capability of building and supporting this kind of combat vehicle?

Well, I’m glad you asked, boys and girls because the answer would be exactly zero. In fact, talk around Ottawa has the top 2 contenders for the CCV as Nexter Systems’ VBCI -- Nexter is an armoured vehicle firm in France – and some version of the CV90 family of combat vehicles manufactured by BAE Systems Land and Armaments, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia and with locations throughout the US, Germany, Sweden and South Africa. Oddly enough, I see no Canadian locations there.

Quite bluntly, this stinks. And this girl has some digging to do so stay tuned ...

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