Delay sought, opposed

On Thursday, the Public Works Department announced that it had received a request for a deadline extension in the federal government’s $35-billion shipbuilding procurement process:

Request to Extend the Bid Period for the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy

June 23, 2011

The National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy Secretariat has received two requests from eligible bidders to extend the bid period to September 12, 2011, for the Request for Proposals (RFP) to build large vessels for Canada.

Requests for bid extensions are not unusual or extraordinary, particularly for complex requirements, and each case is examined on its own merits.

The National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy Deputy Ministers’ Governance Committee will make the final decision regarding whether an extension will be granted. Given the current stage of the procurement process, the decision will be made as expeditiously as possible.

Canada will not respond to enquiries regarding the bid extension request until the decision is announced.

Until further notice, the RFP bid closing date remains July 7, 2011.

 

On Friday, Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter wrote a letter to the department, asking that the government refuse the request:

 

JUN 2 4 2011

Tom Ring Assistant Deputy Minister

Acquisitions Branch Place du Portage, Phase III, lIAI-I13

11 Laurier Street

Gatineau, Que, KIA OSS

Dear Mr. Ring,

I am writing regarding the posting on the NSPS website, stating, “The National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy Secretariat” has received two requests from eligible bidders to extend the bid period to September 12, 2011, for the Request for Proposals (RFP) to build large vessels for Canada. ”

I am aware that Irving Shi pbuilding is not one ofthe bidders making this request. In accordance with the well-established National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy timelines, Irving Shipyard’s comprehensive proposal is currently in production in order to be ready to meet the July 7, 2011 deadline.

There has been one extension already. Since June 2010, each qualified yard has been given an equal and reasonable opportunity to submit their bid by the deadline of July 7, 2011.

I know the committee is dedicated to ensuring a transparent and fair process. A further extension at this time could create the impression that the process is being adjusted to favour some bids over others.

Sincerely, Darrell Dexter, QC

Premier of Nova Scotia

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About Stephen Maher

Canadian journalist and novelist. 2016 Harvard Nieman fellow.
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