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NSPS: Ottawa brings in a bean counter

Written by Nick Blenkey

beancountergearJULY 11, 2013 — There’s been growing public skepticism about the cost effectiveness of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy(NSPS) ever since a Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) report in February indicated that the Canadian Government may have massively underestimated the costs of its National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS).

Then, in May, broacaster CBC roiled the water by asking some tough questions about why Canada was apparently paying more ($288 million) for the design of its Arctic Offshore Patrol ships than most countries had actually paid for the construction of similar ships. CBC was also bemused about why Canada was issuing a $288 million design contract for a vessel whose basic design it had already bought for $5 million.

Canadians may therefore pleased to hear that their Government of Canada has selected a third-party expert to support upcoming NSRP projects. It says that “the selected expert will help to ensure the most equitable and effective contracts possible, while getting the best value for Canadian taxpayers.”

The chosen expert is KPMG, from Toronto, Ontario, which is to provide support as a third-party expert for upcoming National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS) projects. The KPMG contract, says the Government, is part of its commitment to apply smart procurement’s guiding principles during the NSPS process.

KPMG LLP is the Canadian member firm of KPMG International.

The task-based, three-year contract, with an option to extend for up to ten years, was awarded with an initial estimated value of $500,000. The total contract value will be adjusted over time as new work packages are identified and approved. The contract will enable assistance with the NSPS projects, including:

support to Canada’s contract negotiations, which may include providing advice and/or opinions regarding

  • industry trends, norms and standard practices;
  • assessment of cost proposals related to project implementation; and
  • provision of advice on procurement and project management activities.

A press release says “Economic Action Plan 2013 reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to continuing to improve procurement through frequent and early industry engagement, strengthened oversight/governance and the use of third-party expertise. Since its launch in 2010, the NSPS has applied these guiding principles, which have helped set the bar for the Government’s procurement processes.”

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