By Theo van de Kletersteeg

On February 27, 2012, a one-day conference was held by Queen’s University School of Policy Studies in Kingston, Ontario, to discuss how the recent National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS) selection process had changed defence procurement policies. The conference was attended by numerous academics, representatives from the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Coast Guard, the Department of National Defence, and industry executives.

Panellists were unanimous in their praise of NSPS, which was hailed as an innovative and transparent approach to large-scale defence procurement. The merit-based decision-making process, which included the use of independent third parties, a fairness monitor and other organizations to oversee the process, created a transparent environment that removed the influence of politics from the process. The shipyards were evaluated on a combination of mandatory requirements (administrative, legal and financial requirements), as well as rated requirements, which focused on the shipyard’s current state and plans (60 per cent), but also evaluated the cost to Canada for upgrades and improvements (20 per cent), the shipyard’s financial situation (10 per cent), and value proposition (10 per cent).

It was concluded that the use of a process like NSPS achieved the best value for Canada in the selection of shipyards to carry out the principal work, and that the positive lessons learned from this procurement process should guide Canada through the implementation of similar processes for future large-scale defence procurements.