Ottawa, Ontario, November 26, 2013 – The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, issued the following statement in response to the release of the Auditor General’s Report:
“Today, I wish to thank the Auditor General for what was, overall, a positive assessment of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.
I was pleased to read his conclusions about this program, all based on the information that our officials provided. They include that:
- the NSPS shipyard selection process was “successful and efficient, independent of political influence, consistent with government regulations and policies and carried out in an open and transparent manner;”
- through the NSPS, the Government is indeed managing the acquisition of military ships in a timely, affordable, efficient and transparent manner that will support the shipbuilding industry for years to come; and that
- the NSPS model should be applied to future procurements.
The Auditor General’s three recommendations have been accepted. The NSPS Secretariat will continue to closely monitor developments of each project to ensure appropriate adjustments are made. They will keep ministers informed. And they will ensure that the productivity and cost-effectiveness of the shipyards are measured.
Early and extensive industry engagement, open book accounting and our use of independent Third Parties, including Fairness Monitors, will continue to ensure the integrity of this process. The robust governance model will continue to support efficient and effective decision making and will oversee the implementation of the Auditor General’s recommendations.
The NSPS has been the most open and transparent military procurement in Canada’s history. Our officials will have held six technical briefings on NSPS after today. This is in addition to the regularly updated information that is easily and publicly available online. As the process continues, we are committed to continuing this transparency for Canadian taxpayers.
To sum up, I want to reinforce what so many across the country have said: that the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy is a benefit for Canada. They include:
- Decisions were made objectively, free from personal favouritism and political influence, and encompass the elements of openness, competitiveness, transparency and compliance. I found no fairness deficiencies.
–Peter Woods, Fairness Monitor (Oct. 2011)
- We’ve been pushing for something like this for quite some time. It’s very important for the government to actually acknowledge that the shipbuilding industry is important to the country.
Peter Cairns, President, Shipbuilders Association of Canada (June 2010)
- We strongly support the government’s decision to build its naval and coast guard fleets in Canada and to manage their production in a way that mitigates the boom-and-bust cycles normally associated with ship fleet construction.
–Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (Oct. 2011)
- The government took extraordinary steps to be impartial and transparent.
–Elizabeth May (Oct. 2011)
- I think you can tell by the enthusiasm from the committee members that we’re all as excited about this as a lot of Canadians are, and I think credit goes to all of the actors. Perhaps it is a new standard in how we make major procurements.
–Pat Martin NDP MP (Nov. 2012)
Industry analysts have estimated that over 15,000 jobs will be created and over $2 billion in annual economic benefits over the next 30 years.
The Harper Government will keep our commitment to providing the men and women of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard with the equipment that they need, at the best value for taxpayers.
Building these ships here at home is good news for Canadian workers. It’s good news for families and communities. And it’s good news for shipbuilding – right here in Canada.”