Do we make defense procurement issues too complex sometimes? From a Canadian community newspaper...
If F-35 is best, there's nothing to fear from tender process
As a small business owner, I have occasion, from time to time, to respond to Requests for Quotation or Requests for Proposal issued by the Government of Canada. Although what I offer is specialized consulting with respect to disabilities, I still have to compete for those contracts.
The competitive procurement process is to ensure that Canadians get the best value for their tax dollars.
With respect to the F-35 fighter, MP Gordon O'Connor stated to the editorial board of the Ottawa Citizen that his data as to costs and the rationale for the sole-source procurement came from the air force. If, in fact, the F-35 is the best fighter for the job, then there is nothing to fear from a competitive tender process.
No doubt Mr. O'Connor will respond that it is a lengthy and time-consuming business to prepare and submit all the requisite paperwork. Yes, it is. I've done it myself a number of times with no guarantees that I will be successful.
Apart from all the technological and operational questions hanging over the aircraft itself, I would really like to know why a supplier of pencils has to undergo a more rigorous risk management review for business amounting to thousands of dollars, while the Harper Government is prepared to spend billions with no risk management process at all.