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Internal Audit of CMC Renovation Project

March 29, 2006

Report Clearance Steps

Planning phase completedFebruary 2005
Implementation phase completedMarch 2005
Report sent to managementJanuary 2006
Management response received*Please see footnote
Report completedJanuary 2006
Report approved by Departmental Audit and Evaluation Committee (DAEC)March 2006

Acronyms used in the report

A&ESArchitectural and Engineering Services
CMCCanadian Meteorological Centre
DNDDepartment of National Defence
ECEnvironmentCanada
EUMAEuma Investments Ltd.
FAAFinancial Administration Act
GCRGovernment Contracting Regulations
MSCMeteorological Service of Canada
PWGSCPublic Works and Government Services Canada
TBTreasury Board
  

Acknowledgments

The Audit and Evaluation Project Team, Jeremy Hill, of HDP Group Inc. and Satianan Debidin under the direction of Jean Leclerc, would like to thank those individuals who contributed to this project and particularly Environment Canada employees, more specifically those working with the Meteorological Service of Canada in Dorval, Quebec.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

In order to implement an urgent renovation project at the MSC operational center in Dorval,Quebec, Environment Canada had requested and received Treasury Board’s approval for an increase in Ministerial delegation authority to contract for the renovations.

The purpose of this internal audit was to:

  1. Determine the extent to which contracting practices for architectural and engineering services have complied with the terms and conditions of the Memorandum of Agreement between the legal entity 101430 Canada Inc., located in Montreal and the Crown, with the provisions of the Government Contracting Regulations, the Treasury Board Policy on Contracting, the Financial Administration Act and the limitations provided in the increased authority;
  2. Describe how the increased delegation authority has been used;
  3. Comment on the utility of the increased delegation authority in responding to the requirement of the supercomputer installation; and
  4. Identify and describe any lessons learned and their transportability.

Conclusions

After reviewing all relevant contracting documents, and conducting interviews with the key personnel, we concluded that:

All contracts and call-ups were issued in accordance with the provisions of the Government Contracting Regulations, the Treasury Board Policy on Contracting, the Financial Administration Act and the terms of the existing agreement.

Absent the increased flexibilities to contract above the normal departmental limits, the project could not have been completed within the required timeframe.

CMC management increased management controls for the project in order to ensure that the terms of the contracting and construction were followed.

Suggestions for Future Consideration

In the capital construction project contracting process reviewed herein, we identified a number of “best” practices that are recommended for adoption to manage similarly large projects involving short timelines:

1.     a senior level departmental official (it was a Director General in the case of the CMC renovation/construction project) be tasked with the project management as his or her sole responsibility.  This assists, as was  observed in the audit , in the facilitation of communication, decision making and credibility with contractors and other stakeholders;

2.     the project authority should require the presentation of no less than three proposals for each call up.  One of the companies invited to submit a proposal should be selected by Environment Canada; and

3.     a project steeringcommittee be established with mandatory representation from Public Works and General Services Canada (PWGSC), as well as departmental and organizational representation, and that no authorization be considered final or binding absent the review and approval of the proposal by the steeringcommittee.



* No management response was required since the audit does not make any recommendations.

Internal Audit of CMC Renovation Project