Canadian Military/Defence procurement process (Mega Thread)

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stellarpanther

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MilEME09 said:
Agreed, especially to a degree the PRes, new or upgrading armories and other facilities would create jobs in a lot of towns and cities. Be a chance to prepare for future growth, maybe return old capabilities, for example what if we rebuilt the CFB Edmonton airfield? New hangers in cold lake, etc..

I agree with you one hundred percent that it's a great idea but I don't see it happening.  My guess is that if this goes on much longer, the DND/CAF and many other departments will have their budgets cut as the government tries to save other sectors of the economy.  What we have now is what we're stuck with for the foreseeable future, IMO.

 

daftandbarmy

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Meanwhile, in the UK's lead 'lefty' paper....

I only read online because it's free - thanks socialism! Regardless, this piece might provide some good insights into what Canada's political left wing might just be thinking too:

What does ‘national defence' mean in a pandemic? It's no time to buy fighter jets

The UK dismissed early warnings about coronavirus – spending billions on the arms industry while ignoring real threats

We are defending ourselves against the wrong threats. For decades, UK governments have been fighting not just the last war but a redundant notion of war, spending hundreds of billions against imaginary hazards. At the same time, as we have become horribly aware over the past few weeks, they have neglected real and urgent dangers.

A month ago, just as the coronavirus began racing across the UK, the government boasted that it had raised military spending by £2bn to £41.5bn. Our military force, it claimed, was “the tip of the spear for a resurgent Global Britain”.

Most of this money will be spent on equipment and infrastructure. The UK is acquiring 138 new F-35 aircraft. According to the manufacturers, Lockheed, this “supersonic, multi-role” fighter “represents a quantum leap in air-dominance capability”. It “has the range and flexibility to win, again and again”. But win against what? Can it bomb the coronavirus? Can its “advanced stealth, integrated avionics, sensor fusion and superior logistics support” defeat climate breakdown? It is of as much use in solving the world’s complex and pressing problems as a jackhammer is to a watch-mender.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/08/national-defence-corona-pandemic-fighter-jets
 

MilEME09

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People seem to think only with the current crisis, yes fighter jets are useless in a pandemic but the armed forces have to be prepared for a variety of threats.

I agree with you one hundred percent that it's a great idea but I don't see it happening.  My guess is that if this goes on much longer, the DND/CAF and many other departments will have their budgets cut as the government tries to save other sectors of the economy.  What we have now is what we're stuck with for the foreseeable future, IMO.

Sadly you are likely to be correct even though we get see a lot of new potential kit, capabilities, and infrastructure if this was done right. The tech sector is growing, I am no expert could we maybe get a production license for radio's, new tac vests, not big ticket items per say, but items that we can easily order a lot of to keep people employed in this country for awhile.
 

RocketScientist

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Don't think many of us non-military folks will complain if the government decides to redirect funds from jet buying to keeping jobs and food on the table. But that might just be the "lefty" in me, as some have so kindly put it.

In other news, MDA is now officially Canadian again. Makers of the RADARSAT Constellation, Canadarm2, Canadian Combat Ship Team systems, etc.
https://business.financialpost.com/pmn/press-releases-pmn/business-wire-news-releases-pmn/maxar-announces-close-of-mda-divestiture-and-provides-update-on-ongoing-support-of-critical-customer-missions

Will go private just to go public again in a few years.
 

CBH99

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Not a bad strategy to make a ton of money every few years.

Go private, then eventually do another IPO and rake in the bucks.  Wait a few years, repeat.



Not a bad strategy...
 

TCM621

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ACE_Engineer said:
Don't think many of us non-military folks will complain if the government decides to redirect funds from jet buying to keeping jobs and food on the table. But that might just be the "lefty" in me, as some have so kindly put it.

In other news, MDA is now officially Canadian again. Makers of the RADARSAT Constellation, Canadarm2, Canadian Combat Ship Team systems, etc.
https://business.financialpost.com/pmn/press-releases-pmn/business-wire-news-releases-pmn/maxar-announces-close-of-mda-divestiture-and-provides-update-on-ongoing-support-of-critical-customer-missions

Will go private just to go public again in a few years.

So why don't we just concede the Arctic to Russia? Does anyone think bad actors like China or Russia aren't going to leverage this for their own interests? Do I think Russia is likely to invade the NWT? No but that does not mean we can ignore it.

We also don't have the resources to actually help during this pandemic. We don't have a hospital ship we can dock in Vancouver to help. We don't have functioning hospitals we could use in a surge capacity to take some of the pressure off. We dont have the people to actually add much to the response.

Times lime this should be a wake up call. I am willing to bet the same people who lost their minds when Trump did what he is mandated to and out Americans first also think the US should be responsible for our defence.
 

CBH99

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Nobody is going to start a war anytime soon -- too many domestic issues worldwide right now in regards to the pandemic (serious health issues in every country) - government financial support for citizens and businesses - government finances all over the world are completely out of whack.

The only country I could see really doing anything provocative would be the Chinese, ironically enough.  I'm not convinced in the slightest this wasn't done to weaponize it's supply chain of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment... medical equipment is horded from the rest of the world while lying about the virus, and is now selling back to us. 

Quickly and effectively weakens out economies, relying on them for vital medical equipment, and hoping we end up thanking them for their help for a problem they clearly created, clearly tried to hide, and then influenced various organizations like the WHO to help them tow the line. 




I'm a very pro military guy, was in for just over a decade.  But I agree -- while I don't want to see the budget slashed, I can understand if governments around the world (our own included) put certain projects on the back-burner until things stabilize and get sorted out.

Problem is we have kicked the can so far down the road with certain projects, the government has backed itself into a tight space with very little wiggle room.  Thankfully the NSPS is generating a lot of jobs & generating a lot of domestic business, which employs people who in turn pay taxes.  Not much wiggle room on the fighter replacement though.



Nobody is saying give up the arctic.  That being said, despite the mainstream media reports, Russia actually does very little outside of their domestic waters -- the truth is Russia isn't going to be taking over the Canadian arctic anytime soon.  It would be a huge mistake politically and economically for them to do so...and Putin didn't get to where he is because he's stupid.

Same reason he isn't going to invade Europe anytime soon -- they buy about 80% of Russian oil and gas, and keep Moscow's finances turning. 



If anything, hopefully this would make some folks in Ottawa wake up to the benefits of getting projects done quickly and in a COST EFFECTIVE manner, and streamline things.  As some projects have to move forwards, even if the government wants to put the break on defense bucks for a year or two.    :2c:
 

MilEME09

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https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/auditors-target-defence-department-for-poor-oversight-of-military-spending-plan?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#Echobox=1592155603

Entire SSE plan has only 3 people dedicated to it, well I have go say those 3 people probably need stress leave.
 

MarkOttawa

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Conclusion of paper at CGAI:

Toward Agile Procurement for National Defence: Matching the Pace of Technological Change
...
Conclusion: Trust and Accountability

No matter what agile initiatives are put in place, they will only succeed if a still larger change in culture is embraced, one that rethinks trust and accountability in defence procurement. The current procurement system, with its many checks, gates, and procedures, is the result of controls and oversight mechanisms being introduced to address distrust between ministers, central agencies, and departments involved in major procurements. This distrust is understandable. There have been significant errors in the past and no government wants to face the media and opposition criticism when projects involving millions or billions of dollars go bad. Whenever there has been a failure or mishap, it has been attractive to add additional layers of oversight and procedure, including deputy-level committees, independent reviews, and external audits. And while these measures have arguably reduced risk and increased confidence, they ensure that the procurement system remains rigid. Evidently, a rigid system is not one that is well-placed to accept agile approaches, particularly if they involve higher risk tolerance and greater delegation.

Indeed, no tangible improvements to Canadian defence procurement timelines will be possible unless enough trust is restored to loosen the constraints that permeate the system. Rather than waiting for trust to be revived, however, it will be necessary to build it back up by accepting a trade-off between risk and results, and by accepting that failure is part of the learning process, not a reason to stop moving forward. Certain efforts have already been put in place, including the setting of a long-term investment plan agreed to by the finance and defence departments, the adoption of accrual accounting for the defence budget, and a move toward risk-based authorities.

These are promising initiatives and they must be built upon.  DND/CAF will need to be given the authority and flexibility to try out different approaches that allow them to acquire and modernize capabilities with greater speed and regularity. These approaches might include:

    Evergreen umbrella projects for ongoing capability improvements where funding can be reallocated among sub-projects by project sponsors.
    A ‘colour of money’ between Vote 1 and Vote 5 for high technology acquisitions that has the flexibility of Vote 1 but the funding levels and ability to acquire new capability of Vote 5.
    A fast-tracked approval and contracting processes for technological and regulatory upgrades (allowing them to skip or reduce the number of gates they must pass within DND/CAF’s governance boards and/or at the Treasury Board), with high flexibility in terms of initial budgets and schedules.

This will inevitably lead to false starts, mistakes, and errors. But as long as DND/CAF are open and transparent about what went wrong and how they are learning from the errors --that they accept to be accountable for their broadened responsibilities-- it may be possible to discover mechanisms and approaches that will enable Canada to keep pace with rapid technological change in the defence sector. To be blunt, considering the government’s current priorities, trust in exchange for transparency will do far more to improve defence procurement than a single agency will.

While this suggestion may appear fanciful at best and inconceivable at worst, the alternative is not sustainable or cost-effective. The Canadian military will increasingly need to acquire and maintain systems that depend on constantly evolving software and technological innovations. Rigid procedures will continue to act as an impediment to the timely procurement of these capabilities, which will degrade the operational relevance of the CAF and options available to government. Bestowing greater trust in exchange for clearer accountability may not be sufficient to avoid this outcome, but it is necessary...

About the Authors

Kalen Bennett is an MA student at the Norman Patterson School of International Relations in Security and Defence Policy. His research focuses have included political philosophy, populism, the European Union, and defence procurement.

Major-General (Retired) Doug Dempster served as the Defence strategic planner, and later as NATO Assistant Secretary General for Executive Management and head of the Centre for Executive Leadership at the University of Ottawa.

Philippe Dumas est doctorant à l’École nationale d’administration publique (ENAP). Sa thèse porte sur les projets d’acquisition de chasseurs au Canada depuis les années 1980.

Caroline Leprince is a policy analyst with the Canada Border Services Agency. She previously held positions in the federal public service in the areas of national security, cyber security, and public safety. Caroline is dedicated to promoting women’s leadership in the field of security and defence. As such, she sat on the board of WIIS-Canada from 2016-2017 before holding the position of executive director from 2018-2019. Caroline is an associate fellow with the Raoul-Dandurand Chair of Strategic and Diplomatic Studies and the International Centre for the Study of the Profession of Arms. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including in International Journal and Études Internationales, and she has contributed to edited volumes on Canada’s foreign policy.

Kim Richard Nossal went to school in Melbourne, Beijing, Toronto, and Hong Kong and attended the University of Toronto, receiving his PhD in 1977. In 1976 he joined the Department of Political Science at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, where he taught international relations and Canadian foreign policy, serving as chair of the Department in 1989–90 and 1992–1996. In 2001, he went to Queen’s University, heading the Department of Political Studies until 2009. He served as director of the Centre for International and Defence Policy from 2011 to 2013. From 2013 to 2015, he was the executive director of the Queen’s School of Policy Studies.

David Perry is the Vice President, Senior Analyst and a Fellow with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. He is the host of the weekly Defence Deconstructed Podcast and author of multiple publications related to defence budgeting, transformation and procurement. He is also a columnist for the Canadian Naval Review. He received his PhD in political science from Carleton University where his dissertation examined the link between defence budgeting and defence procurement. He is an adjunct professor at the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary and a research fellow of the Centre for the Study of Security and Development at Dalhousie University. 

William Richardson recently completed his Master’s studies at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University. His research focuses include western air power, interoperability and defence procurement. He currently works as a policy analyst at Global Affairs Canada.

Elinor Sloan is Professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science at Carleton University, Ottawa, and is a former defence analyst with Canada’s Department of National Defence. She is a graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada (BA), the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton (MA), and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University (PhD).

Craig Stone holds a BA in Economics from the University of Manitoba and an MA and PhD in War Studies (Defence Economics) from the Royal Military College of Canada. Dr Stone joined the academic staff at Canadian Forces College (CFC) as an Assistant Professor in the summer of 2005 after 29 years in the Canadian Forces, the last five at CFC in the Strategic Studies Directorate.

https://www.cgai.ca/toward_agile_procurement_for_national_defence_matching_the_pace_of_technological_change#Conclusion

Mark
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Colin Parkinson

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MilEME09 said:
https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/auditors-target-defence-department-for-poor-oversight-of-military-spending-plan?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#Echobox=1592155603

Entire SSE plan has only 3 people dedicated to it, well I have go say those 3 people probably need stress leave.

Likely as the military correctly assumed it was all smoke and mirrors.
 

daftandbarmy

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MarkOttawa said:
Conclusion of paper at CGAI:

Mark
Ottawa

Embracing Agile

"The spread of agile raises intriguing possibilities. What if a company could achieve positive returns with 50% more of its new-product introductions? What if marketing programs could generate 40% more customer inquiries? What if human resources could recruit 60% more of its highest-priority targets? What if twice as many workers were emotionally engaged in their jobs? Agile has brought these levels of improvement to IT. The opportunity in other parts of the company is substantial. But a serious impediment exists. When we ask executives what they know about agile, the response is usually an uneasy smile and a quip such as “Just enough to be dangerous.” They may throw around agile-related terms (“sprints,” “time boxes”) and claim that their companies are becoming more and more nimble. But because they haven’t gone through training, they don’t really understand the approach. Consequently, they unwittingly continue to manage in ways that run counter to agile principles and practices, undermining the effectiveness of agile teams in units that report to them."

https://hbr.org/2016/05/embracing-agile
 

dapaterson

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Colin P said:
Likely as the military correctly assumed it was all smoke and mirrors.
Rather, managing the planned investments, coordinating approvals from government and doing project management for the initiatives in SSE were all functions already resident within DND.  The real question is why three more people were needed to manage a to do list.
 

MilEME09

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Well today we got the thrown speech, and it sounded like no breaks on the spending train, this can be very good news for the CAF if all things go well, programs to replace the 9mm, LSVW, HLVW, Heavy engineering equipment, among a long list of other projects could still be a reality this decade especially if DND/public works can clean up their act. Looks like they did with the latest I read about the pistol project that now will deliver in 2022.
 
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