Evidence of meeting #42 for Public Accounts in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was cost.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Kevin Page  Parliamentary Budget Officer, Library of Parliament
  • Sahir Khan  Assistant Parliamentary Budget Officer, Expenditure and Revenue Analysis, Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, Library of Parliament
  • Peter Weltman  Senior Director, Expenditure and Revenue Analysis, Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, Library of Parliament
  • Michelle d'Auray  Secretary of the Treasury Board of Canada, Treasury Board Secretariat
  • Robert Fonberg  Deputy Minister, Department of National Defence
  • Dan Ross  Assistant Deputy Minister, Materiel, Department of National Defence
  • François Guimont  Deputy Minister, Deputy Receiver General for Canada, Department of Public Works and Government Services
  • André Deschamps  Commander, Royal Canadian Air Force, Department of National Defence
  • Simon Kennedy  Senior Associate Deputy Minister, Department of Industry
  • Kevin Lindsey  Assistant Deputy Minister, Chief Financial Officer, Finance and Corporate Services, Department of National Defence
  • Tom Ring  Assistant Deputy Minister, Acquisitions Branch, Department of Public Works and Government Services

10:35 a.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen Welland, ON

My apologies, sir. Lieutenant-General.

10:35 a.m.

LGen André Deschamps

That's okay, sir.

10:35 a.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen Welland, ON

You can tell I was never in the forces, obviously. I didn't get the ranks right.

My apologies to you, sir.

10:35 a.m.

LGen André Deschamps

No problem.

10:35 a.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen Welland, ON

I'll try not to make the mistake again.

So you were saying that the U.K. is in, but are they purchasing?

10:35 a.m.

LGen André Deschamps

As we've seen reported recently, much like Canada, the United Kingdom will make a decision of acquisition at the appropriate time for their budgets and government.

10:35 a.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen Welland, ON

Fair enough.

I'm sharing a limited amount of time. Let me pass it to Madam Duncan.

10:35 a.m.

NDP

The Chair David Christopherson

You have over a minute.

10:35 a.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Thank you.

My question is to the Deputy Minister of Public Works. My concern is more a broad one rather than the specifics of the matter of the F-35.

The Auditor General was very clear in his determination that Public Works did not demonstrate due diligence in its oversight role in this matter, and the department has challenged that finding, as reported in the Auditor General's report. Do you continue to hold the view that you can rely on such short-circuited procedures as applied here, or would you follow in future, as the Auditor General has recommended, Treasury Board rules and the principles of good management and due diligence?

10:35 a.m.

Deputy Minister, Deputy Receiver General for Canada, Department of Public Works and Government Services

François Guimont

Thank you for the question.

I explained this Tuesday, when I was before the committee, that when the Auditor General came before the committee he stated, and I quoted him, that some due diligence had been applied by Public Works. I also explained that the reason we had a disagreement had to do with the fact that “did not demonstrate”, under recommendation 2.81, is an absolute, and I am comfortable with the fact that he has recognized that some due diligence has been applied. This, to me, was the position that we took with him in the course of the interaction we had with his office.

Now, in all fairness, this is a unique procurement process, no question about that. In retrospect, we collectively--but I'll speak for myself--if we were to look back, a different frame would have been put in place to carry out our responsibilities. And I would—

10:40 a.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

If I might intervene, Mr. Guimont—

10:40 a.m.

NDP

The Chair David Christopherson

Madam Duncan, time has expired.

Over to Madam Bateman, who now has the floor.

May 3rd, 2012 / 10:40 a.m.

Conservative

Joyce Bateman Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Fonberg, you were discussing the three kinds of costs, and my colleague Mr. Allen wasn't able to allow you to finish. I think it would be very useful to this committee if you could table the facts and the details of the composition of the costs for all the members of this committee.

What I'm hearing very clearly is that your analysis, right from the start, has included acquisition costs and sustainment costs for 20 years. Then you, as we did here, heard from the Auditor General, who is now suggesting that we also include operating costs. If you could table with this committee for our report the composition of those, that would be helpful.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I have a few quick questions, short questions, but I want to understand. Have we purchased any fighter aircraft to replace the fleet of CF-18s yet?

10:40 a.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of National Defence

Robert Fonberg

No, we haven't.

10:40 a.m.

Conservative

Joyce Bateman Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Okay, thank you, sir.

Have we paid out any money for an airplane, or actually placed a procurement order?