Thank you again for being here.
I agree with Mrs. Block about the redaction concerns. We have invoices with only total charges. The quantities and unit prices are blocked out. It doesn't make any sense.
Minister, McKinsey was also awarded a contract for a workshop relating to the navy's digital transformation. I'm going to quote a letter from the document submissions that we received. The letter requests a sole-source requisition of this contract because, it says, McKinsey clearly indicated the cost of the one and a half day workshop would be less than $25,000, including taxes. It then says that, as the estimated expenditure did not exceed the threshold laid out at reference C, a sole-source contract was being requested.
That contract was indeed awarded to McKinsey with no competition. The contract ended up costing $24,999.98. That's two cents below the threshold that the letter appears to reference. My concern is that we have procurement regulations for a reason, and it's not the first time we've seen contracts built very close to the limit. This is two cents from the limit. As per the letter, McKinsey agreed to keep the contract below $25,000.
Do you think they priced the contract that way so that they would not have to compete for it and that this represents a problem with integrity in procurement by evading the intention of the regulations?