I appreciate that you didn't look back at chapter 6, but again, let me look at what Public Works' involvement was in 2010.
The recommendation was that: Public Works and Government Services Canada should review and apply the lessons learned with these helicopter acquisitions to ensure that, for future major capital equipment acquisitions, the degree of modifications...
They said they would make sure to do that. The department said they agreed. Public Works said that they would learn from the lessons. They would ensure that going forward, things were done properly. They would do the assessment of risk and make sure that “procurement strategies and contracts [would] be tailored to the complexity of the equipment being acquired”.
Mr. Saxton said it was complex. They said that they would tailor the processes they put in place to the complexities. They knew this was a complex project, I would think. I think we all agree on that.
Before I actually ask the question, the final conclusion in Madam Fraser's report talked about management. It read:Regarding project management, National Defence did not fully comply with the key provisions of the Treasury Board Project Management Policy, Project Approval Policy, and Policy on the Management of Major Crown Projects or with the Department's Project Approval Guide in managing the acquisition of the two types of military helicopters selected for our audit. Specifically, we identified several gaps in the completeness of information presented to decision makers as well as approvals and oversight by senior boards at key decision points.
That was in chapter 6 of the fall report.
I believe you also said in your report, sir, that decision-makers were not informed on this particular aspect of this particular procurement and that there were gaps in project approval. There were gaps in documentation and processes weren't followed.
I know that you haven't studied the other report and didn't compare them, but let me just say that the similarities are striking to the point that they look like twins. If indeed the minister read this, and I would assume that he did.... I would ask you to answer that question. I would assume that the minister in this department reads your reports. I know that my friends across the way do, so I would expect that the government actually knew about this report.
This is a question I'm sure you won't answer for me, but that's okay. I'll leave the question out there. If the minister knew about this report and knew he'd not been told all of the things in this particular project a number of years ago, why would he not have then said, “Hang on, folks. What are you not telling me about this one, the F-35, like you didn't tell me about the helicopters? Let's stop and make sure all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed”?
Is it fair to say that this question should have been asked?