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Friday, January 15, 2016

US Firm Alleges CAF Truck Contract Unfair

Published by: David Pugliese, 

A major U.S. defence contractor is alleging a contract worth more than $800 million for new trucks for the Canadian Forces was unfairly awarded.

Oshkosh Defense announced Thursday that it had filed a complaint about the contract with the Canadian International Trade Tribunal. The complaint will now be reviewed by the federal tribunal but no details were available on how long that would take.

The complaint alleges that Public Works and Government Services Canada, now Public Services and Procurement Canada, did not conduct a fair and transparent process to select the new trucks.

In July, then Defence Minister Jason Kenney announced that Mack Defense, LLC, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, had been awarded two contracts to provide standard military pattern trucks and related equipment for the Canadian Forces.

Assembly will take place in a Sainte-Claire, Quebec, plant operated by Prevost, one of the firms partnered with Mack.

The overall contract for the project, known by its military acronym as MSVS SMP, is worth $834 million.

“Following a thorough review during the past five months, Oshkosh has concluded that there are significant questions regarding the conduct of the MSVS SMP testing and evaluation,” Wilson Jones, president and chief executive officer of Oshkosh Corporation, said in a statement.

Public Services and Procurement Canada is limited in what it can say at this point about Oshkosh’s allegations. PSPC “is committed to an open, fair and transparent competition process, department spokesman Pierre-Alain Bujold told The Ottawa Citizen's Defence Watch. “As there is a review underway, it would be inappropriate for PSPC to comment.”

The program to purchase the trucks was originally announced in 2006 by the Conservative government but the acquisition had been dogged by problems.

The first delivery of the trucks and equipment is planned for summer 2017, and deliveries are expected to be completed by fall 2018, according to the federal government’s news release issued at the time. With the ability to carry 9.5 tonnes, the Standard Military Pattern trucks are the backbone of the Canadian Forces truck fleet, the government noted.