About that documentation


One last point on the Defence Minister’s comments this weekend. Nearer the end of the interview, Kevin Newman asked Mr. MacKay about the “supporting documents” for the military’s analysis. Mr. MacKay reassured Mr. Newman.

There are certainly supporting documents. We’ll have Public Accounts look at that now. They’ll be officials before Public Accounts to talk about the supporting documents. There are documents that go back a number of years, as I said this is a 15-year procurement that began in 1997 under the previous Liberal government. And so there will an opportunity to look at all those documents. The key here, in my view, is to continue forward in a way that is going to ensure that we don’t face operational gaps. That the CF-18’s will be replaced with an aircraft that will meet the needs of our country and, most particularly, of the airforce.

In his report, the Auditor General makes several references to documentation (emphasis mine).

On risk assessment:

However, there is no documentation indicating how the risks were determined and analyzed. Consequently, we have no basis to determine if the risk assessments are complete and appropriate under the circumstances.

On selecting the F-35:

Also in 2008, National Defence undertook an options analysis of three contender aircraft against the high-level mandatory capabilities. These included the F-35, which was still under development at the time. This analysis concluded that, while all three aircraft could meet the high-level mandatory capabilities, the F-35 offered the “best value” because it provided “exceptional capability at the lowest cost and unparalleled benefits for the Canadian aerospace industry.” This analysis became pivotal to the decision-making process. The conclusions were presented to senior decision makers. There was no documentation supporting the analysis and conclusions.

On cost:

To date, there have been two key announcements regarding the budget for replacing the CF-18s: the May 2008 Canada First Defence Strategy and the July 2010 announcement of the F-35 purchase. The Canada First Defence Strategy established a budget of CAN$9 billion to acquire 65 next generation fighter aircraft. This budget figure was subsequently included in National Defence’s 2009 Investment Plan. It was also carried forward into decision documents to support the July 2010 announcement. Also in 2008, a budget of CAN$16 billion was established to operate and sustain the F-35 over 20 years. These budgets were based on estimates provided by National Defence, yet there is no documented analysis to show how they were developed.


About that documentation

  1. MacKay’s narrative shares nothing with the facts, as we know them.  This  is exactly the same approach he took during the detainee issue.  What I don’t understand is how he can think this
    approach helps him.  I am beginning to think he’s not that bright.

    • I disagree. He’s introducing just enough noise to make folks shrug their shoulders and move on. I think this approach works very well for him and the government.

      • I guess it works for everyone except those who prefer good government

    • I suspect he was waiting for the script from the PMO.  McKay isn’t bright enough to come up with these lines on his own. They muzzled him in the house last week to give him time to memorize his story and time it for Easter Sunday release. By Monday all the PMO conbots  would arrive with their spin at the ready to start posting on boards.

      • Deja vu all over again. Well choreographed – shot in small town Nova Scotia, the blue sweater vest, the well rehearsed earnestness.  He’s got it down.

  2. Just like his depiction of the Newfoundland search & rescue caper. After the fact, he said that was a prearranged training session, a claim which was clearly not supported by military email exchanges.

    These statements appear to be another of the toy soldier’s attempts to construct one of his retroactive truths.

  3. MacKay has to be the best prevaricator in Government and that is saying a lot.  He can give lessons to Pinochio.  When will these Cons be given the door?

    • Thanks – but I started on the second post and I could feel my blood pressure rising.  It’s just lies on more lies. 

  4.  ” this is a 15-year procurement that began in 1997 under the previous Liberal government” — so it’s not really our fault — we were forced to continue!  MacKay is either not very well informed, or not very bright, or tells lies reflexively.  Which qualities would we prefer in our minister of defence?

  5. The government saw the AG report many weeks before its release. Why did the conservatives have to wait 5 days after the release to come up with this simple explanation?

    More importantly, why did they not come up with this explanation while responding to the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s report in April 2011? 

    It appears to me that they had no documentation to justify their cost estimate and they would have looked stupid in a numbers’ war with the PBO.  So instead they chose to demonize the PBO and the official opposition and to stick to their smaller and friendlier number. Remember that the election was coming then.

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