The Defence Department had received government approval in 2009 to move forward with the $430 million purchase of 1,500 off-the-shelf medium-sized trucks. But in subsequent years department and military officials began adding more capabilities to what they wanted in the vehicles, bumping the estimated cost to between $730 million and $800 million. And in an unprecedented move DND officials continued on with the acquisition without going back to Treasury Board for approval to cover the extra $300 million to $370 million in costs, according to industry, military and government representatives.
When Treasury Board and Conservative government officials discovered what was happening they intervened, shutting down the project last week just minutes before bidding was to close. The decision to take such action was aimed at avoiding another publicly embarrassing military procurement for the Conservatives.