What did the cabinet know and why was the F-35 allowed to proceed?

While a number of department officials—including the deputy minister of defence and the assistant deputy minister for materiel—are set to appear before the Public Accounts Committee this morning, Peter MacKay told a Senate committee yesterday that the federal cabinet approved the decision to release a $15-billion projection for the F-35. And John Ivison reports that the “F-35 Secretariat,” created in the wake of the the auditor general’s report, has been renamed.

And on those notes, Philippe Lagasse has more questions.

So, the other question: why did Cabinet allow DND/CF to avoid due diligence and go ahead with a questionable sole-sourced procurement? Cause, it’s worth repeating that the lack of due diligence was at the heart of the AG’s report…and it promises to be a recurring problem.

Interesting to hear that it will no longer be the ‘F-35 Secretariat’. But will DND/CF be told to write a new, more flexible SOR?

And who has the expertise necessary to keep an eye on the CF if theyre told to re-write the statement of requirements?

Will DND begin to exercise a more robust challenge function?




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What did the cabinet know and why was the F-35 allowed to proceed?

  1. Have they backed themselves into a corner? When they first named it the F-35 Secretariat, it was clear that they weren’t going to seriously consider all of the options available for replacing the CF-15s. Now, if the newly-renamed Secretariat still recommends the F-35, even if there are cheaper two-engine aircraft available, the more cynical among us will want to see the full documentation that lead to the decision. I don’t think that they’ll be able to pick the toy they want unless the F-35 becomes less expensive on a per-unit lifecycle basis and safer for the pilots (by incorporating a two engine design).

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