Accounting for the Defence Department

The mission in Libya cost significantly more than the Defence Minister once suggested. And the government recently described the purchase of 13 new armoured vehicles as a purchase of transmission parts.

In early April the government awarded a $105-million contract to a German firm, FFG, to build 13 Leopard armoured engineering vehicles for the Canadian Forces. The only information put out by government was a brief and inaccurate notice stating that the company had been awarded a contract to provide “vehicular power transmission components.” The notice also claimed the deal was only for one item. But defence industry sources say the government is misleading the public; the deal is actually for 13 specialized armoured vehicles, and not transmission parts.

In addition, the upcoming issue of the Canadian Naval Review published by Dalhousie University will report that the Defence Department’s Strategic Investment Plan, previously released by the Liberal government, is now considered “a classified document” and cannot be issued to the public. In April, DND informed the Review of the government’s new policy. The investment document outlines a 15-year plan for equipment projects, their budgets and delivery schedules.

In other news, it’s now been nearly 10 days since I asked National Defence for a response to the Auditor General’s suggestion that a 36-year lifecycle costing for the F-35 already exists. As soon as I receive a response, I’ll post it in its entirety.