The Auditor General appeared before the Public Accounts Committee to explain his findings on the F-35 procurement.
“There were some significant things that were missing from the life-cycle costing in this, for example attrition, for example upgrades, and the fact that these aircraft were going to last for 36 years, not just 20 years,” Mr. Ferguson told MPs. “When we raised the issue of life-cycle costing and the fact that it was not complete, I don’t believe that we were nitpicking in any way. We were saying that there were significant elements that were missing,” he said.
From the “who-knew-what-and-when?” file, there is also this.
Ferguson said it was National Defence that estimated the full life-cycle of the F-35s to be 36 years. “And therefore by definition, to apply lifecycle costing, we felt it should include the whole 36 years since that is the estimated lifecycle,” he said. Ferguson also said the department has an estimate for what it will cost to use the planes for the full 36-year lifespan. “But numbers brought forward for decision-making purposes and used, for example, in response to the Parliamentary Budget Office numbers were based on 20 of those 36 years,” he said.
After some disagreement over who specifically to invite, the committee has extended invitations to the deputy ministers at public works, defence and industry and the secretary at the treasury board to appear next Tuesday. Those officials can bring along any other officials they wish to be included.