The subjective time limit

When the Harper government offered its seven-point response to the auditor general’s concerns about the F-35 procurement in April, it included the promise of an update within 60 days.

The Department of National Defence, through the F-35 Secretariat, will provide annual updates to Parliament.  These updates will be tabled within a maximum of 60 days from receipt of annual costing forecasts from the Joint Strike Fighter program office, beginning in 2012.

Defence officials met with the JSF program office in early May. But instead of providing new estimates 60 days from then, the “National Fighter Procurement Secretariat” has now decided that new figures will have to wait until the fall.

The Secretariat has recommended that the first annual update be tabled in Parliament during the fall of 2012. Careful consideration has been given to the sequencing of the work required. The update needs to meet three conditions: it needs to be complete, it needs to provide a full project update and it needs to be independently verified. These conditions cannot be satisfactorily met prior to the fall.

Update 3:48pm. Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose responds to my suggestion that the seven-point plan was now a six-and-a-half point plan.

Secretariat will deliver on all 7 points. Want more time to independently validate DND’s numbers