News Release Article from  Public Works and Government Services Canada

National Fighter Procurement Secretariat now Operational

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Improving Due Diligence, Oversight, and Transparency

For immediate release

GATINEAU, Quebec, June 13, 2012 — The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, today announced that the National Fighter Procurement Secretariat is now operational. The Secretariat will ensure that due diligence, oversight, and transparency are applied so that the Royal Canadian Air Force acquires the fighter aircraft it needs to complete its missions at home and abroad.

The Terms of Reference have been finalized, and they will guide and shape the work going forward, detailing who will do what, and how. The aim of the Terms of Reference is to set in place an improved governance and coordination structure, strengthen due diligence, and commit departments to transparency through more timely and effective communications. The Deputy Minister-level Governance Committee will present its conclusions to ministers in support of the Government’s decisions on how to move forward with the replacement of the CF-18 fleet.

“I am pleased to announce that the Secretariat is operational and will play the lead coordinating role as the Government moves to replace Canada’s aging CF-18 fleet,” said Minister Ambrose. “As stated in the seven-point action plan, the funding envelope allocated for the acquisition of a new fighter aircraft will remain frozen and Canada will not purchase replacements until further due diligence, oversight, and transparency are applied to this acquisition.”

A Deputy Minister-level Governance Committee has been established as the key decision-making body for the oversight and coordination of the work of the Secretariat. This committee will be chaired by the deputy minister of Public Works and Government Services and includes senior officials from the Department of National Defence and Industry Canada, and ex-officio members, including the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, and members from the Privy Council Office, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, and the Department of Finance Canada.

In addition, two eminent Canadians who are external to the public service have been confirmed as members of the decision-making body. These independent members will further strengthen the impartiality of the decision-making process. Joining the committee in this role are L. Denis Desautels, former Auditor General of Canada (1991–2001) and a recipient of the Order of Canada; and Dr. Kenneth Norrie, an economic historian and professor of economics at McMaster University.

“I am very pleased that Mr. Desautels and Dr. Norrie will assist with this important work,” said Minister Ambrose. “Their considerable experience providing informed, independent points of view on matters of public policy is welcome and will result in additional due diligence in support of the project.”

The National Fighter Procurement Secretariat is led by a newly appointed executive director, and supported by a small team drawn from departments with responsibility for this acquisition.

Please visit the National Fighter Procurement Secretariat Web site for additional information.

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