Several days ago I posted an analysis of the latest procurement travesty at the Department of National Defence: the replacement of the army’s medium-weight transport trucks under the Medium Support Vehicle Systems project. I pointed out that there appeared to be a minor financial boondoggle in the making: although the publicly estimated cost of the project was $1.1 billion, so far the estimates of just three of its four individual components were $1.3 billion. Something didn’t add up, I said.
And it seems that I was right, or rather that the situation was worse than I had suspected. Sources are telling Postmedia that the reason the bidding for the massive contract was abruptly terminated — three minutes before deadline, like a delinquent child racing into school with his homework from the night before — was that DND bureaucrats tried to tack $300 million in costs onto the project without telling the Treasury Board. It seems that the publicly cited $800 million figure for the military trucks (the rest of the $1.3 billion comes from a separate order for non-military trucks, and then various special equipment to mount on all the trucks for particular missions) was not quite in keeing with the $430 million which DND told the Treasury the trucks would cost.
This is yet another example of the deceitful scoundrel and Defence Minister Peter MacKay attempting to defraud the taxpaying Canadian public through dishonest bookkeeping related to his out-of-control procurement activities. Once again I expect we’ll be told — as we were with the F-35 fighter — that the fault lies with a platoon of rogue bureaucrats in DND (or maybe rogue officers within the Canadian Forces) running amok with taxpayers’ dollars. Nonsense. The fault lies entirely, squarely, and rightly with MacKay. He is the minister responsible, and if this report is true, once again he has been caught attempting to sneak hundreds of millions of dollars of our money out the back door without submitting accurate cost estimates to the public in advance.Tweet