On Monday, March 2nd, the City of Ottawa released the procurement documents for the Stage 2 Light-Rail Transit Trillium Line to the public. The documents show that TransitNEXT received the highest overall score of all three proponents and was the only bid that met the City’s affordability threshold. The other two bids were approximately $100 million and several hundred million dollars more – money that would have to come exclusively from City taxpayers.
These administrative, internal documents include technical compliance scores, technical evaluations, presentations, letters and more.
The documents cover the full procurement process, from the Request for Qualification to the completion of the Project Agreement. This release makes internal working documents on a P3 procurement available to the public, providing a comprehensive overview of the process from beginning to end.
The documents show that:
- All proponents, including selected proponent TransitNEXT, passed the go/no go technical threshold with no material deviations.
- The discretion exercised by the Executive Steering Committee to have one proponent, TransitNEXT, continue to the financial evaluation with a technical score of 67.27 per cent, below the 70-per-cent threshold, was made not knowing who the proponent was, based on legal advice and before the financial submissions were evaluated.
- Contract negotiations addressed all areas identified in TransitNext’s Request for Proposal submission, before they were recommended as the Preferred Proponent and approved by City Council on March 6, 2019.
Two independent parties, the Fairness Commissioner and the Auditor General, reviewed the City’s procurement process.
The Fairness Commissioner’s report found the procurement was “conducted in a fair, open and transparent manner that the City has followed the procedures in accordance with the applicable RFQ, RFP and City of Ottawa policy documentation and that the participants followed the procedures and fairly applied the evaluation criteria.”
The Auditor General found “the Stage 2 Trillium Line was undertaken in such a way that it was compliant with the process described in the RFP documents”, as reflected in his Audit of Stage 2 Light Rail Transit (LRT) Project Procurement report.
Members of Council will be able to ask questions about these documents on Monday, March 9, at the special meeting of the Finance and Economic Development Committee.