SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

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Secretariat Delivers Progress Report on Seven-Point Plan

Releases Terms of Reference that will guide the evaluation of alternative fighter aircraft

GATINEAU, QUEBEC -- (Marketwire) -- 12/12/12 -- The National Fighter Procurement Secretariat (NFPS) today released the Terms of Reference that will guide its evaluation of alternative fighter aircraft - a key part of the Seven-Point Plan announced in April 2012. The Secretariat also made public a series of key reports and documents about its work to date to replace Canada's CF-18 aircraft.

"Last April, we set out a Seven-Point Plan to hit the reset button on the process to replace the CF-18 aircraft," said the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women. "With the release of the Terms of Reference that will guide the evaluation of alternative fighter aircraft, we are demonstrating that we are serious about looking at all available options to replace the CF-18's."

During the evaluation of options, the Statement of Operational Requirement prepared by the Royal Canadian Air Force that led to the selection of the F-35 will be set aside and not used as part of this new evaluation of options, allowing for a full consideration of the options available to sustain Canada's fighter capability. Any effects on the Statement of Operational Requirement will be assessed once the options analysis is complete.

The Secretariat released the following documents today:

- National Fighter Procurement Secretariat's Seven-Point Plan: Status Report;

- Terms of Reference for the evaluation of options to sustain a Canadian Forces fighter capability. This new evaluation of options will review and assess available fighter aircraft, and each option will be evaluated against the roles and missions of the Canada First Defence Strategy;

- National Defence's Annual Update, setting out comprehensive life-cycle cost estimates for the F-35;

- KPMG's independent review of those costs, which establishes (1) a comprehensive life-cycle framework for reporting costs, and (2) the review of the National Defence Annual Update; and

- Industry Canada's report on Canadian Industrial Participation in the Joint Strike Fighter Program.

The work to date reflects the Secretariat's commitment to improve due diligence, oversight and transparency. Third parties were engaged to develop the cost framework and review National Defence's Annual Update, and a panel of independent reviewers external to Government will be convened to support the work of the evaluation of options. In addition, a third party will be engaged shortly to review the acquisitions process and to identify lessons learned going forward. Funding for the acquisition of the fighter aircraft will continue to be frozen until a replacement for the CF-18 has been chosen.

"Canadians can be confident that the National Defence Annual Update on estimated costs has been independently reviewed by KPMG, and that the other documents have been subject to detailed scrutiny by the Deputy Minister Governance Committee and by its independent members external to Government: Mr. Denis Desautels, a former Auditor General, and Dr. Ken Norrie, a respected academic. All of these reports are now in the public domain. Our Government will not proceed with a decision on the replacement of the CF-18 aircraft until the Seven-Point Plan is complete," said Minister Ambrose.

For more detailed information, please refer to the backgrounders on the National Fighter Procurement Secretariat Web site at www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/app-acq/stamgp-lamsmp/snac-nfps-eng.html.

PWGSC news releases are also available on our Internet site at http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/medias-media/index-eng.html.

Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/PWGSC_TPSGC.

Ce texte est egalement disponible en francais.

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