A CAD 400m ($354m) Canadian public sector outsourcing contract that has reportedly been awarded to CGI Group is under fire from the incumbent contractor that lost out in the most recent round of bidding.
Ottawa-based TPG Technology Consulting is calling for a public inquiry into Public Works and Government Services Canada’s decision to give the contract to CGI, Canada’s top services provider. TPG alleges that Public Works changed the proposal evaluation process to favor large firms, and that CGI’s ties to the agency may have had something to do with the award.
CGI issued a formal response to the charges, which it called false, unfounded and inappropriate, and said it was looking into its legal options. A CGI spokesperson told Computer Business Review that the contract hasn’t been officially awarded yet and was still awaiting approval from the Canadian Treasury Board; until it had received word from the government that it has actually received the contract and could publicly discuss the deal, the company wouldn’t say anything else. The contract was scheduled to be announced yesterday, but CGI had heard nothing by late afternoon.
The deal, according to TPG, runs for seven year and covers systems and network support systems for several large government programs. TPG originally won the contract in 1999, but it said that when it was rebid in 2006, the government changed the RFP process to initially exclude TPG from bidding, and once it was allowed to compete, to put it at a disadvantage to the much larger CGI. According to TPG, IBM also competed for the contract.
TPG claims that the technical scores between proposals were very close, and that its proposal was tens of thousands of dollars less than the other bids. But TPG alleges that Public Works reevaluated the technical scores and changed the scores, presumably to give CGI the edge.
And while stopping short of any specific allegations, TPG claims that Public Works Minister Michael Fortier has connections to CGI through his relationship with CGI president Michael Roach, his time working with Credit Suisse First Boston, which worked with CGI, and as director of Delphes Technology, a self-described strategic partner of CGI, according to TPG release.
In response, the CGI spokesperson was willing to say that Delphes has never done any federal work with CGI, and that the work they did together on a Quebec contract is over.
In a separate release on Wednesday, TPG said that it is not questioning any of CGI’s actions, but rather what it sees as unfairness in the award process. TPG Technology invites the CGI Group to join them in a call for an investigation in the process and conflicts of interest in this case, the company said.