OTTAWA --- The federal government can award a contract to design the country’s $60-billion fleet of new warships after a trade tribunal reversed an earlier order not to finish the deal.
The Canadian International Trade Tribunal ordered the government last month to postpone awarding the high-stakes design contract until it had a chance to determine whether the deal is kosher.
But the tribunal rescinded the order Monday after the federal procurement department warned against delaying the warship project, which will see 15 new vessels built to replace Canada’s frigates and destroyers.
In a letter to the tribunal, Andre Fillion, head of military and maritime purchases for Public Services and Procurement Canada, said the deal “is urgent” and “a delay in awarding contracts would be contrary to the public interest.”
The decision paves the way for the government to sign a deal with U.S. defence giant Lockheed Martin, whose warship design beat out two others following a long and controversial competition.
Fellow competitor Alion Science and Technology of Virginia has alleged that Lockheed’s design, which is based on a new British frigate called the Type 26, did not meet the government’s requirements. (end of excerpt)
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