Canada's Auditor General Michael Ferguson waits to testify before the Commons public accounts committee on Parliament Hill in Ottawa May 15, 2012.
Credits: REUTERS/Chris Wattie
OTTAWA - Auditor General Michael Ferguson has slammed the Department of National Defence once again for failing to include full life cycle costs for the F-35 fighter jet procurement, including fuel and personnel costs for the next 35 years.
Defence bureaucrats have told the Commons public accounts committee that working out full life cycle costs isn't something they usually do, but Ferguson rejected that reasoning on Tuesday.
"Life cycle costing is required by Treasury Board policies and is also included in National Defence's own project approval directive," Ferguson said during his second appearance before the public accounts committee since issuing a report on the F-35 procurement process.
Ferguson also batted away National Defence's explanation for not publicly reporting all costs for the F-35 because they'd be incurred regardless of what plane the air force flies.
"It is important for decision-makers and parliamentarians to understand National Defence's estimate for personnel, operating, and maintenance costs even though these estimates are already within the existing budget allotment," he said.
On a positive note, assistant auditor general Jerome Berthelette gave the department of defence credit for considering several other fighters before deciding it wanted the F-35.
"They assessed the jet against four other options early on in the process back around 2005," said Berthelette, adding they examined the F-35 and "two other options" again in 2008.