The auditors also noted the procurement staff overseeing the acquisition of the OOSV had erroneously concluded the project was of “low risk.”
The OOSV will be outfitted with equipment for marine and scientific research on ocean currents and the seabed. It will replace an existing Canadian Coast Guard science research ship. The new vessel will be capable of performing multiple tasks, including oceanographic, geological and hydrographic survey missions. This work will contribute to Canada’s understanding of oceans and the impacts of climate change, according to the federal government.
The OOSV is being built as part of the federal government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy. Auditor General Karen Hogan is currently examining that strategy, with a report to be released Feb. 25.
The day before that audit is released, Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux will make public his study on the cost of another shipbuilding strategy program, the Canadian Surface Combatant. That project to buy 15 new warships has also skyrocketed in price.
The Canadian Surface Combatant project would see the construction of Type 26 warships for the Royal Canadian Navy at Irving Shipbuilding on the east coast. The vessels will replace the current Halifax-class frigate fleet. However, the project has already faced delays and significant increases in cost, as the price tag climbed from an original $14-billion estimate to $26 billion and then to $70 billion.
The PBO study comes at the request of the House of Commons government operations committee, which wanted to get the latest cost figures on the surface combatant project.
The Department of National Defence revealed Feb. 1 that the delivery of the first ship would be delayed until 2030 or 2031. It was to have been delivered in 2025, according to DND documents.
The five-year delay is expected to cost taxpayers billions of extra dollars, but the specific amount has yet to be determined.
This content was originally published here.