The real facts about CSE's new building

In light of CBC's recent coverage of the Communications Security Establishment's new facility, CSE wishes to clarify the following:

Why it's needed

CSE needed a flexible and adaptable space for its 2000 employees. We had outgrown our current CSE campus, which was designed for a workforce half our current size.

We explored retrofitting and expanding the current campus, but that was found to be cost-prohibitive.

Getting best value for money

CSE examined all options for constructing its new facility. There were comprehensive business cases prepared for the Government by two separate organizations. The business cases examined both traditional Crown Construction and Public-Private Partnership models.

The results were independently validated by Deloitte.

Based on the studies, CSE concluded that P3 method of procurement offered the most value for money and the most long-term efficiencies, while providing cost and schedule certainty. This model also transfers all risks around construction and maintenance to the private sector.

P3 Canada estimates that over the life-cycle of the contract, the P3 Method will save taxpayers $176 million. Also, as a P3, the facility will be ready 3 years sooner than a more traditional procurement.

The life-cycle cost of $4.1 billion includes all financing, facilities management, most IT equipment and maintenance, and physical security operations for 30 years.

Ultimately, as a P3, no taxpayer dollars are spent until the facility is fully constructed and delivered according to the contract.

The project is on time and on budget.

The facility itself

CSE's new facility is mainly open-concept, with very few closed offices, to ensure employees collaborate and work together.

Contrary to the CBC report, the amenities in the facility are what one would expect to find in a modern, high-security workplace for 2000 professionals.

Again, contrary to the CBC report, there are no fireplaces in the facility.

It is also a green facility, being built to LEED Gold standards.

There is filtered water available for employees to discourage use of bottled water. This is the case in many schools and other facilities in Ottawa.

This modern, new work environment will help CSE more effectively respond to the Government of Canada's security and intelligence priorities.