«LONDON PRINTED BY AUTHORITY OF THE MINISTRY, OVERSEAS MILITARY FORCES OF CANADA. REPORT of the MINISTRY Overseas Military Forces of Canada LONDON ...»
In respect of all contracts made, the following regulations obtain as far as practicable:— Regulations.— (a) Tenders are called for and opened in the presence of the Director and some officer nominated by the Purchasing Committee.
(b) Purchases are made and contracts given at the lowest price offered.
These regulations are not departed from except in cases of emergency due to military considerations of the moment, or for any other given and sufficient reason, and in any such case the grounds for the departure must be clearly reported.
No contracts are made except upon a requisition signed by the head of the Department of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada concerned, who is responsible for shapes, sizes, quality and quantities. Such requisition states the articles and materials needed, the quantity and description thereof, and the time and place of delivery, or the nature of the service to be contracted for.
The Director of Contracts has no authority to change or vary such a requisition, but he may in respect thereof make, through the Overseas Purchasing Committee, such representations as he sees fit.
Procedure.—Generally, the procedure by which clothing, equipment, arms, guns, ammunition, horses, munitions and materials of war, and supplies of every kind, are obtained, and all contracts for transportation, made within the scope of the powers and authority of the Minister, is similar to that obtaining in Canada, whereby the various branches of the Militia Department requisition on the Director of Contracts as necessity arises.
The procedure in operation, covering the purchases made other than by formal contract, is as follows:—A demand for supplies having been received from authorised sources approved by the head of the Branch of the Service making the demand, particulars of the commodities required are forwarded to the best known sources of supply, with instructions to return tenders within a specified time. Three or more tenders are usually called for. The tenders when returned are reviewed by the Director of Contracts, who places his recommendation as to which should be accepted, before the Overseas Purchasing Committee. On receiving the sanction of the Committee for the acceptance of a Overseas Purchasing Committee. 443 tender, a purchase order is issued by the Director of Contracts to the Contractor and also to the Receiving Depot, as a notification to that Depot that their original requisition has been acted on, and as an intimation of the source from which the goods will be received. On receipt of the goods, or as the case may be, the Officer in Charge of the Receiving Depot completes the receiver's report giving a " good order receipt," if the goods are correct, or a deficiency report, if otherwise. In the latter case the Director of Contracts takes the necessary action to secure compensation for the deficiency claimed.
The Director of Contracts then furnishes the Contractor with a blank invoice form. On this invoice being returned to the Director of Contracts, it is checked against the purchase order, and if correct, forwarded to the Officer in Charge of the Receiving Depot for a certificate of receipt.
When the invoice is returned by him to the Director of Contracts, the certificate of price is attached and the invoice passed to the Officer in Charge of Accounts.
A permanent docket is kept for each transaction, and when the transaction is complete, the docket is signed by the Director of Contracts and passed to the Officer in Charge of Accounts to be filed as a permanent record.
Contracts for Supplies Delivered during Extended Periods.—The maintenance of Canadian troops in training areas and hospitals in England, equipped and maintained by the Canadian Government, renders it necessary to provide that certain supplies and services be delivered or performed by Local Contractors during an extended period. The delivery of these supplies and the performance of Local Services are operated under the direction of the Director of Supplies and Transport, and the Overseas Purchasing Committee has approved of the following
procedure governing Local Contracts :
Tenders for such contracts are called for by the O.C., C.A.S.C., Local Area, and are received and opened upon a day appointed by the O.C., C.A.S.C., in the presence of the D.A.Q.M.G. of each Local Area. Both officers engaged on this day affix their signature to each Tender under the consecutive number entered thereon, and the O.C., C.A.S.C., prepares and schedules all contracts received, and makes a recommendation for the acceptance of the most advantageous Tender and forwards the documents to the Director of Supplies and Transport, who reviews the contracts 444 Overseas Military Forces of Canada.
and makes further recommendation to the Director of Contracts. The Director of Contracts submits his recommendation to the Overseas Purchasing Committee as to which, if any, of such Tenders should be accepted, and the Overseas Purchasing Committee gives a final decision.
The Director of Contracts notifies the accepted and rejected contractors of the result and also notifies the officers and Departments concerned.
The contracts above referred to are principally for such supplies as Milk, Ice, Laundry, Lighting, Heating, Gas, Coal, Conservancy and occasionally local Fish and Vegetable Supplies, and such other services or commodities as may from time to time become necessary for the subsistence or maintenance of Canadian troops.
Contractors' Invoices.—Contractors are instructed to submit Invoices periodically for the commodities supplied or services rendered by the authority of accepted contracts. These Invoices are checked against the original accepted Tender and, if correct, forwarded to the Department concerned for certificate of receipt. They are afterwards completed with certificate of price and passed to the Officer i/c.
Accounts who verifies the mathematical calculations, and submits the same to the Overseas Purchasing Committee in order that the accounts may be noted for payment and finally passed to the Paymaster-General for payment to the contractor.
War Office Contracts.—An arrangement was entered into between the Imperial Authorities and representatives of the Canadian Government in 1914, whereby certain commodities from Imperial Store Depots would be supplied to the Canadian Forces on a basis as agreed upon. This arrangement has been continued until the present time.
Departmental Records.—The Director of Contracts maintains a Commodity Record Book for each Department of the Service. This record is built up from the details shown on the purchase orders or contracts, the purchases for each Department being classified under certain specified sub-headings, and the values of the purchases totalled monthly. These monthly totals form the basis of the Monthly Departmental Report made by the Director of Contracts to the Overseas Purchasing Committee.
Organisation.—On the creation of the Overseas Purchasing Committee, mentioned in the last Section, the Accounts Department of the Quartermaster-General passed under its supervision.
Overseas Purchasing Committee. 445 This Department had at that time an authorised Establishment of 4 officers and 22 other ranks, but on its reorganisation it was possible to reduce the required Establishment to 2 officers and 16 other ranks. A complete revision of the entire Accounting System as previously carried on was effected with a view to incorporating the necessary record keeping for the Medical and Dental Services, which had not been previously included in the activities of the Accounts Department when under the supervision of the Quartermaster-General.
System.—Under the system at present in operation, a complete record is maintained of the purchase of all supplies and commodities and the receipt and distribution of the same, thus making it possible for the Purchasing Committee to be assured at any time that the accounts which they have approved for payment, represent the cost of commodities which have been properly distributed and actually consumed by the Overseas Military Forces of Canada in England.
The Accounts Branch also maintains in itself complete records from which can be ascertained, under separate heads, the total amounts of the various commodities purchased. The ledgers kept contain full information in regard to Contractors' accounts, so as to prevent any possibility of duplication of payments, and the necessary information as to the quantity of dutiable commodities purchased on which a rebate of duty is reclaimable.
Figures can also be furnished showing at any time the total amounts passed for payment on behalf of the different Services.
All invoices covering purchases are forwarded to the Accounts Branch, properly certified, by which they are recorded so as to show— (a) The total cost of the commodities purchased.
(b) The total liability to the different Contractors, and in addition the total expenditure from time to time made on behalf of the different Branches of the Service.
Such invoices are then checked and submitted to the Purchasing Committee for approval for payment, after which they are passed to the General Auditor for pre-audit and by him to the Paymaster-General for payment.
Monthly Returns are forwarded to the Accounts Branch by SubDepots and Departments showing in total the receipts and issues of commodities received by them for distribution. These 446 Overseas Military Forces of Canada.
Summaries are compared with the commodity accounts in the ledgers and with the actual invoices, thus affording a complete check on the purchases to ensure that everything bought has been properly accounted for.
The method of accounting with reference to Mechanical Transport Stores and Stationery Stores is suitable to the transactions of these Services, as is also that in force in connection with the Medical and Dental Stores.
This Department also keeps a check on claims for refund against the Imperial Authorities for Commodities returned to them and also, in connection with Engineer and Typewriter Services, for work chargeable against the Imperial Government.
The Canadian Military Funds Trust.
1. By deed of trust executed on November 20, 1917, the Minister of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada, the High Commissioner for Canada and the General Officer Commanding the Canadian Forces in the British Isles, were appointed Trustees to receive all sums of money (other than regimental funds) which might from time to time become payable by the Navy and Army Canteen Committee, the British Expeditionary Force Canteens, or any other organisation, body, person, or persons, for the general benefit of the members of the Canadian Military Forces, the same to be redistributed and used in the discretion of the Trustees for any purposes or objects which they consider would benefit the Canadian Military Forces or their dependants.
2. In January, 1917, an agreement was made with the Army Canteens Committee that they should take over and conduct all regimental institutes occupied by Canadian troops in England under the following terms:— (a) Pay rebate monthly at the rate of 10 'per cent. on the total takings in the Canteen.
Four-fifths of this rebate is paid direct to the Commanding Officer of the Unit for the benefit of the men, and the remaining one-fifth is paid to the Canadian Military Funds Trustees.
(b) Pay to the Canadian Military Funds Trustees from any trading profits, which may from time to time be determined by the Army Council as available for distribution, a pro rata sum which shall be arrived at by the relative proportion which the Canadian troops in the United Kingdom have contributed to the turnover.
3. The Military Funds Trustees Board was established for the purpose of receiving the amounts payable under 2 (a) and (b) above, and up to the end of December, 1918, the Trustees had received from the Navy and Army Canteen Board the sum of about £24,000, being the rebates due for period January 1, 1917, to June 30, 1918. It is estimated that a further sum of about £9,000 is now due for the half-year ended December 31, 1918.
448 Overseas Military Forces of Canada.
In addition to these amounts there is a sum of £36,960, credited in the books of the N:A.C.B. to the Canadian Forces as undistributed profits for the year ended December 31, 1917, and it may reasonably be expected that a similar amount will be available for the year 1918.
4. An agreement was also made in January, 1918, between the Expeditionary Force Canteens which operate in France and the representatives of Canadian, Australian and New Zealand Forces, that the contingents of the Overseas Forces should receive their profits as full partners in the organisation at the end of the War. It is. impossible to say what amount will be available for distribution until the winding up of the affairs of the Expeditionary Forces Canteen Board.
5. The Military Funds Trustees Board has decided that it is desirable to retain its funds, as far as possible, for transfer to Canada to meet cases of relief and assistance to soldiers and their dependants arising after the War. Up to date the only amount expended has been a grant of £750 to Mr. R. B. Barron for the relief and assistance of the dependants of Canadian soldiers in the British Isles since the beginning of the War. Mr.
Barron has devoted the whole of his time as a voluntary worker in this Cause.
Navy and Army Canteens.
When the first Canadian Contingent arrived in England in 1914, and went into camp at Salisbury Plain, all the canteens there, as at all the other military camps in the British Isles, were conducted by civilian contractors. The canteens were then unattractive places. They were unfurnished, and in no way could be rightly called Soldiers' " Clubs," which the Army authorities intended the canteens to be. The supplies were very limited, and the quality of the goods sold was far from satisfactory.
It was difficult in the early days of the War to make any drastic changes, but two years later an official organization was created to supervise as far as possible the activities of the canteen contractors. This organization standardized the quality of the goods sold, controlled the prices, and in general carried out its mission satisfactorily. It was, however, found that it did not possess sufficient authority, and the Army Canteen Committee was inaugurated. This committee had wider powers, but was still only a supervising committee.