An apparent disconnect between the accountants at the Department of National Defence and the Parliamentary Budget Office has resulted in a disparity in the cost estimates for DND’s recent purchase of used F-18 Hornets from the Royal Australian Air Force. Essentially, DND pegged the cost at $895.5 million based on the cheques it was going to write to the RAAF for the 25 airframes but that’s not the language the budget office speaks. So when Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux announced he estimated the cost of the purchase at up to $1.15 billion, the 22 percent difference hit headlines.
Giroux freely admitted he used different measurements in coming up with his figure. “We considered the entire life-cycle cost, from project management up until the very end of the disposal phase,” Giroux said in an interview with Postmedia. “We didn’t look at whether it was a good deal.” Nevertheless, the cost difference was what hit the news wires.