City audit finds ‘inappropriate’ sole source waste management contract
‘Weak oversight plagued B.C mega project, which insiders believe cost taxpayers millions
As the below recent articles report, major public sector organizations in Canada continue to be hammered with scathing audit reports and damaging headlines alleging ineffective or non-existent contract oversight. Contract management is an essential skillset for any public sector organization in today’s litigious and highly scrutinized environment, so why does the contract management phase of the contracting cycle continue to get short shrift? We believe there are two key contributing factors: insufficient resources dedicated to planning procurements that embed meaningful performance management frameworks into the resulting contract, and lack of the critical inter-personal management skills that give staff the confidence to ensure that performance unfolds in line with contractual expectations.
You have paid for it, your stakeholders expect it and auditors will look for proof that you have received it. If the procurement process is the ‘wedding’ then the contract management process is the ‘marriage’ – that’s where the hard work really needs to take place!
Developing your team’s skills and knowledge to set up and manage meaningful key performance indicators coupled with effective yet reasonable contractual remedies is more important than ever in this age of heightened media scrutiny, tsunami of baby boomer retirements and fast paced technological change. Spending time drafting great contracts, however, is of little use if no one has the skillset or inclination to manage the performance once the contract is signed. For this reason both drafting appropriate contractual provisions as well as learning to recognize and manage your own emotions and triggers while dealing with performance issues are critical skills explored in NECI’s PSPP 203. This comprehensive training program delivered online over four weeks (approximately 4 hours per week), is designed to address this most pressing procurement training need. Learners explore legal and practical drafting issues, uncover their own personal conflict style and develop strategies and skills to help them ensure contractors perform as promised.
Good news! We happen to have a few spots left in our upcoming cross-Canada cohort of public procurement professionals starting PSPP 203 on October 9th. This minor investment in your staff, or your own professional development, can help your organization avoid these kinds of headlines and empower procurement to take the lead with proven contract management strategies.
REGISTER now to avoid disappointment!
In addition to the $225,000 directly awarded contract, which was completed at nearly double the price of the previous contract, the Auditor found that once the sole-source contract was finished in 2015, the job was publicly tendered. The same contractor was rehired, even though it had not delivered the year before. The Auditor found the contractor had billed for charges without proper justification, and the city paid the invoices without investigating or verifying the work done. These findings sparked a review of all corporate contract management practices across the corporation.
This report by the CBC, which relies on six sources at two separate auditing firms as well as hundreds of leaked documents, concludes that the BC Government overpaid millions of dollars on the Port Mann Bridge project due to lack of contract management and invoice verification. The B.C Green Party has called for a public inquiry into this project.
Boost the procurement capacity within your organization.
Contact us to learn how you can bring NECI’s Public Sector Procurement Program to your organization.