Petition for Tougher Laws on High Value Sole Sourcing

The Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada

F35 Report / Ship Building Contract Creates Precedence for High Value Sole Sourcing Laws

MTAG believes that the lessons learnt from the F35 file is an opportunity to change Canadian laws on public sector sole sourcing. The KPMG report being issued before a contract was awarded is a good idea; this is in line with one of our recommendations that an AG issue a report before sole sourcing any contract over $100 million dollars. While national security concerns could warrant sole sourcing, there could be some other “Expression of Interest” and “AG Report” process and vote in parliament, which could be a prerequisite at all levels of government.

Motivated by recent events in the Quebec and Ontario, we have decided to request a change in laws that guide sole sourcing of contracts over $100 million dollars. While a perfect tendering process is always a challenge, when billions are involved there should be a national strategy to reduce opportunities for systemic corruption.

Whereas the tendering process for the federal ship building contract should be a model for high value procurement.

Whereas some Ontario municipalities (over $15 billion transit revenue) were forced to sole source to Presto, the Toronto Transit Commission issued a tender and the winning bid was about $0.5 billion cheaper than Presto, but they were allegedly forced by Ontario Ministers of Transportation to cancel the tender and sole source to Presto.

Whereas one Minister sole sourced about $0.5 billion for new Ontario gas plants.

Whereas one Minister sole sourced a $7 billion Samsung contract to pay as much as 13 times the going rate for hydro.

Whereas there were untendered contracts at eHealth, OLG, ORNGE, Cancer Care Ontario, MPAC, LHINs, Niagara Parks Commission.

Could you please comment on the following and or suggest alternative ideas:

1) The AIT (Agreement on Internal Trade) between the federal, provincial, and municipal government procurement for goods or services that cost more than $100,000 should be changed to include the following prerequisites for high value sole sourcing /contract cancellations: an Ombudsman value for money risk assessment report to Parliament, or a House Public Accounts Committee report, or a city council; and a recorded vote to approve a high-value (over $100 million) sole source contract / cancellation.

2) The Competition Bureau or Federal Director of Public Prosecutions’ or Canadian Trade Tribunal mandate should include the AIT Agreement and therefore all three levels of government, authority to conduct civil or criminal prosecutions to recover taxpayer funds, and obtain injunctions to prevent execution of contracts and payments of money.

Sincerely,

Municipal Taxpayer Advocacy Group and the following citizens

 

Changing Canadian Sole Sourcing Laws

December 7, 2012

TO: Prime Minister of Canada

CC: Prime Minister, Premiers  & Opposition Leaders for Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan

CC: Mayors of Hamilton, London, Kitchener, Niagara, Windsor, Mississauga, Durham, Halton, Peel, York, Toronto, Winnipeg, Halifax, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria, Regina, Saskatoon, Fredericton, Moncton, St John NFLD

RE: MTAG calls on the Federal, Provincial & Municipal Governments to make tougher laws on high value sole sourcing

MTAG believes that the lessons learnt from the F35 file is an opportunity to change Canadian laws on public sector sole sourcing. The KPMG report being issued before a contract was awarded is a good idea; this is in line with one of our recommendations that an AG issue a report before sole sourcing any contract over $100 million dollars. While national security concerns could warrant sole sourcing, there could be some other “Expression of Interest” and “AG Report” process and vote in parliament, which could be a prerequisite at all levels of government.

Motivated by recent events in the Quebec and Ontario, we have decided to request a change in laws that guide sole sourcing of contracts over $100 million dollars. While a perfect tendering process is always a challenge, when billions are involved there should be a national strategy to reduce opportunities for systemic corruption.

Whereas the tendering process for the federal ship building contract should be a model for high value procurement.

Whereas some Ontario municipalities (over $15 billion transit revenue) were forced to sole source to Presto, the Toronto Transit Commission issued a tender and the winning bid was about $0.5 billion cheaper than Presto, but they were allegedly forced by Ontario Ministers of Transportation to cancel the tender and sole source to Presto.

Whereas one Minister sole sourced about $0.5 billion for new Ontario gas plants.

Whereas one Minister sole sourced a $7 billion Samsung contract to pay as much as 13 times the going rate for hydro.

Whereas there were untendered contracts at eHealth, OLG, ORNGE, Cancer Care Ontario, MPAC, LHINs, Niagara Parks Commission.

Could you please comment on the following and or suggest alternative ideas:

1) The AIT (Agreement on Internal Trade) between the federal, provincial, and municipal government procurement for goods or services that cost more than $100,000 should be changed to include the following prerequisites for high value sole sourcing /contract cancellations: an Ombudsman value for money risk assessment report to Parliament, or a House Public Accounts Committee report, or a city council; and a recorded vote to approve a high-value (over $100 million) sole source contract / cancellation.

2) The Competition Bureau or Federal Director of Public Prosecutions’ or Canadian Trade Tribunal mandate should include the AIT Agreement and therefore all three levels of government, authority to conduct civil or criminal prosecutions to recover taxpayer funds, and obtain injunctions to prevent execution of contracts and payments of money.

Sincerely,

Ade Olumide

President, Municipal Taxpayer Advocacy Group

Tel: 613 265 6360, Fax: 613 832 1774

PO 30007, 181 Greenbank N., Ottawa, ON, K2H 1A3

aolumide@municipaltaxpayer.com