Councillor calls for audit into LRT procurement process
City Councillor Shawn Menard wants the city of Ottawa’s Auditor General, Ken Hughes, to audit the procurement process into Stage 2 of LRT.
“It’s clear we are getting very little information at this time,” Menard told reporters at City Hall on Wednesday.
City council approved Stage 2 LRT contracts back on March 6th.
SNC-Lavalin was the winning bidder for the $1.6 billion Trillium line contract.
Councillor Menard wants to know why.
“We know the auditor we hired worked with SNC in the past, we know our Fairness Commissioner has been a P3 proponent in the past – so I want to make sure a public sector body is going to look into public sector dollars that are going to be spent,” Menard said.
City Manager Steve Kanellakos sent out a memo defending the procurement process and the amount of transparency involved.
Kanellakos wrote that he cannot release more technical details or financial scores because that “could jeopardize the integrity of that process and potentially open the City to legal claims and litigation.”
Mayor Jim Watson says he trusts city staff but welcomes an audit.
“I’d have no difficulty if the Auditor General does that, the audit committee is going to meet I believe next week to discuss their work plan and if they put that on their work plan I have no problems with it because I think it is a solid arrangement that staff brought forward to us,” Watson said.
The audit committee will meet in April.