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Police HQ auditors raise issues with procurement process at council meeting

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The old Canada Post building being renovated to serve as the new police headquarters, June 21, 2012

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The old Canada Post building being renovated to serve as the new police headquarters, June 21, 2012 Photo Store

There was little new information revealed in a 35-minute question-and-answer session with the KPMG auditors at council this morning.

John Heskin and Mark Bullen summarized their damning report of administration mismanagement of the police headquarters project and fielded some questions from councillors.

The session comes before a motion that Couns. Brian Mayes and Harvey Smith will put forward this afternoon, calling for a special meeting of council next week to deal with the audit by questioning members of the public service.

Bullen said the top two issues that city hall needs to address are the establishment of proper procurement procedures and administration adherence to them and the risk posed by the award of single-source contracts.

Bullen said awarding a contract to a firm without going to tender for the services is an uncompetitive process that exposes the city to unnecessary risk.

Heskin and Bullen could not explain why council was told in 2009 converting the old Canada Post warehouse facility into a modern police headquarters would only cost $105 million – the final construction cost is $155 million.

Mayor Sam Katz told the KPMG team that it was a consulting engineering firm and a city employee - a building manager with the Winnipeg Police Service - who gave council that figure during a briefing on the project.

The KPMG team said they did not determine if the city received proper value for any of the contracts associated with the $210-million project.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

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