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This article was published 7/4/2010 (4472 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
WINNIPEG - City hall is going to take another month to fine-tune new rules governing the way it doles out funds to consultants.
Council’s executive policy committee voted this morning to give senior city staff until May to complete a report that will require most consulting contracts over $100,000 to go through a competitive bid process.
Council actually gave staff this direction last fall, in the wake of a series of Free Press stories about sole-sourced spending of almost $190,000 on a single human-resources consultant.
The sole-sourcing of contracts may not be avoidable in certain instances, such as when only one engineering firm has the specialized knowledge to carry out some technical work, or when emergency work does not allow time to put out a call for a variety of bids.
The city spent $36.5 million on consultants in 2009, according to the latest summary before council. Mayor Sam Katz told reporters he would like to see this summary broken down into spending on specialized help to complete capital projects – which generally can not be avoided – and spending on other forms of outside help, which the mayor would like to reduce.
Katz also said he would like to see regulations prevent one consulting job from slipping beneath the $100,000 threshold by breaking up that contract into several pieces. The $190,000 spent on Montreal professor Don de Guerre, who helped oversee the city’s reorganization in 2008 and 2009, was broken up into several pieces.