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This article was published 11/10/2019 (467 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Premier Brian Pallister says the province has saved close to $13 million since adopting smarter purchasing practices, including greater bulk buying.

New government-wide purchasing protocols are projected to save the province at least $200 million over five years, Pallister said at a news conference Friday, noting the government had contracted with PricewaterhouseCoopers to modernize its purchasing processes.

The four-year contract is costing the government $12 million, the premier said.

Pallister provided few details on how the $13 million in savings was achieved, although he pointed to bulk fuel buying as an example.

Government departments, regional health authorities and Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries are now co-operating on fuel purchases, he said.

Not only is government doing a better job of buying in volume, it's also paying more attention to the timing of purchases to get a better deal, he said.

"For example, if you want to get a volume discount on fuel, you don't buy it in February," he told reporters.

Pallister criticized previous governments for not paying more attention to such money-saving devices.

Not only did many departments shop on their own, sometimes several different agents within an individual department made purchasing decisions in isolation, resulting in Manitobans paying more for goods and services, he noted.

"This is funny to have to share this with Manitobans because it's just such common sense," he said.

Manitoba is also working with other provinces to get better deals on pricey health equipment, such as MRIs, Pallister said.

He was asked whether his government would extend its smart-shopping policies to Autopac by allowing vehicle owners to purchase policies online without going through a broker.

Manitoba Public Insurance has said that by selling auto insurance online, it could save money in broker fees, lowering insurance rates to drivers.

Insurance brokers have opposed online vehicle-insurance sales unless the transactions go through a broker.

The Progressive Conservative government is addressing the issue of online sales, something the previous NDP government ignored, Pallister said.

A conciliator has been appointed to help brokers and MPI resolve their differences, he said.

larry.kusch@freepress.mb.ca

Larry Kusch

Larry Kusch
Legislature Reporter

Larry Kusch didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life until he attended a high school newspaper editor’s workshop in Regina in the summer of 1969 and listened to a university student speak glowingly about the journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa.

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