Experts worry flawed city bid system is costing Edmonton big bucks

<br /> Experts worry flawed city bid system is costing Edmonton big bucks | Edmonton Journal

Edmonton’s auditor wants the city to improve how is prepares for going to tender on projects like the Walterdale Bridge.

Greg Southam / Postmedia

City officials have been rushing major projects to tender and can’t prove the process is fair or getting good value for the money, says a city audit debated Monday. 

The grim audit contains eight recommendations – including that evaluators with a known conflict of interest are not allowed to participate in awarding the contract.

“Eight recommendations in an audit report, that is high,” said city auditor David Wiun, explaining the audit that deals with one of the most high-risk areas of city work.

The city signs contracts totalling $1 billion-worth of construction and professional services a year. Wiun said short bid timelines and tenders that lack definition likely limit the number of companies willing to bid, which can drive up the cost of projects.

City officials said they accept all of the recommendations. Some have already been implemented and others will be done by March 31.

City financial officer Todd Burge said none of the recommendations came as a surprise to his team because they’ve been trying to improve this area for two years. They knew Edmonton had a problem after two previous audits specific to the city’s handling of waste contracts and the sand recycling program.

This article is a first file. Check back for more detail.

Live coverage from audit committee Monday


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