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City shells out millions for outside consultants: city audit report
Published Tuesday, February 16, 2010 2:32PM MST
An audit report shows that the city is spending millions and millions of dollars on outside consultants. And over the decade, the city has increased how much it's spending on consultations by 30 per cent a year.
The report shows in some cases, consultants are being hired to check with other consultants, and thousands of dollars has been spent on contracts that haven't been completed.
Couns. Kim Krushell says she was shocked to find out the details of the report, which was completed by the city auditor on Wednesday.
"It is very clear that we are out of control when is comes to how our administration is handling consultant contracts," said Krushell.
In 2008, Edmonton spent $92 million on consultations. The documents show 25 per cent of consulting contracts cost more than what was agreed upon. And almost 60 per cent of the time, the information submitted was deemed insufficient.
The Canadian Taxpayers' Federation was also surprised at the findings.
"I don't know how the city is going after that and getting their money back I hope they are," said Scott Hennig, with the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation.
The audit also outlines a number of questionable areas including, some contracts were awarded even though no business plan was drawn up detailing what the administration wanted from the consultant, and with several contracts, no final report was ever delivered.
Krushell believes city council has plenty of work to get to the bottom of the spending.
"I know other councillors will be asking questions and demanding we get this addressed."
The city's manager Al Maurer defends the increase in spending stating in a news release that it was necessary due to the "significant jump in infrastructure projects for Edmontonians, such as LRT expansion, bridge upgrades and road works."
The report is expected to go to the audit committee in Feb.
With files from Kevin Armstrong