As good as it gets

By Geoff Lee

January 28, 2016 10:18 AM

Procurement policy will give "good guidance" says mayor

The city’s new and approved purchasing and procurement policy is as good as it gets.
That’s the consensus of Mayor Rob Saunders and most city councillors who ratified the policy with a few tweaks following a public consultation period.
“We feel today what was presented and approved will give us good guidance and direction for our administration to work from,” said Saunders following the council meeting Monday.
The new policy addresses everything from procurement guidelines and contract/signing authority to single source acquisitions and the competitive process.
Prior to the policy passing, Council voted down an amendment from Coun. Ken Baker to lower the authorized signing authority limit of the CAO from $200,000 to $75,000.
“I wasn’t in favour of a cap of $200,000,” said Baker who want it lowered to $75,000.
“I just think why does he (CAO) need that extra pressure in view of what’s happened.”
Baker was referencing a contentious consulting contract awarded to previous Mayor Jeff Mulligan a few years ago that spurred the drive for a new policy.
Coun. Linnea Goodhand voted against Baker’s amendment noting a second signature is now required   to authorize acquisitions up to $200,000.
Council approves all purchases and contracts over that amount.
“The new policy provides another level of checks and balances that didn’t exist before so we are happy with that,” said Goodhand.
Goodhand also said lowering the threshold to $75,000 for the CAO doesn’t fit the reality of city business in the context of the huge amount of money council manages.
“So when you think about tying the CAO hands at $75,000 when we have an $80 million annual budget, it does seem to be overly restrictive,” she said.
The new policy comes with a reduced value limit of under $10,000 to be subject to a competitive process from the previous $15,000 limit in the draft document.
Coun. Jason Whiting called that “a nice move.”
Purchases or contract values from $10,000 to $75,000 will also require a competitive process unless approved by a director.
Values for purchases and contracts over $75,000 must go through a competitive process.
“It’s a great policy now given it’s a great balance between accountability and efficiency,” said Whiting.
He went on to state,
“I am proud of our city manager for working hard to fix some of the things that were not exactly clear in the previous policy.”
Whiting also noted that the new policy is subject to review at any time.
“Right now, I think it does check off all levels of accountability so I am please with it as it stands.”
The new policy now requires approval from the city clerk and CAO for single source contracts over $75,000 similar to that Mulligan service contract.
“If there is a chance a sole source contract is awarded there has to be a good reason for it,” said Whiting.
He noted the policy puts that accountability on any director or any city manager who has awarded that sole source agreement.
City departments must publicly disclose quarterly all sole-sourced contracts for services valued at $10,000 or more.
“There is now transparency for the public to view sole source contracts,” said Whiting.
All purchased goods and services in excess of $75,000 must also be posted on bi-provincial websites in compliance with the New West Partnership Trade Agreement.

More News

LCSD hosts archbishop

The Lloydminster Catholic School Division (LCSD) had a special guest this week, as Archbishop Richard Smith toured multiple schools. more »

Falk talks first session in House of Commons

Battlefords-Lloydminster member of Parliament Rosemarie Falk is back in her constituency for the summer. She held a summer office open house this week for people to have a tour, drop by for a conversation,… more »

Health council opens channels

We have your back on healthcare. That’s what the Yellowhead East Health Advisory Council (HAC) told local and area residents during its latest meeting at the Lloydminster Hospital on June 20. more »

more »