Edmonton, Alberta, Canada… In a report released today, Auditor General of Alberta Doug Wylie is recommending that Alberta Infrastructure improve its procurement of construction projects by strengthening its processes, documentation and controls.
From January 2016 to December 2020, Alberta Infrastructure has undertaken over 2,700 construction procurements with a combined value of approximately $4.5 billion.
“Construction contracts are often in the millions of dollars. Proponents invest time and money in the development of their submissions, including their bids, and they rely on and expect fair and competitive procurement processes,” said Wylie. “Albertans should be confident that Alberta Infrastructure has effective processes to ensure the significant dollars it spends on construction contracts are procured fairly and competitively.”
In his Procurement Processes report, Wylie found that Alberta Infrastructure has processes to conduct procurements of its construction tenders fairly and competitively, but not all these processes are effective, and improvements can be made.
Alberta Infrastructure competitively procured its construction contracts, included the necessary information in solicitation documents and followed its evaluation process. However, Alberta Infrastructure’s processes did not always result in procurements that were compliant with the trade agreements and it did not always follow its process for receiving submissions and ensuring only submissions received on or before the procurement close were considered for evaluation. Alberta Infrastructure had weaknesses in its procurement information system access controls and it did not always evaluate proponent submissions consistently.
While the department has made improvements to its construction procurement processes in the past two years, the report recommends further improvements be made. The Auditor General is making four recommendations to improve:
- controls for ensuring compliance with trade agreements
- controls for receiving submissions
- access controls for procurement information systems
- submission evaluation controls
The report was made public on June 29, 2022 and is available at www.oag.ab.ca.
Appointed under Alberta’s Auditor General Act, the Auditor General is the legislated auditor of every provincial ministry, department, public post-secondary institution, and most provincial agencies, boards, commissions, and regulated funds. The audits conducted by the Office of the Auditor General report on how government is managing its responsibilities and the province’s resources. Through our audit reports, we provide independent assurance to the 87 Members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, and the people of Alberta, that public money is spent properly and provides value.
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