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Contracting

 

Introduction

On April 7, 2014 we were asked by an MLA to investigate the circumstances surrounding contracts the Government of Alberta awarded to 1689986 Alberta Ltd. (operating as Navigator Ltd.) for communications services. We indicated that we would examine these contracts to assess whether the departments’ contracting policies have been followed.

Audit objectives and scope

The objective of our audits was to determine whether the departments of Executive Council, Health and Municipal Affairs followed their contract policies and whether their decisions to sole source contracts with Navigator Ltd. were adequately supported.

We noted during our work that the three departments all have different contracting policies for procuring services. We intend to follow up with the government to explore why departments are using different contracting policies for procuring services.

We examined four contracts entered into between the Department of Health and Navigator Ltd. in the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years. We also reviewed the supporting documentation and interviewed individuals that either were currently at the department or previously had been at the department and were involved with these contracts. We substantially completed our audit at the Department of Health on August 27, 2014.

We also examined two contracts related to work on the southern Alberta flood—one contract between the Department of Municipal Affairs and Navigator Ltd., and another between the Department of Executive Council and Navigator Ltd. We reviewed the departments’ supporting documentation and interviewed individuals from the departments who were involved in the awarding and administration of these contracts. We substantially completed our audit at the departments on September 12, 2014.

As our audits were focused on the departments’ compliance with their contracting policies when awarding and managing these contracts, we relied on the departments’ supporting documentation and information obtained through interviewing management and staff of the respective departments. We found no evidence that Navigator Ltd. had any role in how these contracts were awarded or managed by the departments.

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