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Winnipeg council reviews spending on consultant fees

A policy committee with the City of Winnipeg has just reviewed a report on how much the city spent on consultants during 2010. The results were reported in the Winnipeg Free Press on June 9.


A policy committee with the City of Winnipeg has just reviewed a report on how much the city spent on consultants during 2010. The results were reported in the Winnipeg Free Press on June 9.

The report found that the city had spent $38.6 million to hire external consultants, of which over half, $27.2 million, “went toward water and waste and public works projects, including things such as water main and sewer renewal projects, as well as maintenance and repairs of roads and bridges.”

Since January 1 this year, the city has changed its rules, and all capital projects that exceed $100,000 must go out to a competitive bid. All other consultant services that exceed $35,000 must be tendered.

According to the Winnipeg Free Press report, Mayor Sam Katz said he believed all the previous contracts were fairly awarded, but some municipal politicians had believed contracts should be put out to tender to ensure that taxpayers get the best price.

Mayor Katz was quoted as saying: “I can tell you I believe after talking to the CFO as well as department heads, [that] yes, I believe they have been getting good value for the dollar.”

He said he wanted engineering and architectural work to be included in the cost of construction by the city administration.

The consultants who had received the most contracts in 2010 were named in the article.

The article also noted that city spending on consultants had risen from $29.9 million in 2007, to $34.8 million in 2008, $36.5 million in 2009, and $38.6 million in 2010.