CIDA found to be flouting contracting rules
August 28, 2003
By Canadian Consulting Engineer
An article published in the National Post reports that internal auditors at the Canadian International Development...
An article published in the National Post reports that internal auditors at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) have found that the government agency is handing out too many contracts to outside firms without going through the tendering or bidding process. Canadian consulting engineering firms are often hired by CIDA to work on overseas development work.
The National Post obtained a copy of an internal CIDA report by the auditors dated December 2002. According to it, CIDA signed 104 sole-sourced contracts worth $62 million in the period between November 1, 1999 to October 31, 2001. The auditors did not identify the companies awarded the contracts, but did say that in one case a contract for $25,000 doubled after it was awarded, and in another case the paid amount tripled.
The CIDA bureaucrats apparently told the auditors that they ignored the rules about tendering for contracts because they believed it was not always an effective way to manage the business.
Despite their findings, the internal auditors noted that over the past years CIDA has made strides in reducing the value of untendered contracts it awards. In 1993 and 1994 it was awarding $453 million in untendered contracts, whereas in 1998 and 1999 this figure had dropped to $100 million.
The audit also notes that CIDA management is following up on the auditors’ recommendations to improve their practices and conform with federal rules.