Advertise construction opportunities more widely: city auditor general

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City staff have agreed to implement a recommendation from the auditor general that the municipality do more to circulate construction contracts outside of Ottawa.

(File photo)

By Jacob Serebrin

Auditor General Alain Lalonde, in his report released Thursday, outlined how the city could save money by advertising construction tenders in other parts of the country.

“It can be expected that advertising tenders in a wider area will result in the city getting more bids which could result in lower prices for the city contracts,” the report states.

Currently, the city sends bidding opportunities to the Ottawa Construction Association, which publicizes the tenders and releases the documents to potential bidders.

While the OCA has begun posting calls for bids on construction contracting website Link2Build, the auditor general is recommending that more general websites be used.

The auditor general notes that the city currently uses government contracting website MERX for “other solicitations, including non-construction related request for proposals and request for standing offers,” and projects that require “highly specialized contractors,” according to the report.

“It is our opinion that savings may be achieved by advertising construction project bid opportunities in widely used site (sic) that would reach a broader audience outside of Ottawa,” the report states.

In 2011, 808 of the 884 construction contracts awarded by the City of Ottawa went to local companies. Those contracts accounted for 96.6 per cent of city dollars spent on construction.

According to the management response included in the report, the city agrees with the recommendation and will ensure that all calls for bids are posted on Link2Build.

Organizations: Ottawa Construction Association

Geographic location: Ottawa

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