City of Toronto Makes Headline Today
- Police called in to investigate suspected bid-rigging in city’s paving contracts
- 4 City of Toronto managers no longer employed amid police bid rigging investigation
- Toronto auditor general Beverly Romeo-Beehler says it appears contractors are bid-rigging to drive the cost up.
- City of Toronto Auditor General Beverly Romeo-Beehler’s latest report warns of possible problems with the city’s paving contracts.
Audit uncovers possible ‘bid-rigging’ in city paving contracts
City staff contact police after Auditor General report highlighting signs of inflated pricing
City staff have called in the police after Toronto’s auditor general uncovered suspected examples of outside contractors bid-rigging on city paving jobs to drive the price up.
Auditor General Beverly Romeo-Beehler undertook her audit of paving contracts — awarded between January 2010 to June 2015 — to ensure the city’s tendering process was fair and competitive and after a previous audit raised concerns.
During the time period, the city awarded 55 road resurfacing contracts worth $168 million. The majority of that work is performed by private contractors who get it through the city’s competitive bidding process.
“Given the significant amount spent on construction contracts, they can be a prime target for corruption and collusion,” says a summary document released Tuesday alongside the auditor’s 51-page report.
One such example cited in the report shows “the inflated price from contractor A on the work for crack repair in eight different contracts. The grossly inflated prices from contractor A were as high as three times more than the second-lowest bidder’s prices.” Combined with inaccurate estimates by city staff, contractor A was able to gain an extra $2.5 million from city contracts, the report says.
“The results became more concerning given that contractor A was also a dominant player who won most of the tenders in certain districts.”
The report suggested that top bidders could be colluding with lower bidders to boost the price and then a low-bidder would be hired as a subcontractor.
City staff need to be vigilant monitoring and detecting unusual bid patterns, yet the audit identified numerous “red flags” of potential bid rigging by certain contractors in paving contracts, the report says.
“Our audit identified significant control deficiencies and a lack of routine analysis of bid submissions and bidding patterns,” says the report called Detection of Warning Signs for Potential Bid Rigging Should be Strengthened.
“There were many telltale signs of bid rigging and inflated pricing and even more concerning was the fact that most district contracts were consistently dominated by a small group of contractors over the past five years.”
The report includes a series of recommendations to ensure the city has “adequate measures” to deter and detect potential bid rigging in the future.
Bid rigging, also known as collusive bidding, provides an opportunity for the winner to artificially inflate prices of goods or services by eliminating real opportunity. Under the Competition Act, it is illegal for competitors to conspire. Fines can be as high as $25 million and guilty parties sent to prison for up to 14 years.
The report does not name the companies involved.
More news …
Four senior managers in the City of Toronto’s transportation services … its investigation into the allegations of bid rigging between the City of … Globalnews.ca
OPP investigates possible bid-rigging on Toronto city contracts … investigating possible bid-rigging by private firms for City of Toronto paving contracts, … according to Barbara Gray, the city’s general manager of transportation….CBC.ca
What a flashy justice porn news, right?
As a Joe Public, you may think the City is functioning, clean, efficient, things like corrution won’t stand a chance. And everyone should re-elect John Tory coming next election.
I am sorry to burst your bubble. The reality is not what you thought … The truth is corruption is very much alive in the City. Abuses especially by certain senior officials (the Chosen ones) is beyond your imagination, and there is no mechanism to check and balance.
Law legislated for Joe Public to abide, not the “Chosen ones”. These elite group of senior officials are above the law. In fact, they are so confident, they deliberate break laws to do favours for their “friend”. Even you can proof they have breached the procedure and violated the law, nothing will ever happen, because no one will do anything about it, not the City Manager, Not the Mayor, certainly not the heroine in this case – Auditor General Beverly Romeo-Beehler.
The Auditor General will only go after junior staffs who stole money from the City coffers. The four so called “senior managers” are actually pretty low ranking in the City hierachy. The Auditor General won’t even bat an eyelid if the same is committed by the “chosen ones” involving ten time the amount … As long as the money is paid by external source. Still don’t get it? Here is one good example – “gifts” from real estate developers. There are several divisions uniquely blessed with privilege allowing then to practically do anything at their whim and fancy, and there will be no repercussion … They are above the law (unwritten).
As mentioned in our previous article – City Billing Scandal – Toronto billed 44,000 homowners extra $87 millions for property taxes whereby we touch on a scandalous series of the City of Toronto lead by Toronto Building, which will be unleased very soon, you will see the true color of the administration of our beloved City.
To say the least, the City is not function as it should be … Malpractice is rampant at senior level, and as such, corruption should be anticipated.
The scandalous series will detail the ugly truth of the City of Toronto all the way from the divisional level right up to the City Manager , who unfortunately does not manage the City per se. Well, not when the victim is you, the Joe Public.
To be continued.