Rating: NNNNNIf it weren't for the way Mayor Mel's team threw big money at consultants, taxes.
If it weren’t for the way Mayor Mel’s team threw big money at consultants, taxes wouldn’t have gone up and we wouldn’t be in this financial mess.
Total that city staff says it paid consultants:
what the amalgamated city spent on Y2K consultants in the last three years: $160 million
amount taxes go up for every $10 million council has to raise to meet a budget shortfall: 1 per cent
what the city auditor said about the total 1998 and 99 consulting expenditures staff reported to council: They are misstated.
WHO’S ON THE GRAVY TRAIN?
Ball Hsu and Associates
value of 2000 contract: $2.1 million
what city paid: $10 million
Value of 2000 contract: $260,000
What city paid: $869,442
Value of 2000 contract: $180,000
What city paid: $535,807
Value of 2000 contract: $100,000
What city paid: $439,757
value of one consulting contract awarded to two former city employees for 2001 alone: $344,000
pay while each was city staff (including benefits): $80,000-$100,000 annually
Contract limit for IT desktop support consultant for the first six months of 2001: $1 million
amount each “support” person was paid: $50 per hour
amount city staffer is paid for same job: $32 per hour
City auditor’s thoughts on hiring staff as opposed to consultants: “In many cases, significant cost savings could be realized through in-sourcing, particularly in situations where there may be an ongoing requirement for certain skills or expertise.”
THE COST OF MISMANAGEMENT
Number of city staff laid off since amalgamation: approximately 2,000
total budget shortfall in 2000: $50 million (after cuts and provincial bailout brought it down from over $300 million)
Total tax increase in 2000: 5 per cent
projected shortfall for 2001: approximately $200 million
WHO GIVES OUT THE GOODIES?
Chief Administrative Officer can authorize payments up to $500,000. Conditions: None
Commissioners can authorize payments up to $250,000 where approved procurement procedures have been followed and up to $50,000 where normal purchasing procedures are not possible.
General Managers, Executive Directors, Fire Chief, City Clerk, Medical Officer of Health, City Solicitor and City Auditor can authorize payments up to $250,000 where approved procurement procedures have been followed and up to $25,000 where normal purchasing procedures are not possible.
CLOSING THE WALLET
What city council has recommended: All consulting contracts above $50,000 be approved by council.
What the city’s new CAO, Shirley Hoy, is doing to halt the consultant gravy train: Staff will now have to make a case for hiring a consultant.