Corruption at City of Ottawa

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The sad part of this is that there are many easy ways to prevent most of the corruption at municipalities in Ontario and elsewhere.

Everyone is aware of the circus of corruption being uncovered in Quebec municipalities and the billions of dollars that have disappeared into corrupt pockets. Quebec municipalities and the Quebec government are the least transparent government bodies in all of North America when it comes to revealing the cost of doing business and who is doing the business.

If there is corruption at Ottawa City Hall, it is from lack of transparency in “ general purchasing” and the awarding of city contracts.

What goes for protecting “privacy”issues regarding contracts is basically a cover-up for potential misuse of public funds.

And the non-disclosure of contract detail due to  “privacy” issues doesn’t hold any water as there are a few municipalities in Ontario that provide their taxpayers with much more information than does the City of Ottawa, but the publishing of more information is an absolute necessity.

The Mayor, Councillors and Senior Management do not own the information regarding the operations at the city. The taxpayers own it. So you should get this through your collective heads. I get-it and you should get-it!

This is my creed:

“Anyone doing business with the City of Ottawa or any other Canadian municipality is required to know that the nature of the business and the financial details of the contract or purchase contract will be made public.” The detailed information will appear on an easy-to-access sub-file on the City website.

If those doing business with the City don’t like this, they can do there business elsewhere.

If the taxpayers of Ottawa were to see the level of detailed disclosures of municipalities in the United States they would be flabbergasted. Publications on the U.S. Municipal websites of this information regarding purchasing and specific contracts is “the way it should be.” In the U.S. it is a fact of life for contractors and others doing business with municipalities to have the information disclosed. There are no complaints that I can find in publications of municipal minutes.

The City of Toronto does a very good job disclosing on its website information about bids and contracts awarded. The same disclosure  is completely missing from the City of Ottawa site. You would think that the 2011 highest paid municipal employee in all of Ontario (Kent Kirkpatrick) would see to it that the City of Ottawa disclosure on bids and contracts awarded was the best in all of Ontario. Don’t hold your breath.

I also understand that the Ottawa news media (City Hall Reporters) are getting fed up with the road blocks mounted against release of even basically standard City of Ottawa information. One can only assume that Corruption Exists at the City and the withholding of pertinent information is the “Proof.”

My recent inquiry to the Human Resource Manager regarding the number of city employees was responded to, but the information requested was not provided. The biggest joke at the City of Ottawa is: HOW MANY CITY EMPLOYEES WORK FOR THE CITY. You may receive an answer of 19,000 or on another day 16, 200 or in the Financial Information Report 14,420 or so.

It is not a joke any longer.

The city must disclose monthly the number of full time employes and the related cost and the same for part time any seasonal. In the same report, a breakdown of total authorized position, positions utilized and positions unfilled. Then we will know the number of recipients included in the 1.4 Billion dollar payroll expense.

As for the purchasing and contract information disclosure, I will await response from this article before I publish what seems to be the norm in other jurisdictions.

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Have a good day,

Bill O’Malley

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