SOURCE: Ombudsman Ontario

Ombudsman Ontario

May 25, 2016 15:50 ET

Ombudsman to Investigate Brampton Procurement Practices

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - May 25, 2016) - Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé today announced an investigation into the city of Brampton's procurement practices, focusing on the administration of its purchasing by-laws, policies and procedures regarding non-competitive procurements.

The announcement marks the Ombudsman's first systemic investigation relating to a municipality. As of January 1, 2016, the Ombudsman's mandate was expanded to include the province's 444 municipalities. More than 1,400 complaints about municipalities have been received to date -- almost all of which have been resolved without formal investigation.

Brampton council voted in February to request the Ombudsman's intervention. However, it is entirely the Ombudsman's decision to determine whether and what to investigate.

"During our review of information we obtained from informal inquiries, we determined that the issue of non-competitive procurements could potentially have systemic implications on the city, its staff and its citizens," said Mr. Dubé.

The investigation will be conducted by the Special Ombudsman Response Team (SORT).
A timeline will be fixed once a further review of the evidence has been completed.
The investigation will not address matters that are the subject of ongoing litigation, such as the South West Quadrant project.

Anyone who has specific information related to the matter under investigation is invited to contact the Ombudsman's Office via a confidential complaint form at www.ombudsman.on.ca, or by calling 1-800-263-1830.

Since 2005, SORT has conducted some 35 systemic investigations into issues affecting large numbers of Ontarians. The Ombudsman makes recommendations to resolve issues and improve public services, and those stemming from systemic investigations have been overwhelmingly accepted, resulting in such reforms as increased screening of newborn babies, an overhaul of the property tax assessment system and improved security of lotteries. 

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