MOE – Uses Direct/Emergency Contracting to Circumvent Tender Process

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Auditor General's Findings

According to the Auditor General’s procurement management report, over the five-year period 2013-14 to 2017-18, MoEYI received an average $3.2 billion annually, for the purchase of goods and services. The Department reviewed a sample of 306 construction and repair contracts to determine cost effectiveness and compliance with the applicable procurement guidelines.

  1. They reviewed a total of 306 contracts each with values over $500,000 for construction, repairs and maintenance of schools costing $3.5 billion and noted that more than a third of this expenditure, $1.3 billion, was used for 122 contracts that were awarded through direct and direct emergency procurements. For 68 contracts valuing $893 million, 43 managed by MoEYI and 25 by NET, MoEYI cited that the use of the emergency and direct contracting methodologies was the result of extreme urgency brought about by unforeseen events, and the product/service could not be obtained through limited tender or local competitive bidding before the start of the school term.
  2. MoEYI did not demonstrate that the procurement process was fair and transparent, particularly where MoEYI signed the six contracts with the same contractor on the same date, which could suggest splintering. Additionally, they found that for 13 other contracts, each valued in excess of $10 million, ‘increased scope of work’ was the dominant factor accounting for a combined $32 million in excess expenditure.
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Permanent Secretary (current): Maureen Dwyer

Breach Category: Procurement & Contract Management

Permanent Secretary (at breach):

Breach Type: Noncompliance with Procurement Guidelines

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