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The Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation's Hidden Audit

Today's Globe and Mail has more on the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation's suspicious audit. Apparently some of the more critical portions were held back by the government when the audit was released, but the newspaper has obtained them.

The worst accusations have to do with "sole-source contracts". I understand why procedure is important in government, however signing deals without competitive bids is certainly quite common in the business world. In this case, I'm not sure if I would be suspicious. However, this excerpt from the Globe gives some reason to wonder:

The public version of the internal audit by Human Resources Skills Development Canada also omits a chart that lists the 10 sole source contracts that were awarded in violation of the rule requiring public bids. The document shows some were well above the $75,000 maximum.

They include $2.2-million to Goodmans LLP for legal services; $1.7-million to KPMG for "procurement, financial reporting and bookkeeping services," including a contract signed Nov. 25, 2004, for work done between Sept. 1, 2003, and Aug. 31, 2004; and $1-million to McMillan Binch LLP for corporate legal services.

Several of the companies on the list were large donors to the national Liberal Party and riding associations of current and former Liberal MPs in the Greater Toronto Area, including Tony Ianno, Bill Graham, Carolyn Bennett, Bonnie Brown, Albina Guarnieri, Elinor Caplan and David Collenette.

Some of the companies also donated to the Conservative Party and the NDP, but none donated to individual riding associations for Tory or NDP candidates.

In the end, these dealings might be entirely on the up-and-up. However, it is more concerning that the government tried to censor this audit, probably because it was being released during the election campaign.

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