Skip to Content
View site list

Profile

Government

Letter To The Editor: It’s important to keep a clear eye on the centre of the Bill 66 debate

Brian Dijkema
Letter To The Editor: It’s important to keep a clear eye on the centre of the Bill 66 debate

 

To the Editor:

 

I was glad to see Stephen Bauld’s call for clarity on open tendering is his column headlined, “Procurement Perspectives: Bill 66 benefits of open tendering fact or fiction?” that was featured in the Jan. 15 edition of the Daily Commercial News.

As someone who has authored papers with Mr. Bauld on this subject, it’s important to keep a clear eye on the question that forms the centre of this debate.

While I am very happy — indeed look forward — to discussing the cost implications of restricted bidding, which Cardus has researched at length, the key question in discussing Bill 66 is this: Does union affiliation serve as an objective basis for shrinking the pool of bidders in public procurement?

And on that, Mr. Bauld himself has provided a clear answer.

I’ll let him speak for himself: “A survey of the legislative framework and theory behind public procurement, as well as an analysis of empirical studies, show that limiting public procurement by union affiliation does not promote the public interest. In fact, the vast preponderance of evidence and practice suggests that restricting public bidding in this way is not only far outside of the norm, but can have significant and deleterious consequences for the public interest.”

Source: Hiding in Plain Sight: Evaluating Closed Tendering in Construction Markets by Stephen Bauld and Brian Dijkema with James Tonn.

 

Sincerely,

Brian Dijkema

Work and economics program director at Cardus

Recent Comments (2 comments)

comments for this post are closed

Andrew Sefton Image Andrew Sefton

My understanding is that the following are comments that better define the position of Stephen Bauld:

HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT: Evaluating Closed Tendering in Construction Markets
https://www.cardus.ca/research/work-economics/reports/hiding-in-plain-sight-evaluating-closed-tendering-in-construction-markets/
Page 16
The debate on closed tendering versus open tendering should not be mischaracterized as a tussle between unionized and non-unionized industry members; the real issue is how public bodies can ensure fair and transparent benchmarking so as to get the best value possible for public dollars.

Hiding in Plain Sight
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJ8IoW-_hE4
1:30
“…I can’t emphasize this enough it’s not about union and non-union it’s just about, you know, being fair to everybody…”

Andrew Sefton Image Andrew Sefton

Re.: Amend the Labour Relations Act, 1995 to explicitly deem public bodies, including municipalities, school boards, hospitals, colleges and universities, as “non-construction employers”.
Amending the Labour Relations Act, 1995 to explicitly deem public bodies, including municipalities, school boards, hospitals, colleges and universities, as “non-construction employers”, will not result in the cost savings Ontarians require. Reform of public sector procurement policies and procedures of construction and maintenance services is required.
As Ontarians, we are burdened by unprecedented government debt, government deficits, personal debt and rising interest rates. By 2030, healthcare is projected to comprise 80% of the provincial budget, leaving little room for the remaining operational expenses. Debt servicing is the third largest government expense and risks being moved up on the budget in the event of increased government debt and/or higher interest rates.
Whereas construction industry purchasers and suppliers can continue to navigate the complexity of the public construction procurement and delivery process, resulting in higher costs to public sector construction, it serves our collective interests to move forward upon a new path. The Ontario government ought to investigate and resolve the causes of the public sector allegedly paying 40% more for construction and maintenance services should the Ontario government want an easy win on the path to reducing red tape and reducing public expenditures.
There is much to be learned from countries such as Scotland that embarked upon a process to improve public sector procurement based on a collaborative partnership approach between public sector and business that has resulted in a transformed public sector landscape with procurement today a lever for economic change.
In March 2006, the Scottish Government published the Review of Public Procurement in Scotland (the McClelland report). This concluded that public sector structures, people and technology were not in place to improve procurement. The report identified the opportunity to achieve significant, recurring financial savings across the public sector. Since 2006, the Scottish Government and Scotland Excel have launched several initiatives to improve procurement.
“The Scottish Government, Scotland Excel and councils reported total procurement savings of £71 million in 2012/13.”
“Audit Scotland estimated that, by the end of 2007 – 2008, the reform programme had directly delivered £327 million worth of savings and benefits. The Scottish Government’s annual efficiency figures showed that, by 2009 – 2010, that figure had risen to almost £800 million.”
Recognizing the potential long-term cost savings by way of assisting municipalities with the supply of consultants to harmonize policies and procedures for completion of Asset Management Plans, it would be entirely appropriate for the Ontario government to move forward with the reform of public sector procurement policies and procedures of construction and maintenance services to achieve significant, recurring financial savings across the public sector.
LINK
http://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/
https://www2.gov.scot/Topics/Government/Procurement

More

You might also like