Lotto nonsense no. 1 - (first in an irregular series of responses)



    Show Us Where You Told MLAs About Untendered Contracts

    HALIFAX, Oct. 5 /CNW/ - LottoFairness.ca acknowledges that Atlantic
Lotto's procurement policies reserve the right to avoid public tendering in
certain cases.
    For example, there's a tiny little footnote on the Atlantic Lotto website
(in 7.5 point type) that says:

    Where it can be justified with a solid business case, goods, services and
    construction exceeding established thresholds may be purchased without
    public advertisement.

    Footnote shown in actual size and colour:
    http://www.alc.ca/English/Vendor/ProcurementPolicies.aspx

    
    Other statements from Atlantic Lotto leave a different impression:

    - Last year, the Atlantic Lotto President said this to the Nova Scotia
      Committee on Public Accounts: ""Any contract" that has the potential to
      be over the amount of $50,000 goes to a formal request for proposal and
      then goes through a very, very rigorous process ..."(1) (emphasis
      added)

    - Atlantic Lotto's Vice-President, Finance and Corporate Services, said
      the following to the same committee: "... it's a very rigorous process.
      "Every contract" for service that is in excess of $50,000 is publicly
      tendered, and that's in accordance with the Atlantic Procurement
      Agreement."(2) (emphasis added)

    - During the controversy surrounding communications contracts, Atlantic
      Lotto issued a media statement asserting that: "ALC follows the
      Atlantic Procurement Agreement, which ensures "all interested suppliers
      have equal opportunity to bid on work for ALC.""(3) (emphasis added)

    "Every" ... "Any" ... "All" ...

    No mention of making a business case to avoid public tendering. No
indication that sometimes sole-source or single-source contracts would be
awarded.
    Fine print aside, why not hold Atlantic Lotto to the standard set by its
own public statements?
    If there was a strong business case for failing to issue an open,
competitive tender, then why didn't Atlantic Lotto tell the public what it
was?

    ------------------------

    (1) Comments by Michelle Carinci, Atlantic Lotto's President and CEO: "We
        follow, first of all, the Atlantic Procurement Agreement, and the
        principles of that. Any contract that has the potential to be over
        the amount of $50,000 goes to a formal request for proposal and then
        goes through a very, very rigorous process that includes the parties
        that are interested in that contract within the corporation, Internal
        Audit, in some special occasions we might also include external audit
        in that process, as well as our purchasing department. So that's the
        rigour that's put behind that process." Source: Nova Scotia, House of
        Assembly, Committee on Public Accounts, Hansard (January 25, 2006),
        at 12-13.

    (2) Exchange between Patrick Daigle, Atlantic Lotto's Vice-President,
        Finance and Corporate Services, and Nova Scotia MLA Keith Colwell:

           "MR. PATRICK DAIGLE: I would love to talk a little bit about our
           supply chain management process because I'm very proud of it, and,
           to Michelle's point, it's a very rigorous process. Every contract
           for service that is in excess of $50,000 is publicly tendered, and
           that's in accordance with the Atlantic Procurement Agreement. We
           do adhere to that agreement. So we would advertise either in the
           newspaper or on the provincial Opportunities electronic bulletin
           boards. So virtually every opportunity above $50,000 from a
           services perspective.

           "MR. COLWELL: How do you handle contracts below $50,000?

           "MR. DAIGLE: We delineate between goods and services. Goods that
           are less than $5,000, we require one quote; goods that are greater
           than $5,000, we require three quotes; goods that are greater than
           $25,000, we publicly advertise, either through a request for a
           quotation or a request for proposals. Those guidelines are in
           accordance with the Atlantic Procurement Agreement. From a
           services perspective, any services under that threshold of
           $50,000, we seek one quote; above $50,000 we go a public tendering
           process."

        Source: Nova Scotia, House of Assembly, Committee on Public
        Accounts, Hansard (January 25, 2007), at 13-14.

    (3) Atlantic Lottery Corporation, "Atlantic Lottery Releases Advertising
        and Communications Information", News Release (August 26, 2005).
    




For further information:

For further information: Michael Dunn, (902) 229-5378

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