MONTREAL, Dec. 17, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - In the best interest of citizens of Montréal, Richard Deschamps and all the elected members of the previous Executive Committee wish to clearly establish their position and set the record straight in regards to the statements made by Michael Applebaum concerning the disclosure of the 2004 Report and subsequent reports of 2006, 2009/2010 and August 2012. The 2004 Report deals with risk management for construction contracts.
The 2004 Report: a report kept secret for far too long
On October 30, 2012, during a meeting of the Executive Committee, Alan DeSousa, Mayor of the Saint-Laurent borough and vice-chair of the Executive Committee, requested that the 2004 Report be made public immediately. His request was rejected by the president of the Executive Committee, Michael Applebaum, the pretext being the imminent budget announcement.
On that occasion and subsequently, the members of the Executive Committee repeatedly asked for a copy of this report and of the subsequent reports; requests that were left unanswered until November 12, when publicly released.
In an interview given to The Gazette, November 9, Mr. Applebaum falsely affirmed that members of the Executive Committee had received copies of the 2004 report November 5.
On November 9, when he resigned as President of the Executive Committee, Michael Applebaum falsely confirmed to the media that the elected members of the Executive Committee for the City of Montréal were opposed to the public release of the 2004 Report. In reality on November 7, the Executive Committee he was then presiding had come to an agreement to make these reports public on November 12.
In fact, at 11 a. m. on November 12, all reports were made available to the members of the Executive Committee and publicly released.
"This clarification is necessary and contradicts the allegations made by Michael Applebaum who contends that members of the Executive Committee at that time were opposed to the disclosure of the report. We were somewhat astonished to learn that these reports had never been submitted to the members of the Executive Committee. We know that we have a duty to the general population to remain vigilant. However, we still haven't gotten satisfying reasons as to why those reports were never shown to consecutive upper management teams and to Mayor Gérald Tremblay. We are still waiting for explanations justifying why those reports stayed hidden inside the Administrative departments for so long," stated Richard Deschamps, city councillor for the LaSalle borough and member of the Executive Committee.
"Had the members of the Executive Committee received the 2004 reports in 2004, I am certain that we could have made on-the-spot corrections to the contract awarding procedures. Without a doubt, the contracts awarded in subsequent years would have been subject to stricter controls. We need to ensure that no one can prevent the release of such important information. I will continue to closely follow the work of the Executive Committee, as I always have. As an elected member I am accountable, so too is the Mayor of Montréal," added Alan DeSousa, mayor for the Saint-Laurent borough.
The nature of these reports
The 2004 Report sheds light, among other things, on the cost differences varying between 30 to 40% among projects completed in an open market and projects completed in a closed market. This report was never submitted to the Executive Committee.
The 2006 Report is the result of an internal audit concerning roadwork, water and sewer projects carried out and reveals a systematic under-evaluation of the estimated costs for contracts awarded in 2005 and the lack of prevention and detection mechanisms for fraud and collusion. This report was never submitted to the Executive Committee.
The 2009/2010 Report is a response plan for the water and sewer network, revealing significant costs overpaid by the City for this kind of infrastructure work in comparison to other cities in Quebec. This report was never submitted to the Executive Committee.
The 2012 Report was prepared for the Infrastructure and Environment Department and is an analysis of the costs of the projects and contingencies. This report was submitted to the members of the Executive Committee.
SOURCE: UNION MONTREAL
For further information:
Louise Fournier, Union Montréal, cell phone 514-567-6972