Why was the maintenance contract for Langford extended without tender?
Langford council has quietly renewed a parks, boulevards and trails maintenance contract for $2.3 million annually for five years without public tender or bid.
Grumpy Taxpayer$ made repeated requests to the administration for any goods and services purchase policy used by the city and received no response. Nor would they confirm the maintenance contract went out for tender or bid.
Victoria Contracting and Municipal Maintenance Corp. (VCMMC) has been responsible for the maintenance of all City-owned parks, boulevards, and trails in Langford since 1992. The company also provides services for View Royal, Highlands and the District of Sooke.
“Since the contract apparently never went to public tender, taxpayers are wondering if the city got the best deal possible?” ask John Treleaven, chair of Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria.
“Langford council has a reputation for lack of transparency with the taxpayer – this is the latest example. To be very clear though, our issue is failed council governance and not VCMMC itself.”
The 24-page VCMMC contract allows for annual cost of living increases and an option for renewal for another five years.
“Are other goods and services purchased without public tendering or bidding? Is it unreasonable to expect a local government with revenue of $100 million in 2020 not to have a policy guiding purchases? Why were questions asking ‘Is a purchasing policy under consideration?’ unanswered?” says Treleaven.
The City of Victoria has had a purchasing policy in place since 2016 with the goal of ‘obtaining the best value for all funds expended.’ They are committed to open, transparent, fair and accountable access to City business utilizing leading practices and adhering to legislation and applicable trade agreements, according to the city.
Victoria also maintains a competitive bidding process in accordance with municipal and provincial laws. It adds, “We are conscious of our responsibility in the expenditure of public funds, including the acquisition of goods and services amounting to millions of dollars annually.”
Under the document library section, there’s nothing listed for public scrutiny on Langford’s website concerning bids, contracts, competitive bidding, procurement, purchasing policy or policies. Neither is there any reference to B.C. Bid, a provincial government website that allows municipalities to advertise bidding opportunities for a wide range of goods and services. That’s a service that Langford has used in the past.
Bid system,City of Victoria, 2021.
Purchasing policy for City of Victoria, City of Victoria, 2020.
Improving local government procurement processes through: Procurement Policy Enhancements, Procurement Performance Metrics and Reporting, and Vendor Performance Management, Auditor General of Local Government, B.C., 2016.
Available for Media Interviews:
John Treleaven, Chair, Grumpy Taxpayer$
250.656.7899, cell 250.588.7899
Stan Bartlett, Past Chair, Grumpy Taxpayer$