Earlier, your humble organ reported Community Living British Columbia doled out $304,815 in directly awarded information technology contracts during the holiday season. And it seems provincial New Democrat children and family development critic Adrian Dix is taking a rather dim view of that decision. In an interview, on Public Eye Radio, Mr. Dix noted those running the agency seem to believe "that only a few companies are able to manage information technology in the community living sector. And I just don't believe that's the case. I think, in terms of managing files and managing information, there're lots of companies" capable of doing that...But, as frequently as not, there's no competitive bidding (for those contracts). And we should expect an agency that's managing $600 million a year in taxpayers money to engage in a competitive bidding process." He then added that Community Living British Columbia also needs to manage that process better because "the problem with competitive bidding in this sector has been that, when there is competitive bidding, the same old companies always get the contracts regardless of their past performance."
And, across government, "there has been less and less regard for rules. And, in a systematic way, they've changed rules into guidelines and into an advisory almost. And, I think what's required in this case, across government, is for the Minister of Finance Carole Taylor - who didn't do this with respect to her own communications contracts - is to say enough is enough. We need competitive bidding. The government should adhere by its own rules. And - if they think the rules are too stringent - they should go out publicly and say so and change the rules. But, as long as there's rules in places for contracting, surely we should expect public agencies to follow those rules."