Security blanket

Earlier, we reported the Campbell administration spent $149,726.71 producing videos for the premier's fourth annual innovation and excellence awards. The contract to do that production was given to Big Red Barn Media Group Inc. following a competitive bid process. But not every contractor for the awards ceremonies had to go through such a process. Western Pro Show Rentals Ltd. - which organized the provincial Liberal leader's tour during the 2001 and 2005 election campaigns - was directly awarded the $90,000 contract to provide audio visual services for the awards ceremonies.

And why was such a direct award necessary? "Because a competitive process would interfere with the ministry's ability to maintain security or order or to protect human, animal or plant life or health," according to Western Pro Show's contract.

An attached note to file, dated April 1, 2007, went onto state, "Confidentiality in planning around Minister's appearances is a necessity. It is imperative that suppliers involved in government events have the trust and confidence of ministers and staff involvement in all aspects of event management. This supplier has demonstrated they can work within the security requirements established for government events." Western Pro Show, which has a standing contract with government, received $82,723.12 in fees from that contract. The following is a complete copy of the aforementioned note to file.

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Western Pro Show Rentals Ltd. (C08PAB11406) Security

Note to File (April 1, 2007)

This supplier is one of five suppliers retained by the Public Affairs Bureau to provide light, sound, video, electronic media distribution, etc., for provincial government events such as public appearances, announcements and press conferences.

Confidentiality in planning around Minister's appearances is a necessity. It is imperative that the suppliers involved in government events have the trust and confidence of ministers and staff involved in all aspects of event management. This supplier has demonstrated they can work within the security reqirements established for government events. Based on these security requirements, the contract has been directly awarded in accordance with the exception criteria listed in the Core Policy Manual section 6.3.3(a) 1.

A standing contract has been entered into for ease of administration thereby eliminating the need to enter into a new contract each time the contractor's services are required.

Regardless of the date signed, the term of the contract will commence on April 1, 2007 up to and including March 31st, 2008. The maximum contract total is $ (fees: $; expenses: $).

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1 Comment

"Because a competitive process would interfere with the ministry's ability to maintain security or order or to protect human, animal or plant life or health,"

This was a shameless perque for government employees. I doubt it was a secret or required security. The justification for this direct award is puerile and should be investigated.

As a taxpayer I object to my tax dollars being utilized in such a cavalier manner.

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