8:30 a.m., July 10)
auditor's report blames staff for Green Bin contract debacle
By Fred Sherwin
controversial Green Bin program first approved in 2008,
has so far cost taxpayers nearly $8 million in unnecessary
costs thanks to a contract that was completely out of
touch with reality, city auditor Ken Hughes has found.
a scathing and often embarassing report released on Wednesday,
Hughes lays the blame for the Green Bin contract at the
feet of city staff, many of whom are no longer with the
staff member who is still with the city is city manager
Kent Kirkpatrick who admitted that staff failed to do
due dilligence in negotiating the contract with Orgaworld
and providing city council with proper information.
20-year contract with Orgaworld was based on a minimum
of 80,000 tonnes a year going to the processing plant.
In 2013, only 69,000 tonnes of organic waste was processed
at Orgaworld, with leaf and yard waste forming a large
percentage of the material which is being processed at
to Hughes, the net cost of composting leaf and yard waste
at Orgaworld is $103.77 per tonne compared to $15.65 per
tonne if it was being composted at the Trail Road site.
The difference adds up to approximately $3.35 million
per year in unnecessary costs, or about $67 million over
the life of the 20 year contract.
states in his report that there were "fundamental
errors" made in leading up to the eventual contract,
such as incorrectly interpreting date collected during
the Green Bin pilot project and that neither staff nor
council considered basing the contract on a ramp up period.
even goes as far to say that he couldn't find any documentation
that could back up staff's decision to base the contract
on an 80,000 tonne minimum.
does, however, provide a number of recommendations in
his report including backing out of the current deal which
he estimates whould cost the city about $11 million, but
would still save taxpayers money in the long run.
with Orgaworld, however, say the penalty for cancelling
the contract would be closer to $56 million.
City recently won its arbitration hearing with Orgaworld,
in which the adjudicator ruled that Orgaworld was in breach
its contract for not accepting the full amount of leaf
and yard waste collected over the past four years, and,
in fact, they must compensate the city for not doing so.
The total amount of compensation is still being negotiated.
where in his report, does Hughes place any of the blame
for the current situation at the feet of the former city
council which unanimously approved the contract save for
former Knoxville-Merivale Ward councillor Gord Hunter
who was the lone voice against the deal.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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