OmbudsPEI supportive of motion calling for legislative change around procurement in PEI

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI – Ombudsperson Sandy Hermiston is voicing her support for a March 20th motion passed unanimously by the Legislative Assembly calling for the creation of legislation to guide service procurement in PEI.

OmbudsPEI worked with Procurement Services and Treasury Board to agree to post the policies guiding the service procurement process to ensure that information about winning bidders and their contracts are better communicated to the public. A summary of the complaint, previously posted on our website last fall, and OmbudsPEI’s assessment can be found here: Procuring Fairness – OmbudsPEI

“When we began looking into the complaint, the lack of legislation governing the procurement of services on PEI stood in stark contrast to the legislation guiding the procurement of goods,” said Hermiston.

“Procurement Services recognized this gap and acknowledged that until such time as a new law is created, it was willing to take meaningful steps to increase transparency and public confidence in the process.”

OmbudsPEI obtained a commitment to publish the policies guiding service procurement by June 2024. Additionally, Procurement Services is now posting all winning service bids on their website, including the identity of the winning bidders and the monetary value of the service contracts, available to the public as soon as possible.

OmbudsPEI appreciated the meaningful steps taken by both Procurement Services and Treasury Board towards improving transparency in the service procurement process within the existing legislative framework. It is also fully supportive of calls to draft new legislation governing service procurement to further advance fairness and public confidence in how tax dollars are spent.

Media Contact

Cody McEachern

Investigator/Communications Officer – OmbudsPEI

cmceachern@ombudspei.ca

(902) 218-1967

 

About OmbudsPEI

As an independent office of the Legislature, OmbudsPEI investigates complaints of unfair treatment by government agencies and provides general oversight of government’s administrative processes under the Ombudsperson Act. The Ombudsperson has a broad mandate to investigate complaints about unfair treatment, process or decisions by public sector agencies such as government ministries, agencies boards and commissions, municipalities and Health PEI.

OmbudsPEI promotes fairness, transparency and accountability in the public sector to enhance good governance and public confidence in government. Our work improves public services for all Islanders.

If any Islander believes they have experienced an unfairness in their interactions with a provincial agency, they can contact OmbudsPEI to explore options for making a complaint. Our services are free and confidential.

Sandy Hermiston also serves as PEI’s Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner pursuant to her appointment under the Public Interest Disclosure and Whistleblower Protection Act. Public servants can report wrongdoing by making a protected disclosure or complaint about a reprisal to the office. For more information about OmbudsPEI, visit Whistleblowing – OmbudsPEI.