Nanaimo to consider review of contracting out
Nanaimo council will explore the costs of an external core review of its contracting practices.
The motion to dismiss an internal review performed by staff and instead pay for an outside organization to seek efficiencies in the $40-million contracting budget was put forward by Coun. Bill Bestwick.
“It’s a cost-benefit analysis,” said Bestwick. “It’s a big part of our budget and we need to see if there are savings we can realize or efficiencies that can be made.”
The city’s total budget for 2011 is about $143 million.
The motion came forward on the heels of a similar motion late last year by Coun. Jim Kipp, who wanted to see an external core review of all staff activities at city hall.
That review would have cost more than $100,000 and was voted down by council.
Council supported Bestwick’s motion after city manager Al Kenning said a request for proposals could be issued to see what the review would cost.
“If it doesn’t cost anything to see what’s out there, then we may as well see,” said Nanaimo Mayor John Ruttan, who was initially against paying for a review, but relented after learning a request for proposals would not require council to commit to a review.
Ruttan added that with residential property tax rates likely to increase 4.3 per cent, he isn’t comfortable spending money on a consultant.
“I hesitate to support anything that will cost us money when it can be done by our own staff,” he said.
Council approved the motion 6-2 with Couns. Merv Unger and Bill Holdom voting against.
Holdom said similar reviews have been done in the past using existing staff resources and should be done that way this time.
“An external review is not needed,” said Holdom.
Kenning said local organizations that could carry out a review do exist.
Unger noted the irony of paying an outside consultant to perform a core review on external contracts when it could, he said, be done in-house using existing resources.