News / Ottawa

Ottawa's auditor has no plans to look at the biggest project the city has ever undertaken

An audit of Phase 1 of the city's light-rail plan isn't something Ottawa's auditor general plans to look at next year.

A worker inside the downtown tunnel for the Confederation Line project.

The Canadian Press

A worker inside the downtown tunnel for the Confederation Line project.

Ottawa’s auditor general has a lot on his plate next year – but a closer look at the biggest project the city has ever built isn't on the table.

Now one city councillor wants to know why that is.

Coun. Diane Deans raised the issue Thursday at the city’s audit committee, wondering why the auditor was not planning to conduct an audit of Pahse 1 of the Confederation Line project.

“I can think of no more pressing audit that the city should be doing than Phase 1 LRT,” she said. “We have an obligation to understand the actual costs of Phase 1 , because we don’t know right now.”

The cost for the line has been pegged at $2.1 billion, but Deans said council should have greater clarity on costs like land purchases.

“I have nothing bad to say about LRT," she said. "I just want to understand the costs."

Deans calls fell on deaf ears at council with no other councillor willing to put forward a motion to change the auditor’s planned work schedule for next year to look at the LRT line.

The current plan calls for audits into the city’s social housing registry, the road services branch, the security and emergency management department and several other areas.

Auditor general Ken Hughes committed to providing a memo to Deans about the cost of that kind of audit, but said he doesn’t see a lot of risk in the LRT plan because it has an independent contractor and because the city's bidding process works well.

“The procurement policy is working.”

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