Minister ignored official concerns over

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Minister ignored official concerns over process and cost with new HMP: Petten
Barry Petten raised new concerns today about the Liberal government’s decision to push ahead with a sole source bid to replace Her Majesty’s Penitentiary.
Friday, June 17, 2022

(June 17, 2022) – Barry Petten, PC Official Opposition Shadow Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and MHA for Conception Bay South, raised new concerns today about the Liberal government’s decision to push ahead with a sole source bid to replace Her Majesty’s Penitentiary.

Petten has been raising concerns for months over the Liberal government’s decision to push ahead with a sole-source contract after two other proponents backed out. New documents released under Access to Information show serious concerns about the cost of the project and the unprecedented nature of a sole-source bidding process.

“Documents released under ATIPPA confirm that costs under a sole-source contract will be 30% higher, and based on a $325-million ceiling – this is significant. We’ve already seen an example of this Liberal government adding $40 million to the cost of the new Adult Mental Health and Addictions facility through a controversial bidding process,” said Petten.

“Emails between senior officials in the Minister’s Department and Consultants hired by the Liberal government to oversee the process confirm none had any experience or seen such a circumstance.”

Petten worries this is another poorly designed process like the fiasco in Central NL with new nursing homes constructed with thousands of defects, resulting in long delays and significant costs to the taxpayers.

“To see senior officials admit in writing that this was ‘unchartered water’ and that they had ‘not encountered a competitive P3 process with less than two bidders’ is remarkable,” said Petten.

“This Minister ignored these warning flags which go back to last December. One has to wonder why he forged ahead against the advice of his officials? Who is looking out for the taxpayer in this process?

The full ATIPPA response can be viewed here: https://atipp-search.gov.nl.ca/public/atipp/requestdownload?id=18456

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Contacts:

David Maher

Director of Strategic Communications

(cell) 709-725-0984

DavidMaher@gov.nl.ca

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