What would it have been like if auditor general John Noseworthy had tripped over the contract granted to consultant John Noseworthy? We’ll never know. But we can imagine.
After Noseworthy left the job of auditor general for the province, he ran for the provincial Progressive Conservatives in the last provincial election and lost. Subsequently, he was awarded an unadvertised contract with the provincial government to prepare a report on a new government department. He delivered that report in December, and billed the province $148,960 for just under 10 months’ work.
What would have happened if such a contract had been awarded under Noseworthy’s watch as auditor general?
Well, you could look at past examples of untendered contracts addressed in his reports, like the 2008 review of the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO).
“In relation to three long-term professional services agreements covering the period 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2010, there was, among other findings, no competitive bidding process in place to ensure the most qualified vendor performed the work at the lowest cost,” Noseworthy wrote.
“As a result, the OCIO did not make any determination of which vendor had the lowest cost, best timeline and best resources to perform the work.
“OCIO should ensure a competitive bidding process is in place for the assignment of work to vendors under professional services agreements.” Indeed.
Or, you could look at Noseworthy’s hiring through the lens of his comments about Eastern Health’s selection of companies offering some types of care in his 2009 report: “There was no documentation on file to show how these two service providers were selected. As a result, Eastern Health was not able to demonstrate that the cost of the services being provided was competitive and that the services being offered were the most effective at that time.” There you go.
Or even go way back, to Noseworthy’s 2006 report, when he chastised the provincial Department of Justice’s community corrections division: “The department is not complying with government’s policy on the hiring of consultants because no public proposal call was made …” No proposal call — bad business. Got it.
Or even look back to 2005, when Noseworthy spanked the province’s Municipal Assessment Agency:
“In 2003, without the use of an objective means of evaluation such as the province’s Consultant’s Guidelines, the agency selected a consultant to design and implement a new management structure,” an action that was deemed “not consistent with government policy.”
Perhaps it is particularly delicious that part of Noseworthy’s own consulting contract was to analyze the new Department of Advanced Education and Skills’ management structure and services.
It’s pretty clear that, if he had been wearing a different hat, Noseworthy would not have been pleased with the government’s actions. Imagine: John Noseworthy being called on the carpet — by himself.
There’s irony in that, for sure. Perhaps the adage, “Do as I say, not as I do,” suits this political charade best of all.