10/27/10

Why not public reports on all contracting out by hospitals? Why stop at consultants?

Bill 122, the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act, would require LHINs and hospitals to report annually on their use of consultants. The Act however does not require any reports on other forms of contracting-out by the hospitals or LHINs .  Despite the fact that these other contracts often dwarf consultant contracts. 

So it is good to see at least some effort in this direction coming from the Progressive Conservatives. Here is Lisa McLeod, in her comments on the legislation yesterday at Queen's Park:

We also suggested all contracts over $10,000 at all public sector bodies be posted online. This is happening in other places across the country. It costs nothing to do. It would allow for people across the province, whether they’re members of the opposition, members of the media or they’re taxpaying citizens to go online and see what companies are making over $10,000 in taxpayer money at various places across the province, but they chose not to do that. This is an easy, affordable and efficient way of communicating to the government.

Of course, if this is simply a report of which corporations hold a contract, we are not too much further ahead.  The devil is in the detail --and that's why the public need access to the details. 

Unfortunately, corporations, concerned about giving away secrets to their competitors, are allergic to public transparency.

That's one reason why  privatization isn't really appropriate when it comes to spending public dollars.


dallan@cupe.ca

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