The ArriveCan app will be under the microscope today when Canada’s Auditor General releases its report on the $54 million government project.
The government launched ArriveCan in April 2020, stating it would be used as a communication and screening tool to ensure travelers arriving in Canada are complying with pandemic border measures.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced that approximately $54 million has been budgeted for the initial development and operation of the ArriveCan app, but there are persistent questions. About app costs and procurement process over 1 year.
A flurry of reports from Auditor General Karen Hogan Research by Alexander Jeglic, Canadian Procurement Officer ombudsmanfraud was found in the app’s procurement process.
As reported, gloves and mail Last year, the government awarded GC Strategies a $25 million contract to develop the app. We are a two-person consulting company. promote yourself We help businesses navigate government procurement processes. The company then subcontracted the work to other companies.
Jeglic’s report said the criteria used in awarding the $25 million deal were “overly restrictive” and gave GC Strategies “highly preferential treatment.”
The report showed that GC Strategies repeatedly “copied and pasted” requirements for government-listed subcontractors when submitting proposals to CBSA officials.
Jeglic’s report also suggests that many bidders repeatedly won contracts by listing subcontractors who ultimately did not work on the app.
“In approximately 76% of applicable contracts, the resources proposed at the winning bid did not perform any work under the contract,” the report states.
Mr. Cegrich described the practice as a “bait and switch” during an appearance before the House Government Operations Committee in January.
Jegrich told lawmakers on the committee that contractors have been known to provide workers and resources other than those promised during the bidding process. He said the frequency of practices at ArriveCan raised concerns.
“The systematic nature and frequency with which this occurred was much higher. So the issue is systemic non-compliance,” he said.
CBSA is also conducting an internal investigation into the ArriveCan contract. CBSA president Erin O’Gorman told the Government Steering Committee last month that the preliminary findings of the investigation caused great concern.
O’Gorman said the investigation “revealed a pattern of continued collaboration between certain officials and GC Strategies, who sought to circumvent or ignore established procurement processes, roles and responsibilities.” “This shows our efforts to address this issue.”
House committee suspends meeting
Mr O’Gorman warned that the investigation was still ongoing, but a copy of the preliminary findings was provided to MPs on the committee last week.
After considering the findings, the committee’s Liberal, Bloc Quebecois and National Democratic Party members agreed to halt the investigation, fearing it would undermine the CBSA investigation if some of the details were made public. .
Liberal MP Majid Jowari said he was “appalled” by the preliminary findings, while National Democratic Party MP Taylor Bachrach said he found the findings “very worrying”.
The CBSA told CBC News the internal investigation is expected to be completed by spring or summer.