Councillor wants tenders for contract work

PORT HAWKESBURY: A councillor wants the town to adopt a new process for hiring contractors.

At Port Hawkesbury Town Council’s monthly meeting in November, councillor Mark MacIver said he would like to see requests for tenders advertised for any services that are not handled by the town’s Public Works Department.

“Periodically, we have outside contractors come in and I think it would be more transparent if we tender out all of the outside work that we may need, like trucks, backhoes, excavators, and snowplowing,” said MacIver.

Currently, contractors for such work are hired by the Chief Administrative Officer, and the decision does not pass through council. MacIver would like to see the town put out an advertisement for the work, which would be awarded to the successful bidder for a fixed period of time.

“It’s up for discussion on the length of time, generally it’s something like a three-to-five-year period,” said MacIver. “Once the tenders are made… and someone bids on them, the winner of that tender would be called for the next three-to-five-years, any time we needed him.”

MacIver said this is common practice for many organizations, including the Nova Scotia Community College.

“I just wanted it to be more transparent and open to all, and whoever gives the best price, then there would be no question who you would call,” said MacIver.

MacIver told The Reporter he was not prompted by any specific concerns with previous projects.

“This time of year, we appoint our deputy mayor and our committees for the year, so that’s why I brought it up at this time,” he said.

The matter is scheduled for further discussion at the November Committee-of-the-Whole meeting.