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TOH Response to the AG Report: Statement from the Board Chair

Phil Murray, Chair of The Ottawa Hospital’s Board, today made the following statement about the Auditor General’s Special Report on Consultant Use in Selected Health Organizations.

October 20, 2010 – The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) welcomes the Auditor General’s (AG) report on hospital procurement practices.

The AG report reminds us that the hospital sector must always ensure the sound management of public resources, particularly when they are used for consulting contracts and the procurement of goods and services.
In that spirit, we are already working to ensure that we are the best possible stewards of our patients’ and community’s tax dollars.
Last spring, our Board ‘s Audit Committee asked for a review of our procurement policies. The review validated the quality of those policies. It also confirmed that TOH policies are fully compliant with Broader Public Sector Supply Chain Guidelines.
TOH requires hospital executives to obtain a minimum of 2 quotes before awarding a contract for goods or services between $25,000.00 and $100,000.00. TOH further requires a formal RFP process for a contract for goods or services above $100,000.00
In the event an exception to this policy is required – for instance, when only one provider can offer the goods or services sought by TOH – the executive responsible for the decision must complete a sole-source justification form for approval by TOH’s Director of Purchasing, CFO and CEO.
This ensures both individual and corporate accountability for TOH expenditures.
These policies have ensured the effective and responsible management of public resources. Over the past 9 years, we have focused on responding to the needs of our patients by advocating for better healthcare resources in Ottawa and the region.

As a result, we have enabled an investment of almost $1 Billion in new infrastructure, equipment and technology. We have recruited leading physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers. And we have balanced our budget every year since 2002.
That is the spirit in which our Board ‘s Audit Committee, our CEO and CFO will work with the community, the OHA and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to ensure compliance with all the recommendations that flow from the report.