Board reconsiders budget for operational review

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The Board of Trustees of Palliser Regional Schools held an emergency meeting Thursday, March 31 to reconsider the proposed cost of an independent operational review of the school division and to ensure compliance with procurement processes.
At a meeting Tuesday, March 29, the board approved two motions related to the operational review — the first to approve three panel members identified by the board’s review selection committee; the second to approve a budget of $136,000 plus expenses for the review.

The board voted Thursday to rescind both motions.

The board then passed a new motion to approach the three panel members and ask them to resubmit their proposals with a revised scope of work and a budget not to exceed $74,999.99, including GST. The board has asked for those submissions by 4 p.m., Monday, April 4.

According to the New West Partnership Trade Agreement between Alberta, Saskatchewan and B.C., municipalities, school boards, and publicly funded academic, health and social service entities are required to hold an open public procurement process, such as public tender or request for proposal, for goods and services of $75,000 or more.

If panel members feel they can’t perform the review within this budget, the board will revisit the matter.

The board also received an update on its draft Safe and Caring Learning Environments policy, to reflect changes to provincial legislation protecting individuals from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Palliser submitted its draft policy to Alberta Education on March 30 as the board awaits additional legal advice on the incorporation of parental and religious rights. The province had set a deadline of March 31 for school boards to submit their policies on this topic.