Panelists decline contracts to conduct review

 page image
Posted on:

Corporate News

The Board of Trustees held a special board meeting Tuesday where Chair Colleen Deitz shared news that the three people who were offered contracts to conduct a review of Palliser Regional Schools operations have declined to sign them.

Deitz said one of the three potential reviewers emailed her to advise the board that all three parties had independently arrived at their decision to decline the contracts. The email did not give a reason. Deitz said she called the potential reviewer and left a message asking about a reason but has not received a reply.

After an in-camera session to consult with Palliser legal counsel about possible next steps, the board voted to have Vice-Chair Robert Strauss make contact with the three potential reviewers to find out why they no longer wanted to conduct the review.

The board has scheduled a special meeting for 11 a.m., May 17 at which time Strauss may be able to provide an update. Trustees already had a committee meeting planned that day.

Deitz shared a timeline of action on the operational review beginning with the board receiving a request from Superintendent Kevin Gietz for a review of the school system on Jan. 12. On March 29, a committee of the board recommended three individuals to conduct the review. The board accepted the recommendation and approved a budget of $136,000 plus expenses for the review.

On March 31, the board held an emergency meeting to reconsider the budget for the review. According to the New West Partnership Trade Agreement signed by Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan, publicly funded bodies including school boards must hold an open public procurement process, such as public tender or request for proposal, for the purchase of any goods and services of $75,000 or more.

The board then passed a motion that the three members of the external review panel be approached to resubmit their proposals so the total cost of the review not exceed $74,999.99, including GST and expenses, in order to comply with trade agreements. The three reviewers were asked to resubmit proposals, which they did.

On April 28, the board passed a motion authorizing the board chair to provide service contracts to the three consultants for signing.