"No smoking gun" is how the costly KPMG report has been described
CityCaucus.com's freedom of information request last month has forced City Manager Penny Ballem to release the controversial KPMG report today. Ironically, the "secret" report that is being released because of our FOI was meant to be an attempt at transparency, according to this quote from Gregor Robertson last December:
"This review is being undertaken in line with my commitment to provide the citizens of Vancouver with as much information as possible about the financial arrangements consistent with the City's legal and financial interests," Robertson said. "As the City's external auditors, KPMG is ideally suited to undertake this task."
Originally budgeted at $100,000, the final bills are coming in at a minimum of $175,000 and are expected to go much higher. Like the James Hoggan untendered contract back in December, where Penny Ballem subverted the very clear rules on hiring consultants, the hiring of KPMG is potentially another case of bending the rules by Vision.
When it comes to hiring consultants, the rules are very clear. Any expenditure over $30,000 must have prior approval by City Council. No such approval was sought for this work.
What the report will show is that Vancouver, by switching the financing of the Olympic Village to the City, has taken on considerably more risk on this project. Instead of being on the hook for $100 million in financing, the City of Vancouver must carry the risk on the whole $1 billion project.
Today on CKNW's Morning News program, Coun. Suzanne Anton commented that the whole purpose of the report was simply to get Mayor Robertson up to speed on a project he knew nothing about. At $200K, that's some pretty expense tutoring.
The report will be released today and you can come back to CityCaucus.com for more news and analysis in the hours ahead.