Skip to main content

WRHA's crackerjack policy has missing ingredient

You've got to hand it to the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. Not only do they have a crackerjack policy that lets them accept millions of dollars worth of gifts from winning bidders on medical supply contracts. But they've made the process fun, just like the popular snack of carmel corn and peanuts which came with a prize in every box.

Surprise! You never knew what you would get. A whistle, a toy or a badge.

And, says the WRHA, neither do they -- until the brown envelope attached to the winning bid is opened.

It could be funding for research, equipment, or specific hospital programs. Or, it could be cash. Whoopee!

The upper echelon of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority knew they'd get caught sooner or later. But they've prepared well and there's a reason they're so cocky.

They're ready to ride out any storm of criticism from the exposure in the Winnipeg Free Press that they've accepted more than $20 million in presents since 2000 from winning contractors.

The manner that these benefits arrived--- in brown envelopes ---may look dodgy. But CEO Brian Postl and his cohorts don't care how rank you think it is, they believe their policy on accepting these gifts is bulletproof.

A lot of thought went into the WRHA policy that governs the bid process--- like how do we do this and not go to jail.

First, the presents are not called presents. They're value-added benefits.

Value-added benefits are defined as (emphasis ours):
Any funds, items or services which directly benefit a Facility/Program/Agency or WRHA Logistics Services but may also benefit Board members, WRHA Logistics Services employees, Facility/Program employees, WRHA employees or physicians and are not identified as a mandatory requirement in the competitive bid document.

Second, the policy is written to make it clear the WRHA is accepting the benefits, and not asking for them. There is a distinction.

4.1.1 If value-ads are to be considered for acceptance the competitive bid document must identify that acceptance will be considered, but only after the decision for award has been made based on the award criteria (pricing, quality, etc.) as identified in the competitive bid document.

4.1.2 Specific value-ads cannot be defined as this could imply the desire is actually a requirement.

4.3.1 Companies shall be informed that where value added benefits are offered, the WRHA prefers that these be of an unrestricted nature.

The people evaluating the bids aren't to be told what's in the brown envelopes before they pick the winner.

Vender offerings of value-added benefits will not be disclosed by Logistics Services until an award decision has been made based on quality and pricing.

But, it's not clear to us whether the offer of gifts is kept secret until after the winning bid is picked or if the following takes place before that's done.

Value-ads that are offered must be disclosed to the following parties and reviewed by all prior to acceptance by WRHA senior management:
* Logistics Services
*Facility/Program/Agency via PRES (Product Review Evaluation Standardization) or assigned evaluation Committee

The WRHA is ready to duke it out with critics.

- The "value-ads" are not bribes. Bribes are payments made before a contract is awarded in order to sway the judges.
- They are not kickbacks. They are separate from the winning bid, not hived off it.
- They are not baksheesh, a term that refers to small payments for services like a tip.

They are closer to rewards, although that implies a connection between accepting the value-added benefit and awarding the contract which the WRHA denies.

They cannot be construed as influence peddling since the benefits go to a facility or program or, if to a board member, he is not a government official but a member of an arms length agency.

The presents are legal. But is taking them ethical?

Sec. 1.2 This policy shall be read in conjunction with Conflict of Interest/Personal Gains Policy ...

Uh oh.

Because the WRHA does not, at present, have a Conflict of Interest/Personal Gains Policy.

The ... above represents the words "presently under development" in the original policy document, a document dated June, 2007 which is posted on the WRHA webpage today.

In a form letter to suppliers, the WRHA tells them:

"Procurement policies have been developed to ensure that the procurement process is seamless and provides a fair and equitable working relationship for both the vendor and health care site communities. These policies have been posted and can be accessed on the WRHA website through the following website link .

The following procurement policies that are available are:
Value Added
Contract Compliance
Conflict of Interest/Personal Gains
Drug Product/Service Complaint Monitoring and Resolution
Product Review, Evaluation and Standardization

We tried the link.

It doesn't work.

We used the Search function to find the WRHA policies page.

Guess what?

Value Added.
Contract Compliance.
Complaint Monitoring. Check
Product Review. Check.
Conflict of Interest/Personal Gains.

The WRHA has had no operative Conflict of Interest/Personal Gains Policy for the past 18 months at least.

Does that mean that there have literally been no constraints on the board members on their use of the gifts from contractors?

This could be stickier than carmel corn.

Popular posts from this blog

The unreported bombshell conspiracy evidence in the Trudeau/SNC-Lavelin scandal

Wow. No, double-wow. A game-changing bombshell lies buried in the supplementary evidence provided to the House of Commons Judiciary Committee by former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould. It has gone virtually unreported since she submitted the material almost a week ago. As far as we can find, only one journalist-- Andrew Coyne, columnist for the National Post--- has even mentioned it and even then he badly missed what it meant, burying it in paragraph 10 of a 14 paragraph story. The gist of the greatest political scandal in modern Canadian history is well-known by now. It's bigger than Adscam, the revelation 15 years ago that prominent members of the Liberal Party of Canada and the party itself funneled tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks into their own pockets from federal spending in Quebec sponsoring ads promoting Canadian unity. That was just venal politicians and a crooked political party helping themselves to public money. The Trudeau-Snc-Lavalin scandal is

Crips and Bloodz true cultural anchors of Winnipeg's aboriginal gangs

(Bebo tribute page to Aaron Nabess on the right, his handgun-toting friend on the left) At least six murder victims in Winnipeg in the past year are linked to a network of thuglife, gangster rap-styled, mainly aboriginal street gangs calling themselves Crips and Bloods after the major black gangs of L.A. The Black Rod has been monitoring these gangs for several months ever since discovering memorial tributes to victim Josh Prince on numerous pages on, a social networking website like Myspace and Facebook. Josh Prince , a student of Kildonan East Collegiate, was stabbed to death the night of May 26 allegedly while breaking up a fight. His family said at the time he had once been associated with an unidentified gang, but had since broken away. But the devotion to Prince on sites like Watt Street Bloodz and Kingk Notorious Bloodz (King-K-BLOODZ4Life) shows that at the time of his death he was still accepted as one of their own. Our searches of Bebo have turned up another five ga

Manitoba Hydro is on its deathbed. There, we said it.

Manitoba Hydro is on its deathbed. Oh, you won't find anyone official to say it. Yet . Like relatives trying to appear cheery and optimistic around a loved one that's been diagnosed with terminal cancer, the people in power are in the first stage of grief -- denial. The prognosis for Hydro was delivered three weeks ago at hearings before the Public Utilities Board where the utility was seeking punishingly higher rates for customers in Manitoba. It took us this long to read through the hundred-plus pages of transcript, to decipher the coded language of the witnesses, to interpret what they were getting at, and, finally, to understand the terrible conclusion.  We couldn't believe it, just as, we're sure, you can't--- so we did it all again, to get a second opinion, so to speak.  Hydro conceded to the PUB that it undertook a massive expansion program--- involving three (it was once four) new dams and two new major powerlines (one in the United States)---whi

Nahanni Fontaine, the NDP's Christian-bashing, cop-smearing, other star candidate

As the vultures of the press circle over the wounded Liberal Party of Manitoba, one NDP star candidate must be laughing up her sleeve at how her extremist past has escaped the scrutiny of reporters and pundits. Parachuted into a safe NDP seat in Winnipeg's North End, she nonetheless feared a bruising campaign against a well-heeled Liberal opponent.  Ha ha.  Instead, the sleepy newspeeps have turned a blind eye to her years of vitriolic attacks on Christianity, white people, and police. * She's spent years  bashing Christianity  as the root cause of all the problems of native people in Canada. * She's called for  a boycott of white businesses . * And with her  Marxist research partner, she's  smeared city police as intransigent racists . Step up Nahanni Fontaine, running for election in St. John's riding as successor to the retiring Gord Macintosh. While her male counterpart in the NDP's galaxy of stars, Wab Kinew, has responded to the controversy over

Exposing the CBC/WFP double-team smear of a hero cop

Published since 2006 on territory ceded, released, surrendered and yielded up in 1871 to Her Majesty the Queen and successors forever. Exposing the CBC/FP double-team smear of a hero cop Some of the shoddiest journalism in recent times appeared this long August weekend when the CBC and Winnipeg Free Press doubled teamed on a blatant smear of a veteran city police officer. In the latest example of narrative journalism these media outlets spun stories with total disregard for facts that contradicted the central message of the reports which, simplified, is: police are bad and the system is covering up. Let's start with the story on the taxpayer funded CBC by Sarah Petz that can be summed up in the lead. "A February incident where an off-duty Winnipeg officer allegedly knocked a suspect unconscious wasn't reported to the province's police watchdog, and one criminologist says it shows how flawed oversight of law enforcement can be." There you have it. A policeman, not

Winnipeg needs a new police chief - ASAP

When did the magic die? A week ago the Winnipeg police department delivered the bad news---crime in the city is out of control. The picture painted by the numbers (for 2018) was appalling. Robberies up ten percent in  a single year.  (And that was the good news.) Property crimes were up almost 20 percent.  Total crime was 33 percent higher than the five year average. The measure of violent crime in Winnipeg had soared to a rating of 161.  Only four years earlier it stood at 116. That's a 38 percent deterioration in safety. How did it happen? How, when in 2015 the police and Winnipeg's police board announced they had discovered the magic solution to crime? "Smart Policing" they called it.    A team of crime analysts would pore through data to spot crime hot-spots and as soon as they identified a trend (car thefts, muggings, liquor store robberies) they could call in police resources to descend on the problem and nip it. The police