Report scrutinizes TTC's construction department
Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong says a new report points to "mismanagement" and "wasted money" within the TTC's construction department.
The report, discussed by the TTC audit committee on Monday, shows three areas where items were found by an auditor to be unacceptable.
At the time of the audit, the construction department had 135 projects on the go, with a budget of $260-million and a staffing level of 190 people.
The report says there is a weakness in record-keeping. One concern is that some projects are being amalgamated into one status report, making it hard for anyone to understand how much money was spent on each.
One example given shows that a status report outlines little activity in one particular project, the Garage Subsurface Remediation Program. Meanwhile, the auditor found that more than a million dollars had been spent on the project on artwork, legal services and property provision.
The report also shows that there is weak monitoring and control of what staff charge the TTC. For example, the Cumberland Entrance to Bay Station project had 57 differnt staff and in-house consultants charge to it.
Another issue the report outlines has to do with in-house consultants. The auditor has found that there is a potential for conflict of interest when consultants are asked to supervise their own companies and the report recommends having detailed annual performance reviews.
Minnan-Wong says he wants the auditor general to do a more detailed report on the department.
"When you have a budget of $260-million, that means taxpayers are on the hook for wasted money and basically, mismanagement," he says.
He says when he sat on the commission, he saw contract after contract going over budget and he always questioned that.
Minnan-Wong cites construction at Union station as an example. He says the costs have ballooned from $60-million to $200-million.
"There's something wrong here," he says. "But the TTC keeps on saying... everything's fine. Everything is not fine."
He says new TTC CEO Andy Byford can't be held accountable for this because he's the "new guy" on the job.
"But what it does say is that there is a heck of a lot of work to do to get the TTC moving properly."