NDP Questions Used Vehicle Auction
Posted: March 25, 2009
NDP Government Services Critic Kevin Yates today questioned the process behind a recent auction of used government vehicles involving Hodgins Auctioneers Inc. Grant Hodgins was a cabinet minister in the government of Grant Devine.
“Was this auction of used government vehicles tendered?” Yates asked. “How many other Saskatchewan auction companies were in the running and was the bid by Hodgins Auctioneers the lowest?
Yates pointed to recent outsourcing at SaskTel as an example of where the Sask Party government’s request for proposal process has come into question. A Saskatoon company complained it wasn’t given an opportunity to bid on SaskTel’s e-mail services. In another instance, an American company said it was shut out of bidding for SaskTel’s out-of-province phone books.
“We’ve seen on more than one occasion now where a lack of transparency has cast doubt on the tendering process of this Sask Party government,” Yates said. “When a company with the name of Hodgins suddenly starts conducting business with this Sask Party government it’s only proper to ask some questions.”
In 2003, the Saskatchewan Property Management Corporation launched a “more cost effective program” to dispose of surplus government supplies using the Internet. Yates questioned when that policy changed and why.
“Since 2004, used government vehicles have been auctioned off online,” Yates said. “Why is the Sask Party government now using auction houses to sell surplus inventory? And why weren’t Saskatchewan people notified of the change? The Brad Wall government issues news releases to announce popular baby names, surely it could use that same service to inform the public of such a fundamental shift in government policy.”