Honestly i think a large part of this farce is due to the loose lips from Verster. Had he not publicly shamed Crosslinx the way he did for the last 2 years
I think they wouldve worked together to make early 2023 possible. Now that the bridges are burnt there is no incentive or desire from Crosslinx to work hard to
meet anything above the bare minimums.
Its one thing to hold people to account but when both parties are vested in this together they need to keep back door disputes private at least until work is completed.
The problem is that
a) P3 contracts are popular because of the naive and simplistic belief that such a “fixed-price, contractor manages everything” format guarantees cost and time performance
b) the P3 format is attractive to governments and organizations like ML because it firewalls them from blame, and the contractual agreement of confidentiality encourages government to maintain a narrative of “on time and on budget” long after that ceases to be truthful
I continue to ask how it is possible for ML’s auditors to sign off on annual reporting by public agencies when in the agenciy’s books there is a glaring but undisclosed variance on a multi billion dollar project.
The schedule and cost deficiencies in this project must have been first apparent to ML some years ago, and have likely worsened over that time. Surely failure to disclose that in Ml’s recent annual reports and MD&A’s must have crossed a line somewhere legally. If the auditors noted the non-disclosure and accepted it, have they failed in their fiduciary duty to the taxpayer? (If they missed it, how competent were they as auditors?) Whatever happened to Sarbanes Oxley ?
The solution to this in my view is a law that requires all large public projects to have an arms length third party auditor who has a duty to the public to verify the performance of the project (or non-performance) and to report on same, without interference from either government or parties to the project. This oversight needs to include cost, schedule adherence, and control of scope.
The causes to the delay may have been beyond anybody’s control, but the lack of transparency likely gave the parties too much room to wrangling and spinning when a more honest, transparent approach might have solved them sooner. The legal jostling and public floggings should come after opening. Transparency is not needed just to ensure accountability, it actually encourages the identification and quick resolution of problems and unforeseens.