Ontario government seek contractor to help cut developmental services costs


TORONTO – Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government offered to pay up to $1 million for an outside contractor to help it cut costs in a sector supporting some of the province’s most vulnerable residents.

A contract looking for bidders – issued in August and obtained by The Canadian Press – seeks a management consultant to find ways to “streamline” the delivery of services to 40,000 adults living with developmental disabilities, with an eye to the “savings targets” in the spring budget.

“The government has identified the need for system changes to improve outcomes and financial sustainability in the developmental services sector,” the project tender says.

The successful bidder will “identify and describe effective or best practices in other jurisdictions where developmental services or social service program expenditure or growth has been reduced/contained.”

According to the expected timeline, the project should be well underway, but the government would not confirm that or how much it may have ended up paying.

“The (request) sought to obtain analysis and advice based on a review of leading jurisdictions and evidence-based best practices to help us build a more sustainable and effective developmental services system,” Christine Wood, a spokeswoman for Social Services Minister Todd Smith, said in a statement.

“Our government is taking steps to manage expenditures while finding opportunities to work more efficiently. This work includes looking for opportunities to modernize services, reduce red tape, and streamline programs to serve Ontarians more effectively.”

A question-and-answer package included for potential bidders contemplates the $1 million contract maximum.

“The budget for this work is more than we have ever seen for a four-month project,” the question reads. “We are unclear on why this budget is so large, and how the government is seeing themselves receiving value for money within this enormous budget.”

The answer is that the project will actually last six months Sep. 23, 2019, to March 31, 2020, – and that all bids will be evaluated both on technical criteria and submitted price.

The terms of the contract sought make it clear that the successful bidder will only consult with people within the ministry, and “draw on prior input received from individuals, families and stakeholders.”