June 28, 2014 7:45 am
Updated: June 28, 2014 8:49 am

Doubts raised over expensive Parliament Hill renovation deadlines

The moon is seen past a gargoyle on the Peace Tower of Parliament Hill in Ottawa on October 25, 2013.

Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – Public Works says its multi-billion-dollar makeover of Parliament Hill is right on schedule, but an internal document cast doubts on that claim.

The department has awarded itself top marks for on-time delivery of major projects in the parliamentary precinct, saying more than 90 per cent have met their deadlines.

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The 90 per cent target was set in 2012 after the department came under fire from then-auditor general Sheila Fraser and others for weak accountability over the expensive refurbishing of the crumbling buildings, including the West Block.

But Public Works’ most recent report card shows that only about 70 per cent of all projects are actually on time.

The rest are behind schedule — some of them by a long way — but the department gives itself good grades anyway because it either plans to adjust the schedule to accommodate straggling projects or find a way to catch up.

These late projects — coded yellow, rather than green — are therefore counted as on-time, masking a potentially troubled delivery schedule.

© 2014 The Canadian Press

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