RQHR taking legal action against local contractor

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The Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region is suing a local contractor who has worked for years on the Pioneer Village senior’s home. According to the health region, billing irregularities may have cost them over one hundred thousand dollars. Jules Knox reports.

The Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region (RQHR) is keeping a closer eye on its finances after an investigation into contractor billing irregularities.

“In March 2017, concerns were brought to our attention regarding potentially inappropriate contractor invoicing at Regina Pioneer Village. We immediately started an intensive and comprehensive internal investigation,” said RQHR president and CEO Keith Dewar.

The company in question in AB Electric Corp.

On Wednesday, Dewar added that they officially filed a complaint with Regina Police Service and have started a lawsuit against AB Electric who performed significant work on the facility over the last several years.

According to the statement of claim filed Wednesday, some irregularities in the billing include:

  • Issuing multiple invoices for the same work
  • Routinely billing excessive hours for a journeyman and an apprentice electrician to do the same task
  • Billing excessive hours worked for routine electrical tasks
  • Grossly inflating hours worked per employee per day
  • Issuing invoices for work not performed

An internal investigation revealed that the concerns focus only on administrative issues and there is no evidence to suggest that there are concerns with the safety or quality of work performed by the contractor.

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RQHR also notified the Provincial Auditor and filed a loss report with the Financial Services Branch, Ministry of Health for a loss that could exceed $100,000.

“RQHR recognizes the critical importance of appropriate and prudent stewardship of and accountability for public funds,” Dewar said. “We clearly regret that this has occurred and assure the public that we will take all steps not only to recover any funds owing, but to take all appropriate measures to prevent any similar occurrences in the future.”

RQHR took immediate steps to make sure AB Electrtic will not work for them anymore.