An early audit of contracts awarded to McKinsey and Company by the federal government shows “no evidence of political interference,” the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat says.
However, the administrative branch of the Treasury Board said Friday that it has found “certain administrative requirements and procedures were not consistently followed” with the work orders.
The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) said on March 24 that the Treasury Board president and procurement minister are now conducting reviews of the McKinsey contracts at the request of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The House of Commons government operations committee has been looking into the federal contracts awarded to McKinsey and other consulting firms since 2011. The committee launched its study of McKinsey’s contracts with the federal government following revelations the firm’s work for Ottawa has expanded rapidly since Trudeau’s Liberal government came to power in 2015.
According to data shared by Public Services and Procurement Canada, $116.8 million has been paid to McKinsey since 2015.
Between March 2021 and the fall of 2022, the contracts totalled at least $62 million, according to a document recently tabled in the House of Commons in response to a question from a Conservative MP.
Outsourcing to such firms has increased across the government in recent years — a trend that some researchers say erodes the abilities of federal workers to carry out their work.
Friday’s internal reviews will complement the committee’s work, as well as other probes already underway with the auditor general’s office and procurement ombudsmen, the TBS said.
It has asked departments to identify and conduct an internal audit of their contracts with McKinsey to verify if the integrity of the procurement process was maintained and complied with Treasury Board policy and frameworks.
“Based on TBS’ preliminary observations of audit results from departments, the audits reveal no evidence of political interference, and broad compliance with values and ethics commitments,” the TBS said in a news release.
“However, there are indications that certain administrative requirements and procedures were not consistently followed. Departments have developed management action plans to address their respective audit recommendations.”
The TBS added its probe is ongoing, and will produce a final report by June 30.
— with files from The Canadian Press