Hospital identified “irregularities” in contracts for day-to-day repairs and minor renovations: Jack Kitts

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Dr. Jack Kitts
Dr. Jack Kitts

The president and CEO of The Ottawa Hospital has published a statement providing some background about the civil action against two former hospital employees and several vendors for construction procurement irregularities.

See earlier story detailing the civil action and statement of claim.

“Through our internal monitoring process, we identified irregularities in the planning and facilities department for contracts that cover day-to-day repairs and minor renovations,” Dr. Jack Kitts wrote. “These smaller projects are funded through the hospital’s operating budget and not through funds solicited by the (hospital) foundation.”

“Once we identified the irregularities, we took immediate steps which included:

  • Engaging an independent third party forensic investigator.
  • Making appropriate changes to planning and facilities personnel.
  • Initiating a review of the prequalification list of vendors and related processes.
  • Adding additional layers of oversight and signing authority.
  • Initiating a best practices review to ensure the hospital is amongst the leaders in its processes and controls.

“The findings of the investigation warranted legal action. We therefore filed a civil lawsuit and reported the matter to the police. The matter is now before the court. While the investigation to date indicated that the instances of wrongdoing are limited to a few individuals, it is nonetheless disappointing that it happened at all.

“However, occupational fraud is a universal problem for businesses and public institutions in Canada and around the world and as experienced administrators we know that The Ottawa Hospital is not immune to this threat. However, I am more confident that as a result of the actions that we have taken to date the likelihood of future occurrences is reduced. If a violation should happen, we intend to catch it early and limit loss,” Kitts wrote.

“We will continue to be vigilant in identifying irregularities and we will take immediate action should anything arise that is in breach of our policies, is counter to our values, or is below the high standards of behaviour in the administration and service delivery of your hospital.”

“However, occupational fraud is a universal problem for businesses and public institutions in Canada and around the world and as experienced administrators we know that The Ottawa Hospital is not immune to this threat. However, I am more confident that as a result of the actions that we have taken to date the likelihood of future occurrences is reduced. If a violation should happen, we intend to catch it early and limit loss.

“We will continue to be vigilant in identifying irregularities and we will take immediate action should anything arise that is in breach of our policies, is counter to our values, or is below the high standards of behaviour in the administration and service delivery of your hospital.”

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