A third party will audit EHealth Ontario’s spending practices in the wake of reports that the agency doled out nearly $5 million in untendered contracts.

Health Minister David Caplan says he asked for the review because he was troubled by reports that the agency handed out the contracts without taking competitive bids.

Caplan says he will also be meeting with Ontario auditor general Jim McCarter, who is already looking into spending and procurement practices at EHealth.

Last week, Caplan insisted the agency didn’t break any rules with the untendered contracts, and said it was allowed because of the urgency of the project to create electronic health records. EHealth was created last September by the Liberal government to replace the Smart Systems for Health Agency and is tasked with the job of creating electronic health records for all Ontarians by 2015.

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