With 46,000 purchase orders worth $1.35 billion issued annually, a city auditors report suggested a better framework was needed to ensure better control over purchasing.

The report, provided to the city’s audit committee Thursday, suggested the city had “some elements” of effective purchasing governance, it was “piecemeal, dated and informal.”

“There needs to be a real improvement in getting what we’re calling a procurement framework established,” said city auditor, Tracy McTaggart.

Without the framework, McTaggart’s report states, “there is no real assurance that the city’s procurement activities are always being conducted in a fair, open and transparent manner, and whether procurement activities are cost effective.”

Audit committee chairman, Ward 11 Ald. Brian Pincott, said improvements to the city’s purchasing framework will not only help provide more oversight, but could save cash.

“I’m sure that in streamlining, we’ll be able to save money. I’m sure we’ll make the procurement process faster. And it will make it more efficient,” said Pincott.

Though Pincott nor McTaggart couldn’t provide an indication of how much money could be saved — a framework that provided one per cent improvement could net the city $13.5 million in savings.

The recommendations in the report were agreed to by administration, and should be implemented within six months.

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