Lawbytes, Inc. Redux: What is the difference between $24,500 and $25,001?

Whenever one starts taking the government’s money, the paperwork involved makes one wonder if it’s really worth the trouble. So most of the time when you see people taking government money, there must be enough cash changing hands to make it worth the trouble. And in some cases–the risk.

There was a recent story in the Toronto Globe and Mail regarding payments by the Canadian government to an American consultant that caught my eye. Apparently there are rules of Treasury Board of Canada regarding payments (“single source payments”) that can be made by the government. I gather a “single source payment” is a payment that is made to an individual without competitive bidding or what we Yanks would call an RFP process. Such as a situation where it is so likely that one particular person is most likely to give the results sought by the government, why bother asking anyone else?

According to the Globe and Mail a government contract valued at $24,500, or $24,985 for that matter, “[is] just under the value [of $25,000] at which departments [of the Canadian government, such as Industry Canada] are obliged to put most contracts up for public tender” or what we would call a “request for proposal”.

The recipient of these government contracts in the Globe and Mail story received two such contracts, each for $24,500. But–and you can almost see Sgt. King in the Red Serge holding up his gloved paw accompanied by a warning snarl from his dog King, whose loyal heart would beat faster at the thought of skulduggery with the peoples money–“Treasury Board policy also states: ‘Repeat commissioning of a firm or individual without competition should not become a practise, even if the value of the contract is under the mandatory threshold for the calling of bids.'”

I asked myself what was it about this story that resonated with me, what was it about the facts that caught my eye and held my attention. And then I remembered.

Lawbytes, Inc.

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