Researched by Paige Kreutzwieser and Rebekah Lesko
ClimbIT may stand out in the field of Web-based information sharing, however the company has had its own communications problems in the past.
The NDP opposition has raised concerns around unfinished work and conflict of interest, while the government has defended the company as a good provider – and challenged opposition members to step outside the Legislature with their comments.
Here is the history.
ClimbIT was subcontracted through an agency of record (The Phoenix Group, part of 50 vendors who could bid for projects) for $71,000 in 2011-2012. They also had contracts through Public Service Commissions ministry for $47,250 in 2011-2012 and $37,170 and $1,596 in 2012-2013.
In May 2013, ClimbIT became a subject of debate in the provincial legislature. The Opposition charged that after three untendered contracts amounting to $150,000 for the same web project, the work still remained unfinished. In the end, two government employees finished the task.
ClimbIT was also in the public eye in 2013 following a CBC investigative report on conflict of interest in a University of Regina carbon capture project, which ClimbIT was involved in defending. At the time, the Minister of Energy said there was no direct relationship between the company and the provincial government, beyond a single ClimbIT employer contracted to the Information Technology Office.
When quizzed by the Opposition in an Economy Committee meeting on May 7, 2013, information and technology minister Tim McMillan said, “Mr. Chair, we don’t know with certainty who the directors of this company is, or many companies specific to this company. We don’t have a contract with them. We have one of their contractors on site through the ITO, but I would expect that you, through the corporate registry, anyone could find the proprietors of a company that’s incorporated.”
In a Crown Agencies Committee meeting, it was reported the project was completed, and any mistakes in the tendering process were being addressed.
Clearly the government is satisfied with their work. ClimbIT has since continued to appear on the public accounts under Central Services, receiving $145,010 in 2013-2014; $161,642 in 2012-2013 and; $172,564 in 2011-2012 under Information Technology Services.
The background: News story
The original charge: Question Period Hansard
Questions raised: Econ Committee Meeting Hansard
The explanation given: Crown Agencies Committee Hansard