The audit report of the JOC was on the General Committee (GC) agenda last night for discussion. After reading the report, I see that the auditors identified the same issues that I have been raising for a couple of years now – the project was mis-managed. Here’s a relevant excerpt from the auditors report:
“Based on the work performed, we conclude that the project was over budget by $454,851 and that there will be additional costs of $1,865,000 estimated in 2017 dollars required to complete the project that were part of the initial design and were removed from the scope. These costs are being included as capital requests for the 2018 and 2019 budgets. The project was underfunded from the beginning and changes to the scope were made in order to keep the expenditures within the approved budget.”
So, to recap, the JOC was over budget and to keep it artificially within the budget, items were excluded from the project – items that were actually needed. Those items are now being put back in – and are on the 2018 and 2019 budgets as a consequence – at a total of $1,865,000 in additional project costs. As I have stated before, this is not how a project of this size should be run. This project was mis-managed from the start . The auditors identified that there was and is a basic lack of a control framework around the Town of Aurora’s project management governance; that there are no formal policies or procedures outlining how a project will be scoped, designed, costed, managed or reported and this should be in place at the beginning of a project.
So what are the lessons learned from this project that was over budget, mis managed and lacked the leadership needed to see its effective completion? That there is work to be done in terms of project management structures. Beginning in May of 2017, the Manager of Corporate Initiatives, has been working on creating a standard project management framework. This standardized framework will be rolled out across all departments within the Town to better provide the governance structures needed for the management of any future project(s). I am confident that ,on a go forward basis, for any project of this size – or any project for that matter – the Town will have the right project management team in place and the Town will have the effective leadership necessary to Get Things Done…