By ELIZA BARLOW, Staff Writer
A report on how best to run photo radar in the city will be delayed more than a month after the consulting firm hired to do it backed out due to a conflict of interest.
PriceWaterhouseCoopers realized that it may be in conflict because the firm has done work for current photo radar contract holder Affiliated Computer Systems, said Doug Tupper, executive director of the Edmonton Police Commission.
“The perception of it being that close is not really want we want to see,” said Tupper.
“If they come out in support of the model we already have, that’s not something the public would like to see.”
PriceWaterhouseCoopers was the successful bidder in a request for proposals within the last month.
Tupper said a new request for proposals went out Tuesday and the deadline for the report has accordingly been pushed from June 9 to July 17.
News of the delay stunned Coun. Ron Hayter.
“Oh my goodness. How come they didn’t know that (the conflict of interest) beforehand? That’s kind of unbelievable,” said Hayter yesterday.
“It’s going to delay the whole process. I’m not very happy about that.”
Hayter hoped PriceWaterhouseCoopers was not going to be paid for any work done before it backed out.
“If they’re not smart enough to investigate if they’re in a conflict of interest they shouldn’t be paid.”
Tupper said PriceWaterhouseCoopers will not be paid.
“They flagged it ... they’ve made it clear there’s no charge for this.”
The photo radar contract held by ACS expires June 2 but the city will keep up the contract on a month-to-month basis during the review process.
ACS faces charges with offering a secret commission after a 19-month RCMP investigation into the photo enforcement contract. Two city cops have also been charged with accepting bribes.
Meanwhile, two traffic safety consultants are plugging away on a separate piece of the police commission’s review of photo radar.
University of British Columbia professor Dr. Tarek Sayed and Dr. Paul de Leur have been selected to do a scientific assessment of photo enforcement, including an analysis of Edmonton data.