The City of Ottawa's auditor general released the last report of his term on Thursday, saying that the city could have saved about $5 million in 2012.

One of the findings by Alain Lalonde had to do with the city's construction contracts. Lalonde noted that there were some change orders that happened because contractors made mistakes or omitted certain information, and he estimates that those change orders cost taxpayers $1.2 million.


Alain Lalonde will be leaving his post as the city's auditor general at the end of this year. (CBC)

The report also found that contractors charged mark-up fees for police assistance at intersections and said paying the police directly would save $435,000.

Lalonde also recommended casting a wider net when requesting construction tenders, as well as creating a rating system to look at contractors' past performance with the city. 

"It's hard when we're talking about cutting [full-time equivalents], when on the other hand, you have basically $435,000 you could just eliminate very quickly," said Lalonde. "It was a surprise to us because that was evident savings that management could have done." 

Lalonde is leaving the job at the end of the year after serving as the city's auditor general since 2005.

Other AG report recommendation highlights

  • Increasing the use of electronic money transfers could save up to $100,000 a year.
  • Increasing the use of corporate credit cards could save $250,000 a year.
  • The closure of some of the city's service centres which are currently underutilized, as well as increasing automated transactions for service delivery, could save $860,000 a year.
  • Decreasing the number of generic case workers with the Ontario Works Eligibility Assessment Process to fit more in line with provincial median could save approximately $1.5 million a year.