fi-wilson-ptrc-2013

The government wants to know more about sole-source contracts involving PTRC, a non-profit company with Malcolm Wilson as its executive director. (PTRC website)

The Saskatchewan government is demanding information about a second case where an untendered contract went from a University of Regina-affiliated agency to a company run by an Ottawa businessman.

The agency is the Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC), a non-profit company located on the U of R campus, with one of Saskatchewan's best-known scientists, Malcolm Wilson, as its executive director.

The firm the province says received a "sole-sourced" contract from PTRC is ClimbIT — which the government says may have had some affiliation with businessman Henry Jaffe.

On Tuesday, Donna Harpauer, the minister responsible for the Crown Investments Corp., said she has written to U of R president Vianne Timmons requesting more information.

"We would request that the University of Regina provide us with information regarding any contracts, agreements or arrangements between the University of Regina, Mr. Jaffe and/or his corporate entities and any relationship with Dr. Malcolm Wilson," Harpauer said in her letter.

Harpauer noted concerns had earlier been raised about the sole-sourced agreement between another U of R-affiliated agency with a Wilson connection — IPAC-CO2 — and another company with a Jaffe connection — Climate Ventures Inc. or CVI.

CVI was at the centre of a series of CBC News reports last week about a sole-sourced contract it received from IPAC-CO2, which in its start-up phase was had Wilson as its acting director.

Both IPAC and PTRC have received money from the federal and provincial governments.

Meyers Norris Penny forensic report obtained by CBC said there was a conflict of interest with Wilson and another university official being involved with both IPAC-CO2 and CVI.

The U of R's Timmons responded shortly after Harpauer spoke to say the U of R is co-operating fully with the government. She also said it will prepare a report by the end of the week and make it public.

"As stated in the letter from Minister Harpauer, it is incumbent upon us to ensure transparency," Timmons said in a news release. "We share this view and take very seriously our responsibility to ensure that public dollars are spent properly and that they are fully accounted for."

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