The Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region (RQHR) has launched a lawsuit against a local electrical contractor.
In a statement of claim filed at Court of Queen’s Bench, RQHR alleged AB Electric and owner Adrian Bechard provided false invoices “in a persistent scheme to overcharge RQHR.”
AB Electric was contracted by the RQHR between January 2011 to early 2017 for work at Regina’s Pioneer Village.
The payments made to AB Electric totalled $1,956,651.
The statement of claim also said in March of 2016, RQHR was advised of numerous billing irregularities that included multiple invoices for the same work, billing for excessive hours, invoices for work not performed, inflated hours worked and charges for material that RQHR paid for or supplied.
“RQHR recognizes the critical importance of appropriate and prudent stewardship of and accountability for public funds,” Dewar said. “We clearly regret that this has occurred and assure the public that we will take all steps not only to recover any funds owing, but to take all appropriate measures to prevent any similar occurrences in the future.”
As a result, the RQHR has changed both its internal financial verification controls and procurement practices to mitigate any future risk. It is also taking advice from accountancy firm Meyers Norris Penny on any other improvements the can be made.
AB Electric is no longer authorized to conduct work for the RQHR and any outstanding invoices are pending verification that the work was done.
RQHR has also notified the Provincial Auditor and filed a loss report with the financial services branch of the Ministry of Health for a loss that could exceed $100,000.
The Regina Police Service has also be informed and is conducting an investigation.
The civil litigation is a statement of claim and the matters contained within it have not be proven in court.
980 CJME has been unable to reach AB Electric or Mr. Bechard.