The Office of Hamilton City Manager Janette Smith has committed $200,000 on a communications consultant to assist with “management strategies and strategic communication services as a result of COVID-19”. The purchase was done as a single source purchase because “it was more cost-effective or beneficial to the City” writes the City’s Director of Financial Services and Taxation & Corporate Controller in a procurement update given to Council last week.
The City of Hamilton has one of the largest communications departments of any municipality in Ontario with 24 full-time equivalent staff. As John Best of The Bay Observer reported in March “By comparison Ottawa, with a population one and a half times Hamilton has a communications staff of 31. The Communications staff in Toronto totals 54, serving a population of 3 Million.”
“A [Purchase Order] for $200K was established in the spring as part of contingency planning in case of staff illness/absences/vacancies, but to date the City’s COVID-19 communications have been handled by Communications staff, and that continues to be the case”, a spokesperson for the City emailed The Public Record after the publication of this story.
Other emergency and non-competitive procurement spending by the City Manager’s Office includes $45,000 to Day Communications Group Inc. for internal communications work and $95,900.00 to Bang The Table Canada Ltd. related to the City’s new public engagement portal on the City website.
Production Details v. 1.0.0 First published: October 15, 2020 Last edited: October 15, 2020 Author: Joey Coleman Edit Record v. 1.0.0 original version v. 1.0.1 added final line with other procurement spending v. 2.0 - Updated to reflect statement from City Manager's Office that the spending is a commitment and not yet spent. Paragraph 3.