Real projects always have learning when the outcome is known. The Toronto Zoo project is a case in point. The Zoo’s Tundra Project included the construction and rehabilitation of various exhibits such as the polar bear, arctic wolf, exotics bird, fox and reindeer exhibits.

               The Toronto Auditor General’s office reported on the project in January 2010. The report relates to contract management. The Project was delayed by approximately 8 months; some of the factors contributing to the delay were outside management control. Among the lessons learnt, were:

  1. The company conducting inspection and testing should be hired by the zoo, not the contractors. The Audit report observes “this practice impairs the inspector’s independence in appearance, if not in fact.” It is a construction risk where procurement should have had an involvement.
  2. Change order justification needs to provide more detail. The Toronto Zoo approved over 80 change orders totalling $1.2m or 11% of the original construction contract amount. The report is insightful and observes that it could not be readily determined whether the extra work was due to:
         a. Design deficiencies arising from errors or omissions by the architect or consultants.
         b. Errors or omissions by the Zoo or the contractors.
         c. An unknown condition that could not have been identified during the project design.
         d. User requests for scope changes not included in the original project.

               There are 11 more observations in the Audit Report, most of which could have been subjected to procurement advice and control.

               Can we help you?

               If you are planning or are engaged in a construction project, we can work with you by applying our Project Procurement Risk Metrics in Procurisk®. Give us a call on 01744 20698, we welcome discussions.

               You can read the complete Audit Report here: