Audit of Ottawa Community Housing's Development and Renewal Plan, and the Audit of Zero Emission Buses
Auditor General Tables the Audit of Ottawa Community Housing’s Development and Renewal Plan, and the Audit of Zero-Emission Buses
Ottawa – Today, Auditor General Nathalie Gougeon tabled the Audit of Zero-Emission Buses (ZEB). In
line with Council’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions a 100% by 2040, OC Transpo is converting
its fleet of diesel buses to battery-electric buses by 2036.
An initial pilot-project using 4 ZEBs began late 2021/early 2022. However, based on management’s plan
as at the time of the audit, there would be insufficient time to fully benefit from the insights of the pilot
program’s results before potentially acquiring 74 additional ZEBs in mid-2022. Nor would their plan
provide sufficient time to transition the new technology, charging infrastructure, tools/system, training,
garage readiness, or obtain a tested understanding of how these buses would handle Ottawa’s four
seasons to successfully integrate this number of battery-electric buses.
“Management has agreed to review the number of buses being procured in the next phase,” stated
Mme Gougeon. “And they will continue to formalize the performance measurement framework for the
pilot project. They will also benefit from the experiences of other municipalities, who are further ahead
in transitioning their fleets.” “Lastly, the experience that Ms. Amilcar brings to the Transit Department,
at this pivotal point in the project, will assist the City greatly in the roll out of, what I believe, is a
significant business transformation.”
This is the first in a series of periodic audits, performed in iterative cycles (known as sprints), on a
continual basis, in areas of greatest risk to the City.
There are 5 recommendations and management agreed with all of them.
The Auditor General also tabled the Audit of Ottawa Community Housing’s Development and Renewal
Plan. Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) owns and manages two-thirds of Ottawa’s social housing
portfolio. There are approximately 15,000 units across Ottawa housing 32,000 tenants. The City is the
sole shareholder in OCH.
OCH has an ambitious plan to create, in partnership, up to 10,000 units over the next 10-15 years. This
plan includes the Rochester Phase 1 development project at 811 Gladstone Avenue, where construction
began in 2019. The audit found that the procurement practices for this project were generally adequate
to support large-scale construction projects.
“The Rochester Phase 1 project was ideal for us to assess OCH’s project management practices, before
the organization undertakes additional large development projects,” said Mme Gougeon. “We found
that they have practices in place - but they are not yet mature.”
Some of the areas that need improving include project level risk management, project reporting,
declarations of conflict of interest for OCH staff and suppliers, as well as increasing staff levels to
adequately resource the upcoming projects in the 10-year Development and Renewal plan.
There are 10 recommendations and management agreed with all of them.
A full copy of these audits is available on the Ottawa Auditor General’s website under Audit Reports.
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