‘Fair­ness ad­viser’ sought for hos­pi­tal project

Role com­mon in prov­ince’s pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship work

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - WEEKEND LOCAL - tele­gram@thetele­gram.com

The Gov­ern­ment of New­found­land and Labrador is search­ing for com­pa­nies in­ter­ested in tak­ing on the po­si­tion of “fair­ness ad­viser” for early con­tract­ing on the new adult men­tal health and ad­dic­tions fa­cil­ity in St. John’s.

The re­quest for pro­pos­als (RFP) for the ad­vi­sory role was is­sued at the end of June and will close on July 17.

The new fa­cil­ity is planned as an add-on to the Health Sci­ences Cen­tre in St. John’s, as part of re-hous­ing the ser­vices cur­rently of­fered in the ag­ing Water­ford Hos­pi­tal.

The Health Sci­ences Cen­tre ad­di­tion is com­ing with an added com­mit­ment to hav­ing more com­mu­nity-based beds and men­tal health ser­vices through­out the prov­ince. The gen­eral con­cept for the fa­cil­ity was re­vealed by Pre­mier Dwight Ball and Health Min­is­ter John Hag­gie in late March, while de­tailed de­sign work must still be com­pleted.

The fair­ness ad­viser is some­times called a fair­ness mon­i­tor, or fair­ness com­mis­sioner, and is brought in as a third-party over­seer on a project.

The ex­act cost of the new adult men­tal health and ad­dic­tions fa­cil­ity is yet to be de­ter­mined, but is gen­er­ally es­ti­mated at $200 million, plus or mi­nus 30 per cent.

Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by the De­part­ment of Transportation and Works, the ad­viser is ex­pected to en­sure the pro­cure­ment process is “eq­ui­table, open and trans­par­ent.”

It in­cludes re­view­ing how doc­u­ments from po­ten­tial con­trac­tors are be­ing sought, check­ing con­stantly for equal and ap­pro­pri­ate com­mu­ni­ca­tion with po­ten­tial bid­ders, and re­view­ing eval­u­a­tion cri­te­ria for pro­pos­als com­ing in.

The men­tal health care project is not the first in the prov­ince to in­clude a fair­ness ad­viser. The role has ap­peared reg­u­larly where pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ships are in­volved and has been in­cluded in the process for the new long-term care fa­cil­ity in Cor­ner Brook, the hos­pi­tal in Cor­ner Brook and the new long-term care fa­cil­i­ties in Gan­der and Grand Fall­swind­sor.

The ad­vis­ers are re­quired to pro­vide a report af­ter sub­mis­sions in the re­quest for qual­i­fi­ca­tions (RFQ) stage, then again at the end of the RFP process.

RFP Solutions Inc. was named fair­ness ad­viser for the new Cor­ner Brook long-term care cen­tre and the Cor­ner Brook hos­pi­tal. In an April 26 report to the gov­ern­ment on the hos­pi­tal, for ex­am­ple, the ad­viser noted things like the num­ber of changes to re­quest doc­u­ments and project meet­ings held for po­ten­tial bid­ders.

The fair­ness ad­viser role is sep­a­rate from the “fi­nan­cial and pro­cure­ment ad­vi­sory ser­vices.”

An RFP has also been is­sued

for a fi­nan­cial and pro­cure­ment ad­viser for the new men­tal health and ad­dic­tions fa­cil­ity in St. John’s. That call will close July 24.

Con­struc­tion ac­tiv­ity at the Health Sci­ences Cen­tre, in­clud­ing the re­quired tear­ing down of an ex­ist­ing hos­tel building, could start as early as 2019 But it’s un­clear at this point when the project would be com­pleted.

ASH­LEY FITZ­PATRICK/THE TELE­GRAM

An ex­ten­sion to the Health Sci­ences Cen­tre, a new home hub for men­tal health ser­vices, will cover the cur­rent site of the Agnes Cowan Hos­tel, pic­tured here. Be­fore con­struc­tion gets un­der­way, there will be a re­view of qual­i­fi­ca­tions and pro­pos­als. The prov­ince is seek­ing a fair­ness ad­viser for third-party over­sight of that early work.

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