Despite a new Board of Directors, a new CEO and an overhaul of its management team, it seems little has changed in the executive suites at Ornge. That at least is the opinion of one Ornge’s largest suppliers of aviation services.
Newmarket-Aurora MPP Frank Klees today called on the Minister of Health to order an independent investigation into allegations of “questionable and unethical business practices” at the embattled Ornge Air Ambulance system.
Klees quoted from the sworn testimony of Rick Horwath, President of Air Bravo who appeared as a witness before the Public Accounts Committee last Wednesday.
Air Bravo is the largest supplier of fixed wing air ambulance services to Ornge and is one of five private sector aviation companies that operate under Standing Agreements with Ornge.
Among the concerns the Air Bravo executive registered with the committee, were allegations of inherent conflicts of interest that included coercion by senior Ornge executives of proponents during the bidding process for contracts, a full time Ornge employee authoring a competitor’s RFP, confidential emails between Ornge Chief Operating Officer Rob Giguere and Air Bravo leaked to competitors by the Ornge legal team and the lack of direct oversight by Ornge of its contracted aviation services.
“Not only is there no direct oversight by Ornge of the aviation services there is no requirement for proponents to prove they have the financial capacity to deliver on their contractual obligations.”
Klees insists that nothing but an independent investigation into these allegations are acceptable, given the history of scandal at Ornge.
“The very fact that we were told under sworn testimony that the new Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Operating Officer and the company’s legal department all have knowledge of these alleged improprieties, the only responsible thing for the minister to do is to order an independent investigation.”
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Question Period September 23, 2013