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As Minister of Infrastructure, I am committed to reducing red tape so that we can get projects moving faster and Albertans working.
I am an engineer by trade and worked in the energy sector before I was elected and so I know all too well how frustrating wading through paperwork and approvals can be when trying to get a project moving.
Alberta Infrastructure has been working hard to cut red tape so that the ministry is more effective in its day-to-day business. This will help ensure the efficient and cost-effective delivery of critical infrastructure projects. Infrastructure identified places we could reduce red tape in 138 regulatory requirements in our Acts and Regulations as part of our initial look at the problem, and we were the first ministry in Alberta to achieve a one-third reduction of red tape.
Many of the changes have been what I would call common sense. For example, Infrastructure cut the red tape requirement for school boards to get approval on school board managed tenders, saving an estimated $43,100 in annual government costs.
As a result of this change, Infrastructure no longer reviews and approves contract awards over $200,000. Instead, school jurisdictions submit copies of the successful bidder’s award letter with the project’s total cost, construction drawings, and signed contract with the chosen contractor or subcontractors. This change saves time for school jurisdictions as they now have the authority to award contracts on grant-funded projects.
On average, Infrastructure staff spent 10 hours reviewing each tender and contract. For example, in 2018, Infrastructure reviewed and approved tenders on 14 grant-funded capital projects and 60 modular classroom projects. With this red tape out of the way, Infrastructure will save approximately 740 staff hours per year.
That’s tremendous news for school boards all across the province working to maintain their school facilities at a high level. It’s also great news Alberta’s students and communities who rely on our schools for education, recreation and community events.
Less red tape means less frustration, less time spent, and faster results.