Taxpayers Dinged for a Thousand $1,000 Phone Calls Payments to private contractor

Source: Andrew MacLeod, Today, TheTyee.ca, January 15, 2014

For each phone call a private company handled regarding a 2012 Ministry of Health privacy breach, British Columbia taxpayers paid what amounted to $950. That $1.1 million expense to prepare for and field 1,136 phone calls was part of a contract with Maximus B.C. Health Inc. to manage and administer the province’s Medical Services Plan and PharmaCare programs. The thousand-dollar phone calls were only part of the contract, which has grown greatly since it was signed in 2004. …

…The original 10-year contract, signed at a time when the then three-year-old BC Liberal government was pushing to contract out and privatize more public services, was for $324 million, or about $32 million per year. However, payments to Maximus, whose slogan is “Helping government serve the people,” reached more than double that last fiscal year, coming in at $64.8 million in 2012-2013….