Agenda Index City of Vancouver


Date: October 16, 1997

Dept. File No. A867-50.1

C.C. File No. 3603

TO: Vancouver City Council

FROM: E-Comm Project Coordinator and Project Manager

SUBJECT:Area Wide Radio Project - Transfer of E-Comm Project from the City to the E-Comm Corporation


A.THAT Council authorize the assignment of existing contracts related to the E-Comm project (formerly EOCC) as listed herein (Appendix "A"), from the City to the E-Comm Corporation, when E-Comm has financing in place, retroactive from the effective date of said contracts;

B.THAT Council authorize the City entering into a contract with the E-Comm Corporation to provide project management and related services for the E-Comm Building and the radio system, and the secondment of Mr. Clyde Hosein to act as E-Comm Project Manager, and Ms. Patti Marfleet to act as E-Comm's General Manager while the recruiting of a General Manager is carried out, all on a cost recovery basis;

AND FURTHER, THAT such contract provide for an equitable and reasonable division of risk, reflective of the relationship and relative roles;

C.THAT the City continue to provide funding from existing approved funding sources for E-Comm development, building and transition operating costs, and maintain project and corporation accounting records until E-Comm has developed accounting capability and the property has been transferred to E-Comm in accordance with Recommendation D; said costs to be recovered from E-Comm when E-Comm has financing in place;

D.THAT Council instruct staff to negotiate and report back on the transfer of ownership of the E-Comm building from the City to the E-Comm Corporation under the terms as outlined herein, and the leasing on a long-term basis of the lands or portion thereof on which the E-Comm building is currently being constructed, as shown in Appendix "B";

All of the above agreements to be drawn to the satisfaction of the Director of Legal Services. No legal right or obligation shall arise or be created until execution of the agreements.


The General Manager of Corporate Services RECOMMENDS approval of A, B, C and D.


On May 13, 1997, Council approved proceeding with the design and tender of the Emergency Operations and Communications Centre, with a total project cost of $24.6 million, with funding of $15.0 million from City sources, and the balance to be recovered from other agencies. Further, Council approved the preliminary development budget for the Area Wide Radio System totalling $4.6 million, with funding of $1.75 million from City sources, and the balance to be recovered from other agencies.


The City of Vancouver has taken a lead role in the development and implementation of the E-Comm project from its inception two years ago, always with a view to eventually handing over its development and operation to a multi-agency authority if the project proceeded as planned. That authority is now in place in the form of "E-Comm, Emergency Communications for Southwest British Columbia Incorporated". It is appropriate at this time for the City of Vancouver to take a number of steps to begin the handover to the Corporation, recognizing that it is important that this transitional phase accommodate the gradual build-up of capability by E-Comm in conjunction with the City lessening its role. The recommendations in this report are designed to assure the ongoing success of the project, a smooth transition to the new corporate body, and the recovery of monies already expended by the City for the project. The report recommends that existing contracts related to the project be assigned from the City to the E-Comm Corporation, noting that future contracts including two upcoming contracts, for the radio system and the CAD system will be entered into by E-Comm. As a transition, the report recommends that the City continue to keep accounting records on behalf of E-Comm, at least until the end of 1997 or until E-Comm develops accounting capability and arranges financing. It is recommended that ownership of the building (under construction) be transferred to E-Comm, the land be leased to E-Comm on a long-term basis, and that the City lease back from E-Comm the space designated for the Vancouver EOC in the form of a pre-paid lease. It is also recommended that the City continue project management until completion of the building and initial implementation of the radio system.


The purpose of this report is to recommend a number of actions to begin the handover of responsibility and costs for the E-Comm project from the City of Vancouver to the newly incorporated E-Comm Corporation.


In July 1995, Council authorized the design of the E-Comm building at a cost of $14.0 million, source of funding to be $6.66 million from the Infrastructure Program and the balance from the City.

In February 1996, Council authorized the purchase of three privately-owned lots adjacent to the E-Comm site for a total of $850,000 so that the site could be consolidated into a single site for a consolidated emergency centre.

On July 13, 1996, Council approved proceeding with the replacement of the City's radio systems for Police, Fire and Engineering at an annualized cost of approximately $3.75 million, equivalent to an investment of $22.5 million. Council also approved an additional $1.0 million for the E-Comm building for a total of $15.0 million for the City’s portion of a joint EOC and Dispatch Centre, bringing the City total project budget (building and radio) to $38.75 million.

On September 25, 1997, Council authorized participation in E-Comm for Police and Fire Services as Class A shareholders receiving corporation services, and for other municipal services as Class B shareholders in order to receive services from the corporation in the future; on full implementation in year 2000, at an annual cost of corporation services for the Police and Fire Services at $5.1 million.

Council also authorized City staff to continue to work on the development of the building and radio system as part of the E-Comm implementation program.

The E-Comm building is being constructed under the management of the City. Tenders have been called for the radio system. Legislation has been passed and proclaimed and the corporation has been created. At its first Board meeting on October 3, 1997, the corporation took a number of formal steps authorizing borrowing and selecting a technology vendor, subject to contract negotiations.



The City has taken a lead in the E-Comm project, from its inception two years ago. Initial development work has been largely funded by the City, augmented by contributions of $100,000 from the Ministry of Attorney General and $480,000 from the RCMP. The City and RCMP contributions were to be recoverable if the project proceeded to implementation on a multi-agency basis. The E-Comm Corporation has now been formed and reflects the multi-agency makeup of the project participants. It is appropriate at this time for the City to hand-over contractual obligations and risks to the Corporation and to address ownership issues associated with the land and the building.

From the outset all requests for proposals and contracts have identified the likelihood that a multi-agency authority (now the E-Comm Corporation) would be created to implement the project, and provisions were explicitly made for award of the contracts by the Authority, or the assignment of the contacts to the Authority if the contracts were entered into by the City.

There are four major contracts in place and two requests for proposal outstanding. These contracts relate to consulting services provided by, Architectura for architectural services, Teleconsult (now Deloitte & Touche Consulting Group) for the development of the building and radio system; Swagger Construction Ltd. for the construction of the E-Comm building; and Cablecom International Network Cabling Inc. for the cabling of the building. There is an outstanding request for proposal related to the procurement of a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system. The bids are currently under review. The other outstanding request for proposal relates to the area wide radio system which is presently under negotiation with the preferred radio vendor. It is anticipated that contracts for the CAD and radio systems will be awarded in late November or early December 1997. A list of current contracts and items presently being tendered or proposed is included in Appendix 'A'.

It is appropriate for the E-Comm Corporation to enter into the radio and CAD contracts and the E-Comm Board of Directors has endorsed this action. It is recommended that existing outstanding contracts should be assigned from the City to E-Comm once E-Comm has financing in place. This ensures that the risk and obligations associated with those contracts are appropriately transferred to E-Comm.

Accounting Services:

The City of Vancouver has maintained accounting records for all project expenditures to date. The E-Comm Board has approved initiating a borrowing process so that E-Comm can finance the entire project - - it anticipated that borrowing will be in place in late November or early December. However, until E-Comm has funds in place and has developed its accounting capability it has requested that the City continue to provide funding for development and building costs and maintain project and corporation accounting until accounting capability is in place and the building has been transferred to E-Comm. Any capital funds for the radio project expenditures would be requisitioned from E-Comm by the City as costs are incurred. Once financing and accounting capability is in place, accounts would be transferred to E-Comm and the City and RCMP would be reimbursed their project development and capital costs.

Building and Land:

E-Comm is a nonprofit corporation. To maintain E-Comm’s nonprofit status it is desirable that the City retain ownership of the land and enter into a long-term lease with E-Comm for the land on which the E-Comm building is sited, except for Lot 27 for which a life estate has been granted by the City to its present occupant (Appendix "B").

The building consists of a number of components. Elements associated with E-Comm are the dispatch operation along with the computer and in-building systems which support it; the central equipment and support for the radio system; and the office facilities for E-Comm staff. Other components are separate from E-Comm and include the Regional Emergency Coordination Centre; the Provincial Emergency Program office; the Port of Vancouver /Fraser River Port recovery centre; and the City of Vancouver Emergency Operations Centre.

One alternative for the building would be for the City to complete the building and retain ownership, leasing the dispatch area on a prepaid or annual basis to E-Comm and leasing other components directly to those other users. The second alternative would be for the City to transfer ownership of the building to E-Comm and lease back space for Vancouver EOC. The E-Comm building is a sophisticated building with complex, computer and building systems which are critical to the operation of the dispatch centre. Some systems are also critical to the Regional Emergency Coordination Centre and to the Vancouver Emergency Operations Centre. E-Comm will be a 7-days-a-week, 24-hours-a-day site requiring a high level of system functionality at all times. In keeping with its broad mandate to provide critical emergency communications and information services, E-Comm will have resources in place to provide system and technology modification and maintenance. In this context it would be desirable for E-Comm to own the building and lease designated space to other users, including the City of Vancouver.

Project Management:

Project management services for the E-Comm building and the radio system have been provided by an inter-agency team headed by the City of Vancouver. The team includes representatives of the RCMP, a consultant appointed by the RCMP, Vancouver Police Department, Vancouver Fire Department, City of Vancouver, and BC Ambulance Service. The team has developed an effective working relationship among the members and with the consultants. Mr. Clyde Hosein has served as Project Manager and Ms. Patti Marfleet has served as Project Coordinator. An informal, multi-agency executive committee has overseen the project.

The project is large and complex. Building, radio and CAD procurement are interrelated. For a project of this scale, the team resources have been very modest. Much of the mission-critical information resides with the project team. For continuity and success of the project it is desirable to maintain the current project structure during the contracting and initial implementation stage. The E-Comm Board has directed that a search process be initiated to recruit E-Comm’s five senior management positions, with the expectation that these staff could work with the project team to gain familiarity and knowledge.

It is not reasonable for the City to assume a complete project implementation role, handing over projects only as they are completed. The radio system, for example, would not be completed until year 2000 and involves users spanning southwest British Columbia. It would place an unreasonable burden on the City to allocate key staff for such a long term, multi-agency project. It would also be unreasonable of the City to assume the ongoing risks associated with the project management role.

However, as a transition process it makes sense for the City to continue its project management role into early 1999. This would allow for a build-up of E-Comm staff to provide additional strength and resources to the project team. It would enable E-Comm staff to work with the project team and gain the necessary background and knowledge to carry on. It would allow the City to manage the completion of the building which is already well underway. This approach facilitates a smooth transition to E-Comm project management at the appropriate time. E-Comm has approved the City continuing to provide project management services with Mr. Clyde Hosein acting as Project Manager on its behalf. Council is requested to endorse this arrangement.

Risk and Indemnification:

Risk and indemnity issues are somewhat unique with respect to the ongoing relationship between the City and E-Comm. E-Comm will contract for project management services from the City. Normally this would trigger an indemnity by the project manager in favour of "the owner". In this instance, however, the City, unlike a typical project manager, will be providing this service on a cost recovery basis without a development fee. It therefore seems unreasonable for the City to assume the risks associated with project management services. E-Comm, on the other hand, is a fledgling corporation without the resources or structure to effectively manage or oversee the project management services. It seems unreasonable for it to assume risks for services which are largely outside its control and for which it relies almost totally on the City expertise in this area. All contracts for the work would require contractors to indemnify the City, E-Comm and its agents. It is recommended that the lawyers for the City and E-Comm develop a means of equitably distributing the risk. This may involve the purchase of insurance, supplemented by mutual indemnities or covenants.

Interim Secondment:

The Members' Agreement of E-Comm requires the appointment of a General Manager. The E-Comm Board has initiated the recruitment of this position, however in the interim it is necessary to appoint an Acting General Manager. Ms. Patti Marfleet has been the Project Coordinator for E-Comm since inception of the project. She has dealt extensively with the development of legislation, labour relations issues, the Members’ Agreement, tax exemptions, and relations with the various participants and, for that reason, is an obvious interim General Manager. It is recommended that Ms. Marfleet be seconded to the E-Comm Corporation pending the recruitment of a General Manager. E-Comm has endorsed this recommendation.


The recommendations in this report reflect the transition of the E-Comm project from the City to the E-Comm corporation. They will result in an appropriately reduced risk and responsibility for the City.

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The following is a list of consultants / contractors with whom the City of Vancouver has entered into contracts for E-Comm related work.

Contractor / Consultant Item Approximate Value

Deloitte & Touche Consulting Group Communication $3,300,000

Swagger Construction Ltd. General Contractor $10,300,000

Cablecom International Network Cabling Inc. Structured Cabling $264,000

BC Tel Ducting $128,000

Michael Ross / Charles Drulis Architects Functional Study $100,000

Architectura, Waisman Dewar Grout Carter Architects $900,000

Architect’s Consultants:

-Read Jones Christoffersen Structural $122,000

-Reid Crowther & Partners Ltd. Mechanical $124,000

-Schenke / Bawol Engineering Ltd. Electrical $129,000

-Brook Development Planning Inc. Rezoning $28,000

-EmergeX Planning Inc. Environmental $10,000

-Macleod Geotechnical Ltd. Geotechnical $17,000

-Locke MacKinnon Domingo Gibson Ltd. Code $13,000

-Miscellaneous - - $27,000

Bunt & Associates Engineering Ltd. Traffic $7,000

Durante Kreuk Ltd. Landscape $23,000

Macleod Geotechnical Ltd. Geotechnical $20,000

BTY Group Cost $45,000

McKevitt Engineering Ltd. Seismic $25,000

R.A. Duff & Associates Inc. Security $21,000

Supreme Models Model $11,000

Levelton Engineering Ltd. Material Testing $25,000

Quay Strategies Inc. Public Relations $15,000

Deloitte & Touche Project Office Lease $150,000



The following is a list of contracts currently being tendered or scheduled for tender:

1.Area Wide Radio

2.Radio Maintenance


4.Backup site


6.Voice and Data System


8.Emergency Management Software

9.Emergency Management Hardware

10. Furnishings

11.Emergency Workstations


13.Kitchen Millwork and Equipment

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