The provincial and federal governments have appointed an independent engineer to monitor the Sydney Tar Ponds project. Conestoga-Rovers and Associates, an Ontario-based firm with offices in Sydney and Halifax, will act as independent engineer for the 10-year Sydney Tar Ponds and Coke Ovens clean-up project. The company will monitor the design and engineering for the project, compliance with schedules and the technical aspects of work performed on site. The company will also track expenditures by the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency to assist both levels of government in keeping the cleanup within budget. Valued at close to $12 million, the contract was awarded as a result of a competitive process administered by the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Public Works. Ron Russell, Minister of Transportation and Public Works said, “By hiring a company outside of the cleanup process to keep track of the financial and technical aspects of the Tar Ponds project, we are ensuring the integrity of the entire project.” The May 12, 2004 memorandum of agreement between Nova Scotia and Canada called for the appointment of an independent engineer. The role of the independent engineer is to confirm effective and transparent management of the project from a technical and financial perspective. “As part of the process, an independent engineer agreement between Nova Scotia and Public Works and Government Services Canada has been negotiated which will ensure judicious financial and technical management of the cleanup in an open and transparent way,” said MP Mark Eyking, on behalf of Scott Brison, Minister of Public Works Canada. “This method will ensure effective and accountable management of all aspects of the project over the next 10 years.” The independent engineer process ensures effective financial management of large and long-term projects around the world, including the Confederation Bridge.