Fonds 340 - Northwest Territories. Department of Public Works (1968-1985) fonds

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Northwest Territories. Department of Public Works (1968-1985) fonds

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  • 1968-1985 (Creation)
    Northwest Territories. Department of Public Works (1968-1985)

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Physical description

17 reels of microfilm
ca. 61.6 cm of textual material

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Administrative history

The Department of Public Works was responsible for the design, construction, acquisition and maintenance of all buildings, works and equipment required by the departments of the Government of the Northwest Territories in carryout out their programs. It was also responsible for the provision of a real estate management service to the Government of the Northwest Territories and for the design, reconstruction and maintenance of the Highway System in the Northwest Territories.

The Program and Administration Division provided three essential services to the department: staff administration, contract administration and program and project control. Staff Administration was responsible for internal office services supplies. Contract Administration maintained and administered all departmental service and formal contracts and the Program and Project Control section provided a cost estimating service for all construction projects undertaken by the department. This Division was renamed the Administration and Financial Services Division and then the Planning and Administration Division. It became responsible for long and short range planning services for the design of departmental objectives, policies and procedures in the Capital Construction and Maintenance program. Administrative services were provided, as well as direction in implementing departmental policies and procedures. This division coordinated and compiled departmental financial forecasts and estimates; controlled and analysed departmental budgets; and provided financial management of contracts and direction to the divisions and regional offices on all financial matters. Advice and direction was also provided to all divisions and regional offices in all matters relating to personnel policies and departmental staffing. This division was renamed the Directorate Division in 1976 and was responsible for the overall direction, administration and co-ordination of the programs and policies of the department.

In 1974, the Regional Administration Division was formed. This activity provided the administration, planning and support services for the operation of maintenance programs within the Regions and for the management of selected capital projects within the Regions. Funds provided here covered the costs of salaries, benefits and operating expenses of this work. This activity operated until 1983.

In 1977, the Regional Project Management Division was formed to provide for the technical supervision connected with minor projects for the construction of buildings and works in the Regions. This division evolved to provide funding to regional Public Works personnel who supervised capital construction and major maintenance projects being carried out within each region. This activity operated until 1983.

The Design Division provided the administration of design and specifications for all construction projects connected with the installation of government buildings and works in the Northwest Territories. This division also trained northern residents in the construction trades and evaluated methods of manufacturing or pre-fabricating building components in the Northwest Territories.

The Construction Division provided for the administration and technical supervision connected with the construction of buildings and works in the Northwest Territories. This division worked in conjunction with other Government of the Northwest Territories departments, such as the Department of Local Government, to construct of rental housing within the communities; with the Department of Education to build schools throughout the north and with the Department of Industry and Development to build tourism and campground facilities. In addition, this division constructed fuel storage tanks, powerhouses, power line extensions, garages and workshops.

In 1972, the Design Division and Construction Division amalgamated to form the Project Management Division. This division became responsible for carrying out the government's capital construction programs, as well as upgrading water and sewer services. It was responsible for the management and operation of all government architectural and engineering projects. It evaluated and estimated the costs of client departments' requirements for capital construction, works and building and engineering related projects. It acted as a liaison with community councils and provided input into the preparation of community development plans. It supervised the production of tender and contract documents for building and engineering construction contracts and monitored the technical and financial activities during execution of these contracts. This division also developed and maintained standards for the design and construction of building and engineering works in the north.

Between 1979-80, the Project Management Division ceased to exist. The newly formed Architectural Division and the Engineering Division assumed the responsibilities that the Project Management Division had fulfilled. The Architectural Division was responsible for managing all GNWT architectural projects. This included the supervision of tendering and contract procedures and monitoring technical and financial activities during execution of the contracts. The division was also responsible for developing design and construction standards for northern buildings.

The Engineering Division was responsible for the management and operation of all GNWT engineering projects. This division provided engineering advice and design to the Architectural Division. In addition, it was responsible for all municipal works, such as water supply, sewage treatment and solid waste disposal.

Between 1983-84, these two divisions were joined again to form the Project Management Division.

The Operations and Maintenance Division provided professional and technical assistance and direction to the Regional Department of Public Works establishments and advised the Project Management Division on maintenance and operating matters related to new buildings and other projects. This division also initiated departmental policy and procedures for maintenance and repair. In addition, Operations and Maintenance provided budgetary estimating services to the Regions and funding for such items as fuel and power services. The funding for fuel services was eventually transferred to the Department of Administration in 1974. The division operated a preventative and general maintenance program for buildings, works and equipment owned or operated by the GNWT. This included all government-owned buildings including school-hostel establishments, apartments, staff residences and local small housing. In addition, large and small engineering installations such as fuel storage, power and heating plans and distributions services had to be maintained. This division also operated the Yellowknife Maintenance Unit and the Vehicle Pool in Yellowknife. In 1974, this division consisted of a Property Management Section, which was responsible for the lease, sale and purchase agreements for real property and the Equipment Management Section, that assessed equipment needs and determined equipment inventories with cooperation from the Department of Local Government. This section also coordinated a program for disposal of obsolete and irreparable equipment in 1974. The Buildings and Works Section concentrated on upgrading the maintenance standards in various settlements and in 1976, a new section emerged that concentrated on the problem of energy conservation in existing and new government buildings. This section was added with the aim of applying energy conservation to existing buildings and formulating energy conservation guidelines for new construction.

In 1978-79, the Operations and Maintenance Division became the Operations Division. It was responsible for the property management services for the GNWT, including the coordination of regional buildings, works and vehicle maintenance activities. This activity negotiated and administered leases on behalf of the government, prepared purchase specifications for equipment and provided standard operating procedures for the guidance of Public Works operations and maintenance activities. This division also engaged in energy conservation and provided direction and advice regarding maintenance for new capital project designs.

The Highway Division was responsible for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the Mackenzie Highway System, as well as ferry operation in three Northwest Territories locations and the provision of engineering services on projects concerning maintenance, reconstruction, bridges, airstrips and roads in the settlements. The Highway also administered the Tote Trail Financial Assistance Program.

Between 1983-84, there was reorganization within the department. The Highway Division was divided into three separate divisions. The Marine Operations Division was responsible for the operation and maintenance of ferry crossings and marine vessels used at these crossings along the Northwest Territories highway system. The funding in this program provided for operating contracts for vessel operation, maintenance of shore facilities and for ongoing repair and annual refit of vessels. The Design and Construction Division was responsible for the implementation of the Highway Reconstruction Program, which included the design and construction management of highways and bridges rebuilding projects. This program was funded through a contribution agreement with the Federal Government. As well, the division was responsible for implementing many road, bridge and landfill projects in communities across the Territories in conjunction with other government departments. The Maintenance Operations Division was responsible for all highway maintenance and to maintain the highways of the Northwest Territories to a level consistent with approved standards.

Between 1982-1983, the Energy Conservation Division was transferred to the Department of Public Works from the Department of Government Services. The Energy Conservation Division was established to administer federal/territorial cost-shared energy conservation demonstration projects and to promote awareness of energy conservation. In 1984-85, the Directorate Division funded the Energy Conservation Division.

The Repair and Upkeep of Buildings and Works was responsible for operating, maintaining and repairing buildings and works owned or leased by the Government of the Northwest Territories. This included structures such as warehouses, schools, garages, staff houses, trades shops, office buildings, water systems and various other structures throughout the Northwest Territories. Maintenance work was contracted whenever practical and those contracts were paid from these funds.

The Repair and Upkeep of Vehicles and Equipment Activity was responsible for the maintenance and equipment of all Government of the Northwest Territories vehicles and mobile equipment (excluding the Highway Division's equipment and vehicles). The equipment included tracked vehicles, trucks, bulldozers, cars, cranes, payloaders, marine engines and boats. The funding also provided for all fuel, oil and lubricants used in the routine operation of this equipment. Division staffs were responsible for the assessment and procurement of new or replacement vehicles and for conducting training programs in communities.

The Utilities Division, formerly known as the Power Services Division, provided heating, electrical, water and sewage services for buildings of the Government of the Northwest Territories. In line with the department's property management mandate, this division included funding for heating, water and sewage services whereas in previous years it included only responsibility for electrical services through the Power Services Division. Funds provided covered the costs of these services, plus the salaries of the clerical staff required for processing billings and recording transactions.

The Accommodation Services Activity, formerly known as the Offices Leased Activity, was responsible for all aspects of property management for the Government of the Northwest Territories. This included the negotiation and administration of leased office and staff accommodation across the Northwest Territories. Staffs were also responsible for the administration of government owned housing and office accommodation. During 1982-83, this division continued to withdraw from the housing business in those communities where private housing markets exist, by offering houses for sale and terminating leases on rented accommodation.

Between 1984-1985, the Department of Public Works was renamed the Department of Public Works and Highways to reflect the increased responsibility for highway programs.

Custodial history

Scope and content

This fonds consists of approximately 61.6 cm of textual material and 17 reels of microfilm from the Central Registry filing system. Portions of the records were generated by the Highways Division of the Department of Public Works (30 block) and date between 1968-1978. The textual records consist of highway maintenance files, private access road files and minutes from the Northern Road Program. The remaining files, dated between 1972-1985, relate to the development and implementation of the Northern Preference Policy. There are also copies of minutes from the 1973 Highway Supervisors' Conference. The microfilm contains records from the design division, construction division, engineering division, operations and maintenance division, highways and marine operations, utilities and accommodation services.

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      Copyright held by GNWT.

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      • English

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