December 16, 2003
(Office of the Auditor General)
Auditor General releases Report to the House of Assembly on Reviews of Departments and Crown Agencies for the Year Ended 31 March 2003
John L. Noseworthy, C.A., Auditor General, today released his Report to the House of Assembly on Reviews of Departments and Crown Agencies for the Year Ended 31 March 2003.
The report contains approximately 600 pages of conclusions, commentary, recommendations and auditees’ comments. The report outlines the reflections of the Auditor General, the results of reviews of government departments and Crown agencies, and information relating to monitoring of prior years’ recommendations.
Mr. Noseworthy highlights three specific areas - accountability, legislation, and inspections.
Accountability - Members of the House of Assembly are not being provided with the necessary information to assess government’s performance relative to goals and objectives outlined in a strategic plan. Although government tabled annual reports for 2002 for all departments and most Crown agencies, these annual reports, for the most part, provided financial information and information on activities - performance information in relation to approved plans was severely lacking. In addition, no strategic plans or annual operational plans were tabled in the House of Assembly. Mr. Noseworthy states: "I believe government should have a legislative accountability framework which requires that all government departments and Crown agencies table strategic and annual operational plans, and an annual performance report in the House of Assembly."
Legislation - There are two pieces of legislation which set rules relating to the financial operations of government - the Public Tender Act and the Financial Administration Act. Mr. Noseworthy states: "As in other years, my office continues to identify instances where government and its agencies have contravened these acts."
Inspections - Significant weaknesses were found in the inspection activities reviewed during the year related to food premises, child care facilities and bridges. Mr. Noseworthy states: "I am concerned that government is not doing a good job with its inspection activities. Government should ensure that sufficient inspections are conducted to make a determination as to whether there is compliance with legislation and government policy, and whether public health and safety is being compromised."
Mr. Noseworthy’s report is available on the Office of the Auditor General Web site at www.gov.nl.ca/ag.
Media contact: John L. Noseworthy, C.A., Auditor General, (709) 729-2700.
2003 12 16 10:10 a.m.