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January 28, 2010

Provincial Government Steadfast in Its Focus on Responsible and Prudent Management

The Williams Government has been unwavering in its commitment to managing provincial programs, services and financial resources in a responsible and prudent manner. In responding to today's release of the Auditor General's review of Provincial Government departments and agencies for the year ended March 31, 2009, the Honourable Tom Marshall, Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board, said that commitment will continue and the recommendations of the Auditor General will be carefully examined.

"The Auditor General provides an important level of oversight for government," said Minister Marshall. "The Williams Government has an excellent record when it comes to acting on recommendations of the Auditor General. In fact, this was clearly demonstrated by the Auditor General's findings in his Update on Prior Years' Report Items released in November 2009. That report showed that nearly 90 per cent of recommendations from prior reports have been addressed or are in progress of being addressed, exceeding the 80 per cent goal set by the Auditor General. We will certainly give careful consideration to the recommendations in this report as well."

This latest report by the Auditor General also included a review of the province's financial condition stemming from his audit of the most recent financial statements (Public Accounts) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009. The Minister of Finance tabled the Public Accounts in December 2009 and reported a surplus of $2.4 billion and net debt of less than $8.0 billion.

Minister Marshall acknowledged the current economic climate and volatility of the markets as challenges facing the province's financial situation and the need for continued emphasis on managing the provincial debt.

"To address these demands our government is committed to building upon the strong fiscal foundation that has evolved since the Williams Government was first elected," said Minister Marshall. "This has been achieved through diversifying our economy and maintaining our commitment to debt reduction. Sound governance and responsible management have been the cornerstones of how our government runs the affairs of the province and administers programs and services to meet the needs of our residents."

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Media contact:

Ronalda Walsh
Director of Communications
Department of Finance
709-729-6830, 685-1741

2010 01 28                                                    10:30 a.m.

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