Fisheries and Land Resources
April 5, 2018

Provincial Government Supports Auditor General Findings on Management of Firearms and Ammunition

An investigation by the Auditor General into management of assets within the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources concludes the department has taken necessary measures to improve inventory management of firearms and ammunition.

Following a regular internal review of inventory processes on March 13, 2017, the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources had determined there were anomalies in inventory control and asked the Auditor General to conduct a formal audit into policies and procedures for government assets. The department also asked the RCMP to undertake an investigation. The RCMP has since concluded its investigation and advised that no evidence of criminal activity was determined.

The Auditor General also concluded that further measures are required to ensure an effective system of internal control to safeguard firearms and ammunition. Measures taken by the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources include:

  • A consistent firearms policy has been applied across the department, including the wildlife division, and the development of new departmental policy is in progress;
  • Firearms control is assigned to the Compliance Division, Enforcement and Resource Services Branch, to ensure the safeguarding and protection of firearms. Firearms responsibility was removed from the enforcement, wildlife and forestry divisions;
  • Firearms ammunition is placed in acceptable storage throughout the province, and site-specific combination locks are being implemented;
  • All ammunition scheduled for destruction has been destroyed in accordance with policy. Non-live ammunition used for training will be included in the departmental inventory control process for government assets;
  • Updates to the firearms system occur on a daily basis, as required; and
  • All departmental firearms are up to date in the Federal Firearms Registry, including those that were the subject of the audit.

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is committed to ensuring that inventory of all assets is monitored according to clearly defined government policies and procedures.

“We support the recommendations identified in the Auditor General’s report and thank her for assisting us to ensure our firearms and ammunition are stored, accounted for, used, and managed, with all required safety protocols firmly in place. Having the divisions of enforcement, forestry and wildlife, which all require the use of firearms, under the new Department of Fisheries and Land Resources assisted in a more rapid assessment of the challenges faced, and enacting an effective solution. As the Auditor General also notes, further efforts are necessary to ensure the department has an effective system of internal control to safeguard firearms and ammunition, and those efforts are either fully completed or well underway.”
Honourable Gerry Byrne
Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources

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Media contact
Connie Boland
Fisheries and Land Resources
709-637-2923, 640-6409

2018 04 05                              10:45 a.m.