Half of auditor general’s recommendations from past reports still not implemented23 November 2017
FREDERICTON (GNB) – Auditor General Kim MacPherson today provided an update on the status of performance audit (Value-For-Money) recommendations made in her past reports.
“It is important that MLAs and taxpayers be provided with sufficient information to assess progress the provincial government is making in implementing these recommendations,” she said.
From her review, MacPherson noted that 49 per cent of her recommendations from 2013 to 2015 have been implemented by the applicable departments, commissions and agencies. However, she is not satisfied with this implementation rate and encouraged departments to be more transparent and consistent in reporting the status of these recommendations in their own annual reports.
“In some cases a recommendation was reported as not implemented to us while the department reported it as adopted in their annual report,” said MacPherson.
The review provides additional detail on the status of recommendations for five chapters she included in her 2013 report (Procurement of Goods and Services – Phase I, Point Lepreau Generating Station Refurbishment – Phase I, Foster Homes, Provincial Bridges, and Collection of Accounts Receivable). For these 2013 recommendations, MacPherson verified that only 43 per cent have been fully implemented.
“We will continue to use our follow-up process as a means of providing encouragement and support for departments, commissions and Crown agencies to fully implement as many of our recommendations as possible,” MacPherson said.
In following up on her 2013 report on Foster Homes, MacPherson found only six of 11 recommendations have been implemented. She is concerned that standards for contracting with foster families had not been finalized and instances of non-compliance were found regarding standards for providing a safe and secure environment for children. She is also disappointed with the lack of performance information on the foster care program in Social Development’s 2016 Annual Report.
On her 2013 audit of Provincial Bridges, MacPherson reported six of 13 recommendations have still not been implemented, noting in particular the continued need for a least life-cycle cost approach to prioritizing capital work on bridges.
MacPherson reported that only three of nine recommendations resulting from her 2013 audit of Procurement of Goods and Services had been fully implemented. MacPherson said she is not satisfied with this level of implementation.
“Procurement of goods and services is complex and shared by multiple departments and organizations,” she said. “Implementation of these recommendations ensures best practices are followed and the performance of strategic procurement activities is made public.”
MacPherson was pleased to note the recommendation made to NB Power as a result of the audit of the Point Lepreau Generating Station Refurbishment has been fully implemented.
On her work concerning the Collection of Accounts Receivable, carried out in 2013 when the province was transitioning to a centralized collection model, only two of nine recommendations have been implemented.
“We found although the province is working to improve collections, accounts receivable continue to grow. Collection activities vary by department because the centralized collection unit has yet to be established,” said MacPherson.
The Follow-Up chapter can be found in Volume V of the 2017 Auditor General Report. Volumes III and IV, also released today, report on Service New Brunswick’s Residential Property Assessment Services, School District Purchase Cards and matters arising from the annual financial audit of the province and Crown agencies. These volumes and one-page summaries for select chapters are available online.23-11-17