FREDERICTON (GNB) – As part of his work on the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, auditor general Paul Martin issued a report on the enforcement of border restrictions by the Department of Justice and Public Safety.

Martin noted that 3.1 million vehicles passed through New Brunswick border control points and that the department had adequate procedures in place to enforce border restrictions.

“The department had clearly established roles and responsibilities, implemented callback and enforcement programs and had a traffic safety mitigation plan,” said Martin in his report. However, there was still noted frustration and often long lineups at border control points.

The audit noted that the online travel registration program improved the level of data available to support contacting travellers required to self-isolate.

“The department should evaluate the efficacy of the hotel isolation program, as it cost government over $5.4 million with only nine travellers having tested positive for COVID-19,” said Martin.

The audit found that while the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization worked with municipalities to ensure there were up-to-date business continuity plans, only 38 per cent of government departments had up-to-date business continuity plans when the pandemic began.

The auditor general made six recommendations to the Department of Justice and Public Safety. The report is available online.