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Just one of eight P.E.I. auditor general report recommendations on contaminated sites implemented

Auditor general Jane MacAdam is shown at a media briefing on Friday morning with her 2019 report to the legislature.
Auditor general Jane MacAdam is shown at a media briefing on Friday morning with her 2019 report to the legislature. - Stu Neatby

Four years after the auditor general released findings detailing a lack of oversight over contaminated sites across P.E.I., one of eight recommendations to address these issues has been implemented.

In a report released on Friday, the province’s auditor general, Jane MacAdam, found the province’s department of Communities, Land and Environment has not implemented most of her 2015 recommendations relating to identifying and adding contaminated sites to the province’s registry.

These recommendations included ensuring that backlogs of open complaints related to contaminated sites were reviewed, making sure department staff addressed complaints, making sure risk assessments were completed of government-owned sites and ensuring costs of closure or monitoring of these sites were determined.

The department has implemented one out of nine recommendations. The one implemented related to ensuring government-owned contaminated sites were identified.

The 2015 auditor general’s report issued other recommendations related to Access P.E.I., out-of-province health services and government write-offs and cancellations.

Five of 13 of the recommendations relating to Access P.E.I., as well as three of seven recommendations relating to out-of-provinces health services, were implemented. In all, 33 per cent of the 2015 recommendations have been implemented.

By contrast, 64 per cent of the auditor general’s recommendations related to her 2016 report have been implemented.

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MacAdam said it was the expectation of her office that all audit recommendations be implemented.

“There's weaknesses either in internal controls or management practices. These recommendations are meant to improve management practices and protect the interests of taxpayers," she said.

The 2019 report issued new recommendations concerning the state of the province’s provincial park assets, inspection of childcare centres and government procurement policies.

The 2019 report concluded that Tourism P.E.I. does not have sufficient information about its capital assets at provincial parks and that there is no complete listing of infrastructure, playgrounds, roadways and parking lots. The majority of existing buildings on provincial parks are old and may soon need major upgrades, the report stated.

On government procurement, the report found the province does not always follow the Public Purchasing Act in its purchase of goods. Also, required public tendering was “not consistently" being followed and that goods are purchased by departments without prior approval by the province’s procurement services division.

Auditors examined 33 transactions that required a public tender. Of these, 11 transactions totalling $250,000 did not follow a competitive process.


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