Auditor’s Report Confirms Wall Government’s Financial Mismanagement
Posted: June 3, 2010
NDP Finance critic Trent Wotherspoon said the latest report by the Provincial Auditor confirms the Wall government’s dismal record of financial management in allocating taxpayer dollars and echoes the concerns of New Democrats regarding the increasing practice of contracting out information technology (IT) services in government.
“We thank the Auditor and his staff for their thorough and detailed work in examining expenditures of public money and for their recommendations to improve in these areas,” Wotherspoon said. “It’s unfortunate, however, that the Wall government has failed in any number of ministries to properly manage taxpayers’ money or provide the services Saskatchewan families deserve.”
Wotherspoon pointed to the ministries of Corrections, Public Safety, and Policing and Health as but a few examples where practices to ensure the proper disbursement of public money were either lacking or ignored. He said the Wall government’s financial incompetence continues to cost taxpayers millions of wasted dollars and affect important services that have already seen drastic cuts. The Auditor noted, for example, that regional health authorities continue to have “challenges in having a sufficient number of nurses on duty to provide proper patient care.”
“Wall and his ministers are ultimately responsible for the actions taken in their respective ministries,” Wotherspoon said. “With the Auditor’s report today, he has joined with taxpaying families across Saskatchewan in giving them a failing grade when it comes to financial management.”
Wotherspoon also pointed to the lack of proper oversight regarding IT services noting that the decreased transparency under fire from the Auditor today is the same concern voiced by the NDP. He pointed to the Auditor’s comments which state “The Ministry’s requests for proposals for specific IT services did not include its complete criteria for awarding the work. And the Ministry did not always document its evaluation of the proposals consistently.”
“It’s precisely this lack of transparency that allows political patronage and waste to continue unabated with this government,” Wotherspoon said. “When the ministry is no longer overseeing who is being hired to complete certain work, it opens the door to a host of potential circumstances of waste and corruption. With this report today, it’s clear that the Wall government has a long way to go in cleaning up its act.”