The Provincial Auditor’s recent report highlighted many concerning findings, but one of significant concern is a backlog of audits on non-renewable potash and uranium royalty and tax returns. The Ministry of Energy and Resources is up to five years behind on its potash audits and four years behind on uranium audits. As of December 2018, the ministry hasn’t completed audits on 85 producer returns from before 2016.
“It’s deeply concerning that the government has let this backlog pile up,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “It’s important these audits are completed on time to ensure that we’re getting a fair return for our resources. We’re losing out on collecting precious dollars that could be used to fund other projects that would create good jobs, like addressing our infrastructure deficit and transitioning to clean energy.”
Potash and uranium producers pay roughly $1.1 billion in taxes and royalties each year. In order to get back on track, the NDP recommends the Ministry of Energy and Resources:
- Improves audit procedures through a sound estimate of staff time and costs required to audit producer returns
- Maintains audit manual up to date throughout audits
- Completes quality reviews of audit files before finalizing audit results.
“There’s no reason the ministry should be this far behind in its audits,” said NDP Energy and Resources Critic Buckley Belanger. “It’s time the ministry commits to fixing their backlog problem and puts procedures in place to make sure this never happens again. We can’t afford to let audits pile up. It hurts our ability to ensure we’re getting a fair return for our resources.”