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42% complete: Auditor general releases 1st progress report on recommendations

Between 2019 and 2021, there were 18 performance audits with 112 recommendations
Michael Pickup appears at the legislature in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017. Pickup, now British Columbia’s auditor general, released the Office of the Auditor General’s first annual review Tuesday (July 25, 2023), looking at the status of 112 recommendations to 18 organizations. Only 42 per cent between 2019 and 2021 were complete. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

B.C.’s auditor general released his first annual status report – and only 42 per cent of 112 recommendations between 2019 and 2021 have been completed.

Auditor General Michael Pickup released the follow-up report Tuesday (July 25), noting that it covered 18 audits of B.C. ministries, Crown corporations and other public-sector organizations. It began with audits from 2019 that weren’t part of previous follow-up work and ended with 2021 audits, allowing for one year for organizations to implement recommendations. The organizations were asked to provide progress reports as of Nov. 30, 2022.

Pickup said these were recommendations the government agreed with and committed to acting upon.

Forty per cent of 2019 recommendations have been completed, 64 per cent from 2020 and 30 per cent from 2021. Pickup added that the organizations continue to work on the remaining recommendations, except for one which cannot be completed, according to the organization.

“It is worth noting that just because an entity has indicated that a recommendation is not complete, it doesn’t mean that they haven’t done any work. Some recommendations are more complex than others, they will take more time because they require extensive consultation or major program changes.”

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This status report, he said, allows the public, MLAs, ministers and the premier to see how the organizations are acting on the recommendations and what is being done to implement them in a timely way.

“These are recommendations to government. These are recommendations government accepted. These are recommendations government made the promise of action and commitment to act upon … I would actually hope that people ask the premier and ministers responsible for these organizations, are you satisfied with these completion rates? Does this make sense to you? What are you hoping for?”

But Pickup noted this is a starting point, adding that he didn’t go into it with an expectation for a certain number completed.

“What should happen now is discussion on each of these audits that are less than 100 per cent complete, which is many, many of them.”

However, if years go by and things aren’t changing it could mean a new audit or a re-look at issues. Follow-up reports will now be issued annually to include a summary, the auditor general’s review reports, and progress reports from each organization.

Read the report:

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Lauren Collins

About the Author: Lauren Collins

I'm a provincial reporter for Black Press Media's national team, after my journalism career took me across B.C. since I was 19 years old.
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