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Auditor General's Annual Report for the year ended March 31, 2004

Fred J. Dunn, FCA, Auditor General of Alberta, released his 2003-2004 Annual Report today.

Mr. Dunn describes 2003-2004 as a year of resolution (significant number of recommendations implemented and fewer recommendations with unsatisfactory progress). Of the 52 recommendations in the Report, 9 are key.

  • Succession management (page 26)—Departments need help to get talented and trained people in the right place at the right time; 45% of managers are eligible to retire by 2008.
  • Public Private Partnerships (P3s) (page 49)—P3s are a valid option to realize value for money. There are lessons for all ministries from the Calgary Court Centre and Southeast Edmonton Ring Road projects.
  • BSE (2 key recommendations) (page 77)—Our concern in August was contingency planning to deal with the surplus of cattle and action to ensure that Alberta meets its contribution to Canada’s BSE testing quota. The Alberta government now has a plan that includes new “set aside” programs, promotion of increased slaughter capacity, and incentives to increase BSE testing.
  • PDD Community Boards (page 106)—PDD contract management needs an overhaul. Our forensic auditing led to action to recover $3.4 million.
  • Oil sands projects (page 125)—The Department of Energy should improve its assessment of:
    • project costs and revenues
    • potential delays in reaching project “payout”
  • Private pension plans (page 151)—To ensure the interest of plan members is protected, the Alberta Superintendent of Financial Institutions must more promptly identify matters requiring intervention and give compliance officers more training.
  • Health care registration (page 190)—The Department of Health and Wellness can’t show it’s in complete control of the individual health care registration process. Audit work identified too many indicators of weakness in the system. The risk is decreased health care capacity for eligible people.
  • Health Region accountability (page 197)—Inadequate accountability of the Regions to the Minister is a lost opportunity to improve service and/or reduce cost.
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