Assistant Auditor General’s Opening Statement

Status Report of the Auditor General of Canada to the Yukon Legislative Assembly—Press Conference—14 June 2012

Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to be in Whitehorse today to discuss the Status Report, which the Speaker of the Assembly distributed to the Members this morning.

In this first Status Report, we provide an update on the government’s progress on some of the commitments it made in response to three of our previous reports.

The report covers transportation infrastructure; workers’ compensation; and the condition of public buildings, including schools—all of which affect the lives of Yukon citizens. These activities account for $300 million in annual spending and over $1 billion in assets.

Overall, the organizations covered by the audit have made satisfactory progress in implementing most of the recommendations selected for follow-up. However, progress has been unsatisfactory in some areas.

Firstly, the Department of Highways and Public Works has made satisfactory progress since 2007 in managing and monitoring transportation infrastructure and building development projects. It has also made satisfactory progress in improving the condition of highways and bridges.

However, the Department has shown unsatisfactory progress in the area of building inspections. For example, few inspections (7.4% of government-owned buildings) have been carried out, and those completed have uncovered health and safety issues that—in some cases—have yet to be addressed. The Department has also made little progress in moving toward using government-owned office space instead of expensive short-term leases.

Next, the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board has made satisfactory progress in the areas of

  • accountability,
  • management and processing of claims and appeals,
  • prevention activities, and
  • management of the Compensation Fund.

Further improvements, however, are needed to ensure that high-risk employers have occupational health and safety programs in place.

Finally, the government needs to put more effort into measuring and reporting on the results of its programs. Its performance information contains little reference to outcomes or achievements, few meaningful indicators, and a lack of targets.

I am happy to answer any questions you may have.