FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Department of Government Services does not follow the process it has in place to procure goods and services in some instances, according to the latest annual report of the auditor general, released in the legislative assembly today.

The report reflects audited financial statements for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013.

Auditor general Kim MacPherson noted that the department has a process to procure goods and services. But, because it has not always adhered to this process, she said the department should make further use of best practices to improve procurement practices, reduce risk to the provincial government and focus on continuous improvement.

An audit identified eight types of non-compliance with regulations, policies, and/or departmental guidelines on provincial government contracts. Procurement purchases, including Crown construction, totalled $1.46 billion in 2010-11.

 "Lack of compliance with procurement processes could result in favouritism, costly purchases and increased liability to the province," MacPherson said.
MacPherson also found that, although the provincial government is making positive changes to its procurement legislation, the process is incomplete and some policies are outdated.

"In order to be effective, government policies should be current and reflective of existing entities and processes," she said.

MacPherson also recommended improved public reporting relating to the effectiveness of procurement.

"Effective public reporting of performance provides government accountability to the public, allows government to monitor programs and services effectively, and promotes better decision-making," she said.

Today's report contains two volumes. Volume I focuses on matters arising from the annual financial audit of the provincial government and Crown agencies. Volume II reports the results of Value for Money projects completed during 2013. Both volumes are on the Office of the Auditor General website.


●    Office of the Auditor General