Inadequate annual reporting by government departments prevents committee effectiveness

Fredericton – The Public Accounts committee is beginning two weeks of public hearings to follow up on the Auditor General’s recommendations and examine the expenditures of government departments. David Coon, Green party leader and MLA for Fredericton South, is concerned about the lack of details being provided to the committee by departments.

“In my preparation as a member of the Public Accounts committee I was astounded at how meagre the reporting from government departments has become,” said Coon. “We need sufficient information in order to assess whether departments are spending money effectively and efficiently to accomplish their objectives. The annual reports of recent years are wholly inadequate. I raised my concern to Deputy Ministers last year and nothing has changed.”

In 2013/2014, government departments began using a new reporting style that has progressively reduced the information communicated through annual reports.

“This is a big deal,” said Coon. “The public is very concerned with accountability and government waste. The one committee that has the mandate to address these issues is the Public Accounts Committee and it needs to have sufficient information to be able to do its job. The buck stops here. I will be suggesting that our committee suggest to the Legislative Assembly that it require adequate reporting from government departments.”

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