July 04, 2012
AG shows PC government failing on financial transparency
EDMONTON, AB (July 4, 2012): Alberta’s Auditor General has identified an alarming lack of fiscal transparency and a failure to implement any coherent performance measures, providing yet more proof of the PC government’s mismanagement of Alberta’s finances, Chair of Public Accounts and Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson said today.
The AG report released today found that government ministries have failed to explain a high percentage of variances in their annual reports. These explanations of performance variances are intended to identify where tax dollars are being allocated, whether promised initiatives and programs are being implemented, and why departments spend more or less than their approved budgets. “This report calls into question the ability of this government to competently manage our province’s finances,” Anderson said. “It shows that annual reports prepared by the ministers are becoming whitewash documents with very little relevant information and a lack of transparency that prevents us from keeping the government accountable for how it spends taxpayer money. You’d think that after 41 years of being in government, the PCs would have their act together on this issue.” The report also indicated that a lack of guidelines for performance measures in these annual reports would undermine the government’s ability to effectively implement their promised ‘results based budgeting’ process. “How can Albertans know whether this government is getting good value for taxpayer money when they have no standards guiding their reporting process?” Anderson said. “With no direction or leadership coming from the top, no wonder this government can’t get its spending under control.”