The end of the summer is shaping up to be a busy time for Auditor General Terry Paddon’s office.
He said towards the end of this month, or in early September, he’s hoping to finish the audit of Humber Valley Paving and a contract linked to Frank Coleman, the man who very nearly became premier of the province earlier this year.
Paddon said that later in September, he’s also hoping to release a second report examining the financial performance of government departments and agencies.
On top of all of that, officials from the auditor general’s office will be at the House of Assembly over the next couple weeks, as MHAs from the public accounts committee question senior civil servants about the issues identified in last winter’s auditor general’s report.
Committee members will be looking at concerns raised about the government support for the cranberry industry, problems collecting traffic fines, and issues Paddon found with the waste management strategy.
But likely the biggest chunk of time will be taken up by Eastern Health, which is scheduled for two full days — the longest hearing the Public Accounts Committee has scheduled in recent years.
In his report in January, Paddon found a litany of problems within Eastern Health — overspending its budget, problems with overtime and sick leave and not complying with the Public Tendering Act.
Liberal MHA Jim Bennett, who chairs the committee, said the hearings are an opportunity to dig into the details of what exactly government agencies are doing in response to the problems that the auditor general finds.
He said he knows that most people aren’t thrilled about the prospect of being grilled for a full day by MHAs in public, but he said it’s like a radar trap — it gets people to perk up and follow the rules more diligently.