In response to an official request from the IWK and ongoing discussions with Board officials, Auditor General Michael Pickup has announced his intention to conduct financial and performance audits of the IWK’s books and practices.
The auditor general and staff have been meeting with IWK officials, and reviewing public reports, but have not yet conducted any detailed audit procedures.
“I am gravely concerned with the ineffectiveness of financial controls and lack of rigor in financial management as publicly reported by the IWK in recent weeks,” said Mr. Pickup. “Given the serious nature of the identified weaknesses at the IWK, my office intends to conduct financial and performance audits of the IWK’s books and practices.”
In addition, Mr. Pickup will become the annual financial statement auditor of IWK, beginning April 1, 2018.
As part of early planning it is expected that a performance audit will cover critical aspects of oversight, financial management and controls on expenditures.
The auditor general and the IWK have agreed that, as a result of discussions to date, the IWK will turn the information it currently has related to the former CEO’s expenses over to police for their consideration on any possible legal matters.
If the auditor general’s audit uncovers additional relevant information it will also be turned over to police. These decisions will be made by the auditor general during the conduct of the audit.
The results of all performance audit work done by the auditor general will be reported publicly to the Nova Scotia Legislature as well as any significant financial statement audit results.
“I thank both the chair of the board of directors and the chair of the audit committee for reaching out on an ongoing basis,” said Mr. Pickup. “I look forward to continued cooperation from IWK officials as we conduct this work for Nova Scotians.”
In keeping with normal audit practices the auditor general will not comment on the results of future audit work until he reports to the legislature on this matter which will likely be spring 2018.