Nova Scotians will see more information and greater controls for financial transactions between the province and businesses.
Michel Samson, Minister for Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, announced plans today, Nov. 19, to introduce during the fall sitting of the legislature new accountability legislation and tighter rules on how programs are managed.
“We committed to bringing greater transparency to the support the government extends to the private-sector, and I’m pleased to deliver on that promise,” said Mr. Samson. “Going forward, people will know when public money is invested in a company, how the investment will be used, and whether it was spent the way it was intended.”
The bill will cover transactions from the Nova Scotia Jobs Fund, the Nova Scotia Fund, and strategic investment funds. The government will post information for each transaction online in a consistent format, with a mid-year report on how funds were used.
The new legislation will be supported by tighter controls for how funding programs are managed. Some of these include:
— working with the Internal Audit Centre on a plan to improve program systems, processes and compliance
— hiring a new fund manager who will focus on jobs fund controls, governance and compliance
— updating process guides and checklists staff use to manage transactions
— introducing a performance framework, which will have specific measureable goals for each of the department’s programs
— continuing to address past recommendations from the auditor general.
“The government has an important role in supporting Nova Scotia businesses and the economy and I expect this new legislation, along with tighter internal controls, will create greater transparency, better accountability, and better protection of taxpayers’ investments,” said Mr. Samson.