AG Kim MacPherson set to release audits on health, silviculture

Auditor general will release her latest report at 10 a.m.

By Daniel McHardie, 
CBC News 
June 23, 2015

Auditor General Kim MacPherson will be releasing a new report on Tuesday that will detail audits into infection control in hospitals, as well as chapters on silviculture and private wood supply.

MacPherson will outline her report to MLAs inside the legislature starting at 10 a.m.

She will answer questions about her latest report at a news conference at 11:45 a.m.

This report is broken into four chapters:

  • Chapter 1 – Introductory comments
  • Chapter 2 – Horizon and Vitalité health networks and the Department of Health: Infection prevention and control in hospitals
  • Chapter 3 – Department of Natural Resources: Silviculture
  • Chapter 4 – Department of Natural Resources: Private Wood Supply

Green Party Leader David Coon said he is very interested to see the chief financial watchdog's report on silviculture.

He said he believes this is the first report done on the issue of silviculture in New Brunswick.

"[The auditor general] does value-for-money audits and the provincial government has been handing tens of millions of dollars every year over to the large forestry companies who hold licences on Crown land," Coon said.

"So the question is, is it returning what it is supposed to be returning to the people of New Brunswick?"

Silviculture involves getting rid of smaller trees to open up space for newer trees to grow.

Coon said he has many questions on how companies are reimbursed and what type of oversight is done to ensure taxpayers are getting value for their dollars.

The Green party leader said he will also be anxious to read the auditor general's comments in the health chapter surrounding how the regional health authorities are dealing with infection prevention and control in the province's hospitals.

"It's critical particularly in the age of superbugs now that people don't get sicker when they are supposed to be getting better in the hospital," he said.

"This is a really important chapter and it will be of interest to everyone. How is the money spent and how effective is it?"

As an opposition MLA, Coon said he wants to thoroughly understand the auditor general's recommendations so he can hold the government accountable in following through on them.

This is the second report issued in 2015 by the auditor general. In January, MacPherson raised concerns about the provincial government's mounting debt and deficit levels.

She also released her damning report into the former Shawn Graham government's handling of the Atcon fiasco earlier this year.