Provincial sectors brace for AG report

Ontario auditor general Jim McCarter. (Craig Robertson/Toronto Sun files)

Ontario auditor general Jim McCarter. (Craig Robertson/Toronto Sun files)

JONATHAN JENKINS, Queen's Park Bureau

, Last Updated: 7:51 PM ET

TORONTO - Auditor general Jim McCarter will reveal Wednesday the results of investigations into a baker’s dozen of government services, including Cancer Care Ontario, the Drive Clean program and the speed of criminal prosecutions.

The AG’s annual report — which has frequently found fault with the quality of services and the value taxpayers are receiving in the past — will look at 12 separate areas, plus a look at how the legislature estimates’ review system works.

MPPs were interviewed on how well they thought the estimates process worked and whether practices used in other jurisdictions might be used here.

The 12 value-for-money audits McCarter’s staff performed in 2012 include some major ares of expenditure.

The investigation into criminal prosecutions studied whether the right policies and practices are in place “to ensure the timely and efficient prosecution of criminal matters,” a news release says.

There will also be a report on how well the Ontario Provincial Police spends its $979-million budget.

Health care is Ontario’s biggest single expense and this year, McCarter looks at Cancer Care Ontario’s screening policies. The province’s $741-million diabetes strategy will also get a report, as will the 14 Community Care Access Centres — which place people in long-term care homes.

“The audit assessed whether selected CCACs had effective processes for placing people in homes in a consistent and timely way,” the release said.

Drivers will be interested to see results from an audit of the Drive Clean program, which pulls older cars in for mandatory maintenance and emission inspections.

McCarter’s auditors looked at whether the environment ministry was properly monitoring and reporting on Drive Clean’s effectiveness in reducing emissions.

The report will also look at how well the province’s tax collectors are doing at maximizing revenues, the performance of independent health facilities and how cost-effectively Metrolinx manages its multibillion-dollar transit projects.

“There will always be room for improvement especially when we’re privileged to lead a multibillion-dollar operation with over 1.3 million people who are employed in the broader public sector,” Premier Dalton McGuinty said Tuesday.

“I think by any objective assessment, we keep making gains every single year. I’m looking forward to the auditor’s report. He’s always got some great advice and we always follow up on his recommendations.”

— With files from Antonella Artuso


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