POLITICS

Auditor General Report: Highlights From Michael Ferguson's Spring Update

04/28/2015 10:04 EDT | Updated 06/28/2015 05:59 EDT
OTTAWA - Key findings from the spring report of the federal auditor general, released Tuesday:

— The Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada should be doing more to mitigate the health risks posed by antimicrobial resistance — the emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections, or "superbugs," due to the misuse of antimicrobial drugs.

— Despite accounting for tens of billions of dollars in annual government expense, the federal government's tax-based expenditures — boutique tax credit measures such as the children's fitness tax credit, for example — are not properly evaluated or subject to adequate parliamentary oversight.

— Health Canada can't say for sure that all eligible First Nations individuals in remote communities in Manitoba and Ontario can access sufficient clinical and client care services and medical transportation.

— Only 1 of 45 randomly chosen nurses in the First Nations communities had completed all five of Health Canada’s mandatory training courses.

— Not all nursing stations in the communities meet health and safety requirements or building codes. In one case, a nursing station residence had been unusable for more than two years because of a broken septic system.

— The Canada Border Services Agency is not properly managing its information-technology projects, many of which were executed inefficiently or lacked clear requirements or measurable benefits.

— Lower-risk offenders are being released from prison later in their sentences and with less time supervised in the community because Correctional Service Canada recommends early release less often. Some 80 per cent of offenders were behind bars beyond their first parole eligibility date, while more offenders are being released directly from medium- and high-security penitentiaries.

— Between 2009 and 2013, the Office of the Ombudsman at the Department of National Defence was poorly managed and overseen; former ombudsman Pierre Daigle routinely approved his own hospitality expense claims and ignored contracting rules.

— Daigle, who was replaced in 2012, regularly ran afoul the department's values and ethics code, leading to staff grievances, complaints, high levels of sick leave and turnover. National Defence failed to adequately investigate or take action.

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