09/03/2014 10:42 EDT | Updated 11/03/2014 05:59 EST

NDP wants Saskatchewan auditor to head probe of failed smart meter program

REGINA - The NDP is officially calling on the Saskatchewan Party to have the provincial auditor head up the investigation of SaskPower's failed smart meter program.

So far the investigation is being headed by the Crown Investment Corporation, and will include independent experts.

NDP Leader Cam Broten says that's unacceptable.

He says it's fine for experts to be involved but says the responsibility for the investigation should fall with the auditor, who he says is "truly independent."

The Saskatchewan Party says it will not ask acting auditor Judy Ferguson to get involved but won't get in her way should she decide to investigate.

CIC president Dick Carter has said the investigation will look at procurement and contract management of the smart meter program, safety issues and cost recovery options, which could include legal action.

The province ordered SaskPower to replace all 105,000 installed smart meters after at least nine fires believed related to the devices.

The government pegs the replacement tab at $15 million, but the full cost of the program is expected to be $47 million once the defective meters are removed.