In 2004 we audited systems the then Department of Community Development and the Persons with Developmental Disabilities community boards used to monitor and evaluate the performance of service providers. We made three recommendations and followed up in 2009. At that time two recommendations had been implemented. This year we conducted follow-up work to assess the boards’ and department’s progress in implementing our remaining recommendation that they strengthen their monitoring and evaluation of the performance of service providers by:
- requiring service providers to provide adequate financial reporting
- obtaining annual financial statements from service providers
- implementing a risk-based internal audit plan
- developing and implementing standard procedures for communication with service providers
- implementing a method to evaluate service providers’ performance
The boards provide services to adults with developmental disabilities. The Persons with Developmental Disabilities Community Governance Act describes a developmental disability as a state of functioning that began in childhood and is characterized by a significant limitation, in both intellectual capacity and adaptive skills. One of the goals of the department and community boards is to ensure that these individuals are living as full citizens in their communities.
What we found
We found that the department has developed, and the boards have implemented, criteria to assess the financial health of the service providers; monitor the service providers; and report this monitoring to the department. The department developed guidelines to assist the boards in developing a process to prioritize service provider audits.
Why this is important to Albertans
If service provider contracts are not effectively monitored and are not audited periodically, vulnerable individuals may experience a reduced standard of care and cost for these services may be excessive.