In 2011 and 2012, we investigated an alleged fraud at the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (OPGT). We also did an audit of how the OPGT manages and protects clients’ trusts. In our February 2013 public report, we concluded that vulnerable Albertans who rely on the Public Trustee were at risk of their trusts being misused or mismanaged and made five recommendations to the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee.
The OPGT has not been able to implement all of our recommendations. We use a progress report in such situations to understand and inform the legislature and the public of what management has done to date and its plans going forward. We also use a progress report to make observations to management.
We expected that after four years the OPGT’s management would be able to demonstrate it had an effective system of internal controls to manage clients’ trusts. The system we expected to see if not yet in place.
Given the significance of the problems we identified in 2013, and the limited progress to date, it seems clear to us that the department has not provided consistent oversight.