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In April 2020, the Government of Canada announced that it was providing $1 billion in funding to Alberta as part of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. The funding was to assist in the creation of jobs in Alberta’s energy services sector, which experienced the negative economic consequences of both the pandemic and weak oil markets. The two governments signed an agreement requiring Alberta to establish a program to create jobs for oilfield contractors, support closure of inactive oil and gas wells, and generate environmental benefits. In May 2020, the Government of Alberta launched the Site Rehabilitation Program (SRP) to provide grants to oilfield service companies to perform well, pipeline, and oil and gas site cleanup work over a three-year period.

Objective and Scope

Our audit objective was to determine if the Department of Energy designed and implemented the SRP to achieve the program’s objectives, job creation (primary objective) and cleanup of inactive wells and sites (secondary objective). Our audit scope covered processes related to grant recipient eligibility and payments made, risk monitoring and management, and evaluation and performance reporting on the SRP.


Based on our audit criteria, we conclude that the Department of Energy has designed and implemented the SRP to meet the program’s objectives.
The department:

  • has efficient and effective processes to ensure grants are awarded and paid only to eligible applicants
  • reports on the SRP using accurate, complete, and timely information
  • uses two key metrics, estimated number of jobs created and total approved grants, to evaluate the SRP results
  • is meeting its responsibilities under the federalprovincial SRP agreement However, the department did not have an adequate process to identify, analyze and respond to key risks to the SRP.

We are recommending that the Department of Energy formalize its process to identify, analyze and respond to key risks to the SRP.