Our report identifies four instances in which real or potential deficiencies in the governance or management of information and related technology may jeopardize critical energy sector infrastructure, hamper efficient and economical cash management, create privacy risks or threaten the delivery of student programs and services. We also report on an instance (Drinking Water follow-up) in which increased attention to information management has helped improve program efficiency and effectiveness.
We report on the growth of surpluses within the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (page 33) and the Victims of Crime Fund (page 43).
Managing Royalty Reduction Programs (page 15)
Royalty reduction programs are designed to increase the amount of oil and gas recovered using new technologies and processes. Although the Department of Energy knows and reports the amount of the royalty reduction ($1.4 billion annually), it does not report on the amount of actual royalties it recovers or other value derived through these programs.
IT Security for Industrial Control Systems (pages 23 and 27)
We examined the roles of Alberta government departments and regulators in overseeing the risk to Albertans from unsecured industrial control systems (ICS) in Alberta’s electrical and oil and gas industries.
Disaster Recovery Program Transition (page 55)
The department did not have the capacity to re-design the program delivery model and implement a new IT system. The few project managers and dedicated resources the department had working on the transition were also dealing with the 2013 southern Alberta disaster. We believe that once the department has completed implementing its transition work plan, Alberta will have in place a more effective and efficient disaster recovery program.
Cash Management within the Government of Alberta (page 71)
In our opinion, the Department of Treasury Board and Finance, with the support of the Treasury Board Committee and Deputy Ministers’ Council, should lead the transformation and modernization of the province’s cash management systems. Our report sets out the opportunities to improve the economy and efficiency of cash management with a payback of reduced debt and interest and administrative costs.
Drinking Water Follow-up (page 91)
The Department of Environment and Parks has implemented the one outstanding recommendation (improve drinking water information systems) from our 2006 audit of the systems to manage drinking water. The department eliminated overlapping systems and implemented an effective process that ensures forms are up to date.
Post-secondary Report Card (page 95)
In this report we update the status of financial reporting and internal control environments within Alberta’s publicly funded post-secondary institutions—with the exception of the four universities with March year ends, which we reported on in October 2015.