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Special Duty Report on the Expenses of Premier Redford and Alberta's Air Transportation Services Program

 

Summary

On March 4, 2014, Premier Redford asked the auditor general to perform a special duty under Section 17(2)1 of the Auditor General Act. We accepted Premier Redford’s request on March 7, 2014 and formally communicated the scope of our work to Premier Hancock on April 15, 2014.

Our objectives were to:

  • review the Government of Alberta’s travel, meal and hospitality expense and disclosure policies and provide advice on whether the policies provide a framework for the most effective and efficient use and disclosure of public resources in the course of mandated government business
  • assess whether Premier Redford and the Office of the Premier’s employees complied with the Government of Alberta’s:

− travel, meal and hospitality expense policy

− public disclosure of travel and expense policy

− Air Transportation Services (ATS) policies

  • assess if the Department of Treasury Board and Finance has adequate processes to assess the ATS program to ensure the program is meeting its objectives, considering risks, costs and benefits

We also decided subsequent to Premier Redford’s request to examine the Edmonton Federal Building redevelopment plan and specifically the development of the 11th floor.

We obtained details of travel, meal and hospitality expenses from the Ministries of Executive Council and Intergovernmental and International Relations (IIR) for the expenses of the Office of the Premier (the office). We tested expenses for the period of October 2012 through to March 2014, for compliance with Government of Alberta policies. The office’s total travel, meal and hospitality expenses for the period were $659,690.

As part of our audit we interviewed Premier Redford, her former chief of staff, her executive assistants and both current and former employees of the office. We had access to Premier Redford’s calendar and schedule as we completed our audit. We also interviewed employees of the Ministry of IIR who had responsibility for organizing the majority of the out-of-province travel for the office.

We met with and received records from staff at the Department of Treasury Board and Finance, who have responsibility for the ATS program.

We met with and received records from staff at the Department of Infrastructure on the re-development of the Edmonton Federal Building. We interviewed staff of the architectural firm and Minister Drysdale

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