HALIFAX – Economic and Rural Development and Tourism is moving ahead with finding an auditor to complete a forensic audit of the Cumberland Regional Development Authority.
This comes after provincial auditor general Jacques Lapointe said he won’t be conducting the audit that was recommended last month by provincial ombudsman Dwight Bishop.
“The department is moving forward with implementing the ombudsman’s recommendation to undertake an independent forensic examination of the Cumberland Regional Development Authority,” department spokeswoman Kristen Rector said Wednesday. “The province has consulted with the auditor general. Both parties agree that the province’s internal audit centre should manage the independent forensic examination. This work has begun.”
Rector said the audit centre is finalizing the scope of the audit with the next step being a call for requests for proposals to find the best independent group to do the work.
“This will fulfill the recommendation from the ombudsman to do an independent forensic examination of CRDA, as agreed to by the auditor general,” she said.
Earlier, Lapointe said he’s satisfied the work can be carried out by the province’s internal auditor.
Ombudsman Dwight Bishop said he supports what the department and auditor general have decided.
“The important thing here is that we have an independent audit completed,” Bishop said later Wednesday. “In substance that’s why my recommendation was.”
Bishop said the province hired an independent auditor to examine the development authority in southwestern Nova Scotia and he said the auditor there did a great job.
When Bishop released his report last month, he said he found questionable accounting practices and a lack of oversight at the Cumberland development authority.
He called for the forensic audit with the recommendation the results be turned over to police if its findings are the same as his.