CRDA investigation continues

Darrell Cole
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Halifax firm should complete examination later this summer

AMHERST – A Halifax firm expects to issue its report on the closed Cumberland Regional Development Authority later this summer.

Tina Thibeau from Community and Economic Development Department confirmed PriceWaterhouse Coopers is nearing the completion of its review of financial management of the development authority that closed its doors at the end of June.

CRDA was one of several development authorites that were closed by the province as it moves to a series of regional economic networks.

“Nova Scotians want to know their tax dollars are being managed transparently,” Thibeau said in an email to the Amherst Daily News. “Pricewaterhouse Coopers is conducting the forensic examination and their work is still underway.”

Thibeau said the department is looking forward to receiving the results.

“We expect to receive the results later this summer. Once we receive a final report we will release it to the public,” Thibeau said.

The Halifax company was hired in January to complete the forensic audit of CRDA following the investigation of the development authority last summer by the provincial ombudsmen’s office.

Last August, ombudsman Dwight Bishop reported questionable accounting practices and a lack of oversight at CRDA. He called for the examination with the recommendation that the results be turned over to police if the findings are the same as his.

In his report, Bishop said invoices were created and used to obtain funds from the province without direct expenditures. He said those actions undermined the accountability process and brought into question matters of credibility and integrity.

Bishop’s investigation stemmed from complaints from two former employees who claimed they were dismissed after disclosing concerns to the board about alleged wrongdoings that were taking place.

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: Cumberland Regional Development Authority, Economic Development Department, Amherst Daily News

Geographic location: Halifax

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