No end in sight to CRDA examination

Darrell Cole
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Forensic study passes one-year mark

A year has passed and the forensic examination of CRDA is no closer to completion.

A year has passed and the forensic examination of CRDA is no closer to completion. Cumberland County Warden Keith Hunter is upset the process is taking so long.

AMHERST – The warden of Cumberland County is growing impatient that a forensic examination of the former Cumberland Regional Development Authority continues to be delayed.

“This has gone on long enough,” Keith Hunter said Thursday. “We, as a funding partner of that organization, and all five municipal units for that matter want some answers as do the taxpayers of Cumberland County.”

PricewaterhouseCoopers was hired a year ago to conduct the forensic examination of the former development agency. While the examination’s results were expected by summer, there’s no end in sight.

“The examination of the Cumberland Regional Development Authority is being done independently by a third party,” Economic and Rural Development Department spokesperson Tina Thibeau said in an email to the Amherst News.

“PricewaterhouseCoopers is working toward completing their work, and we are committed to bringing this issue to a conclusion. They are the experts and we believe it is important they take the time they need to complete their work and do the due diligence required.”

PricewaterhouseCoopers began its examination last January after being hired by then minister Percy Paris. Its job is to review the financial management of the development authority that closed its doors in June as part of a provincial plan to replace regional development authorities with new regional enterprise networks.

There is no timeline for when the review will be complete.

The examination follows a report by provincial ombudsman Dwight Bishop that found questionable accounting practices and a lack of oversight at CRDA. Bishop called for the forensic examination with the recommendation that the results be turned over to police if they are the same as his.

Bishop’s report said invoices were created and used to obtain funds from the province without direct expenditures. Those actions, he said, undermined the accountability process and brought into question matters of credibility and integrity.

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: Cumberland Regional Development Authority, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Amherst News Rural Development Department

Geographic location: Cumberland County

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Recent comments

  • Fuzzy Bear
    January 30, 2014 - 22:16

    Well folks, maybe a witch hunt is just that.....a witch hunt!! If the only thing that is amiss in an organization is the speculation that maybe the complaining party (is/are) wanting to find a problem for personal gain or gratification then there may be no problem to begin with!!! So be obvious neglect or misuse of authority or attempt to mislead people by misappropriation of anything should show up quickly to professional auditors!!

  • noodle
    January 30, 2014 - 21:35

    If the CDRA has been defunct for a while now why is its website still up and running? Is there still a CRDA credit card floating around out there that is still being charged monthly web hosting and domain name fees for an organization that no longer exists? If so what else is being charged to it?