Auditor General Michael Pickup fields questions at a news conference. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

B.C. auditor general postpones 10 performance audits, cites pandemic

‘Proceeding as planned could have diverted critical resources and focus away from clinical care and the COVID-19 response’

British Columbia’s auditor general says COVID-19 is largely behind the postponement of 10 performance audits and potential delays to future reviews of the government’s response to the pandemic.

Michael Pickup said Tuesday evolving circumstances mostly connected to the pandemic’s impact on government operations have made it necessary to change the status of the audits.

He said those include the impact the pandemic is having on the workforce assigned to projects or programs being reviewed, as well as on ministry staff.

“Certainly, circumstances like the government’s efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted our audit work,” Pickup said at a news conference after the release of a status report by his office.

“It is to be expected that this requires an all-hands-on-deck response by ministries and staff in health care.”

Pickup said an audit of B.C. Hydro’s Site C dam project was postponed to allow the government to conduct its own review in order to ensure the review considers the most up-to-date information.

The government recently announced a revised cost estimate of $16 billion to complete the Site C hydroelectric dam and a one-year completion delay to 2025.

An audit of government substance use services was delayed after requests by the Ministry of Health and Vancouver Coastal Health to focus on the pandemic, Pickup said.

“Proceeding as planned could have diverted critical resources and focus away from clinical care and the COVID-19 response,” he said.

Pickup said his office has planned various reports on the government’s pandemic response, including the $1.5-billion economic recovery fund and the vaccine rollout program, but much depends on the availability of the government and its resources.

“Yes, at the request of government, given how busy folks are in response to the pandemic, we’ve been recognizing … that we can’t be getting in the way while the government works in response,” he said. “Yes, there are things we have identified and more planning is to be done and more discussions are to be had.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

About 80 demonstrators walked through Hope with signs in support of saving the Station House on March 23, 2021. (Photo/Christian Ward)
Public hearing now planned for Hope’s Station House decision

Council has now taken steps to remove heritage status from historic building

The Transportation Safety Board has concluded that a June 2020 oil spill at the Sumas pump station in Abbotsford was the result of a one-inch compression fitting separating from tubing on a section of above-ground piping. (Photo: Transportation Safety Board)
TSB releases final report on June 2020 oil spill in Abbotsford

Transportation Safety Board says pipeline fitting to blame for spill of up to 190K litres

Chilliwack General Hospital. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress file)
Chilliwack General Hospital gets all-clear from Fraser Health as outbreak ends

The latest outbreak was 20 days from the start, on March 25, to being declared over on April 13

GW Graham (SD33.bc.ca)
Entire class at Chilliwack’s G.W. Graham secondary school in isolation after exposure to COVID-19

Students have been told to remain home after four days of exposure last week

Cemetery staff installed the wrong headstone on the grave of Jima Kiir, even though the headstone’s photo did not match with the photo placed on the grave. (Submitted photo)
Abbotsford mother upset city placed wrong headstone on son’s grave

Cemetery staff mix up graves of 2 recently deceased men from South Sudanese community

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

Shannon Claypool, president of the Cloverdale Rodeo & Exhibition Association, stands outside the Cloverdale Rec. Centre. The rec. centre has been set up as a mass vaccination site by Fraser Health and the Association has decided to cancel the rodeo in order to offer the fairgrounds for public parking. (Submitted)
Cloverdale Rodeo cancelled

Fairgrounds to be used as public parking for mass vaccination site at Cloverdale Rec. Centre

A plane is seen through the window on the tarmac of Vancouver International Airport as the waiting room is empty. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
100+ international travellers who landed in B.C. refused to quarantine

The Public Health Agency of Canada says it issued $3,000 violation tickets to each

A health-care worker holds up a vial of the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Montreal, Thursday, March 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
PHAC receives first report of blood clot linked to AstraZeneca

The federal agency says the person is now recovering at home

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward
1 in 3 young Canadians have given up on owning a home: poll

Data released Monday says 36% of adults younger than 40 have given up on home ownership entirely

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. urges people to stay in their neighbourhoods, discourages out-of-household meet-ups

Dr. Bonnie Henry says there should be no travel, even to the next city over

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Most Canadians plan to get COVID-19 vaccine, but safety fears drive hesitancy: poll

This comes as confidence in governments is plummeting in provinces being hit hardest by the pandemic

Most Read