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

A grass fire west of Williams Lake, seen here Tuesday, is considered to be being held by members of the BC Wildfire Service. (Photo submitted)
An Interior Health nurse administers Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
105 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

Just over 8,000 new vaccine doses administered in the region for a total of 158,000 to date

A grass fire sparked by embers from a fire pit quickly spread to the home of Cliff and Lydia Trudeau. (Barb Trudeau photo)
Fire destroys home of elderly couple at Cuisson Lake, near McLeese Lake

Fast-moving grass fire burns house to the ground

The public is being asked to use caution when doing backyard burning in the Cariboo Fire Centre. (File photo)
Caution urged with outdoor burning says Cariboo Fire Centre

Anyone conducting burning must ensure adequate resources are on hand to stop fire from spreading

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

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including, YVR and land crossings should ‘not be left behind’

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

Most Read