TORONTO, Dec. 10, 2013 /CNW/ - Bonnie Lysyk, Auditor General of Ontario,
released her 2013 Annual Report today. This is the first Annual Report she has issued since taking
office on September 3, 2013.
The report includes 10 value-for-money audits on a wide range of topics
of importance to the Legislature and Ontario taxpayers. Some themes
Lysyk highlighted in this year's audits were:
Obtaining Full Value From Programs Focused on Helping Vulnerable People
In Autism Services and Supports for Children, the Auditor noted that the Ministry of Children and Youth Services
spent $180 million last year on a variety of autism services and
supports for children under age 18 and their families, but more
children with autism are waiting for government-funded services than
are receiving them. It can take three to 12 months for a diagnosis of
autism and most children then have an even longer wait (up to four
years) to begin treatment. As well, the province's primary method of
therapy is not being offered to the children for whom research
indicates it would likely make the most difference. The Ministry needs
to re-evaluate its program design to ensure it maximizes outcomes for
all children served and determine what can be done to reduce the wait
In Violence Against Women, the Auditor noted that the Ministry of Community and Social Services
does not have enough information to properly assess the effectiveness
of the programs and services offered to abused women and their
children, and therefore to know whether the services meet their needs.
Improving Co-ordination for Cost-effective Service Delivery
In Healthy Schools Strategy, the Auditor noted that the Ministry of Education needs to better
integrate its activities with other ministries to ensure that
provincial policies and resources devoted to encouraging healthy eating
are being implemented effectively across the province. The Ministry
also needs to ensure that elementary students are getting the required
20 minutes of daily physical activity during instruction time.
In Rehabilitation Services at Hospitals, the Auditor noted that to reduce variable access to services, the
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care needs to work with the Local
Health Integration Networks and service providers to establish a
cost-effective, province-wide co-ordinated system for short- and
long-term hospital rehabilitation services, along with community-based
Meeting Public Expectations
In Land Ambulance Services, the Auditor noted that the public expects ambulances to arrive quickly
and the patient to be stabilized and transported to hospital promptly.
There is currently no patient-centred measure and analysis of the time
from receipt of an ambulance call to the time an ambulance arrives at a
patient's location. Value for the significant funding increases in
recent years is therefore hard to assess.
In Provincial Parks, the Auditor noted that the public expects that provincial parks be
well maintained and that the wildlife and natural surroundings be
protected for everyone's enjoyment now and in the future. Growth of
parks and expanded responsibilities under the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, 2006 have challenged the Ministry of Natural Resources to meet its
legislated mandate to protect Ontario's park system and provide
opportunities for ecologically sustainable recreation.
In Health Human Resources, the Auditor noted that the public expectation is that there be the
right number, mix and distribution of physicians in place across the
province to meet the population's current and future needs. However,
despite increases in physicians and nurses in recent years, Ontario has
not yet met that expectation. For example, many specialists funded and
trained in Ontario do not obtain employment here, yet there are wait
lists for the surgeries these specialists are trained to perform.
In Ontario Power Generation (OPG) Human Resources, the Auditor noted that the public expectation that ratepayers pay a
reasonable price for electricity and that the generator manage its
human resources and costs appropriately so that they do not negatively
affect the price of electricity is not being met. There are several
areas where OPG needs to strengthen its human resource practices and
Increasing Public Awareness
In ServiceOntario, the Auditor noted that an effective strategy that includes heightening
public awareness of ServiceOntario's online services may assist
ServiceOntario in increasing utilization of its less costly online
services. Meeting customer expectations will also involve reducing
transaction errors, improving client wait times at peak periods at
in-person centres, and improving client satisfaction with telephone
In Private Schools, the Auditor noted that the public should know that the Ministry of
Education provides only limited oversight over private schools. These
schools are not required to hire teachers certified by the Ontario
College of Teachers, obtain criminal background checks on staff or
follow the Ontario curriculum (unless they offer credits toward the
Ontario Secondary School Diploma).
In its section on the government's financial statements and the
province's financial condition, the Report noted that the government
will need to continuously monitor and take action to manage its debt in
a sustainable manner, given recent and expected increases in debt
The 2013 Annual Report also includes follow-ups on the status of recommendations made in the 2011 Annual Report and a chapter on the Office's government advertising review work.
In addition to the Annual Report, the Office of the Auditor General
delivered two special audits this year—Mississauga Power Plant Cancellation Costs and Oakville Power Plant Cancellation Costs. A third special audit—on the divestment of the Ontario Northland
Transportation Commission—is also being tabled today.
For more information and to view the full report, please visit www.auditor.on.ca
SOURCE: Office of the Auditor General of Ontario
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