TORONTO, June 1 /CNW/ - When I first arrived at OLG, the Auditor General and his team were already well underway in a review of employee expenses. There was something that struck me right away about the work they were doing. It was clear they had targeted specific areas for review, with an eye towards the long-term good of OLG. This wasn't about punishing a crown agency, as much as it was striving to improve it. They asked for our help and cooperation and always received it.
In turn, they have now helped us. The Office of the Auditor General has produced a fair and balanced report with findings that are accurate and appropriate. It contains valuable recommendations giving me and my colleagues on the new Board clear direction on work that remains to be done.
I'm pleased they've pointed clearly in the report to some of the efforts OLG has already made in changing its expense practices. Back in the fall, OLG fully adopted the Management Board of Cabinet's Travel, Meals and Hospitality Expenses Directive. Our employees have gone through online training to make sure they understand the policy clearly and can follow through on it. Other programs, including some employee reward and recognition initiatives, have been shelved or are being phased out.
OLG is a different kind of entity from most other government operations. Yes, it is a public agency - but it's also a revenue-generating corporation that operates in a hotly competitive commercial environment. And it has succeeded in that setting. Down through the years, OLG has generated more than $32 billion dollars for the good of this province. These are dollars that go to hospitals, schools, amateur sport, cultural activities, local and provincial charities and non-profit organizations through the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Every dollar we spend in our every-day business practices, is one less dollar that goes to those causes...it's one less dollar to the taxpayers of this province.
This new Board is clear in its expectation this agency will adhere to government practices in terms of prudent use of taxpayer dollars.
It's clear to me, even from my short time at OLG, there is a strong desire from the staff to meet that expectation fully.
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