QUÉBEC, May 27, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, Ms. Guylaine Leclerc makes public the report entitled Value-for-Money Audit (Spring 2015). In Chapter 3, she makes known the results from her work at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR), at the Université du Québec (UQ) and at the Ministère de l'Éducation, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche (MEESR).
Key steps related to the sound management of real estate projects have not been followed by the UQTR for important projects carried out in recent years. These projects were launched without a complete business plan being developed and presented to the board of directors. In addition, they were not the subject of a regular follow-up to the board and did not always obtain the necessary authorizations.
The UQTR's management of the Drummondville campus project presents deficiencies. First, it did not adequately justify the need for a campus of this size and did not sufficiently take into account important risks related to its financial situation, project completion times and the awarding of contracts. Secondly, its financial forecasts aimed at demonstrating the financial balance of the project are not supported by strong foundations, and there are ambiguities in the management structure with regard to the responsibility for project ownership.
The UQTR did not always respect the regulation and sound management practices in the awarding and management of certain professional service contracts. In one situation, it divided its needs by awarding six contracts to the same firm by mutual agreement. In another situation, it took actions that did not promote the fair treatment of competitors.
For the elements that were the subject of our work, the board of directors and senior management of the UQTR did not fully assume their governance role. The rector did not follow all the relevant sound management practices during the administrative reorganization undertaken. In addition, there were deficiencies in the way an ethics file concerning her was handled. Furthermore, documents are often directly presented to the board of directors during its meeting, and the information is sometimes incomplete.
Considering the existing hierarchical relationship, the UQ does not exercise sufficient control over the UQTR's activities. On its part, the MEESR did not follow up on problems that were raised many times concerning the governance of universities.
The Highlights are available at www.vgq.qc.ca. The full report is only available in French.
Lucie Roy, Director
SOURCE Vérificateur Général du Québec
For further information: Lucie Roy, Director, Cabinet, communications et affaires stratégiques, Auditor General of Québec, Tel.: 418 691-5915