Thursday, May 2, 2013

That "missing" $3.1 billion

Strange. Despite all the media reports and Opposition demands, I can't find any reference in the Auditor General's report saying anything close to "OMG! The Conservatives lost $3.1 billion!? Where did it go?!"

Oh wait, is this it?

8.21 As we noted, the Treasury Board allocated $12.9 billion for Initiative activities, but departments and agencies reported spending only $9.8 billion. We therefore asked the Secretariat for information that could help explain how the remaining $3.1 billion allocated between 2001 and 2009 was used.

8.22 We found that the Treasury Board generally restricted the way departments and agencies could use the funds, but it allowed reallocations. In such cases, the Secretariat was to receive assurance from departments and agencies that there would be no impact on the Initiative's activities for which funding had originally been allocated.

8.23 We asked Secretariat officials for information on whether such reallocations had occurred and whether assurances were provided by departments. We were informed that discussions took place between the departments and agencies and the Secretariat as part of the normal program challenge function. However, financial information on reallocations was not captured. The Secretariat, however, worked with us to identify several possible scenarios:

- The funding may have lapsed without being spent.

- It may have been spent on PSAT activities and reported as part of ongoing programs spending.
- It may have been carried forward and spent on programs not related to the Initiative.

Well, that was another fun non-scandal...