Accept Free Audit from Auditor General, OPSEU tells NPCA

 A Call-Out for Public Accontability from the Ontario Public Service Employees Union

Posted March 29th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) is calling on the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) to accept the Auditor General’s offer to conduct a free and comprehensive audit on the organization instead of paying up to $150,000 to a private firm for an “operational review.”

Niagara citizens demonstrate outside an NPCA board of directors meeting this March 29thy. Photo by Doug Draper

“Last month, the NPCA laid off a highly skilled worker, supposedly due to fiscal constraints,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “Why is the NPCA spending $150,000 on consultants when they can get a full audit from the Auditor General’s team of experts for free?”

OPSEU Executive Board Member Lucy Morton is “appalled” at the NPCA’s upside-down approach to public accountability.

“The employee they laid off on Valentine’s Day was the only person who maintained the online data and maps that all of us in the public use to find out about wetlands, conservation areas and information about our properties. She also happened to be the head steward for OPSEU at the NPCA.

“The NPCA is wasting a ton of money on an audit they can get for free and paying more than 20 managers to supervise 30 employees in the bargaining unit,” Morton continued, “but they don’t have enough money to pay for staff who provide essential functions?

“We’re not buying it.”

Nine of the region’s municipalities, four area MPPs, and many residents have called on the scandal-plagued NPCA to submit to a proper financial audit and/or investigation for mismanagement.

OPSEU President Thomas said the Request for Proposals the NPCA has issued falls far short of what is needed.

“In my opinion, what the NPCA needs is a full forensic financial audit by a truly independent third party, not a few pages typed up by a bought-and-paid-for consultant who reports to senior management.”

About Us OPSEU represents approximately 130,000 members across Ontario. They are full- and part-time workers, men and women, young and old. They trace their ancestry to all parts of the globe – as diverse a group as you could imagine. Our members work for the Ontario government, inside community colleges, for the LCBO , in the health care sector and they are employed in a wide range of community agencies inside the broader public service.

For more about the Ontario Public Service Employees (OPSUE), click on https://opseu.org/about .

An NAL news brief This past Tuesday, March 28th, the city council for Niagara Falls, Ontario approved a motion urging the NPCA board to accept the recent offer from the Ontario Auditor General’s Office to perform a full audit of the NPCA’s operations. That follows a similar motion by the council for St. Catharines earlier this month, and an open letter from Niagara area MPPs, making the same call to the NPCA board to accept the Ontario Auditor General’s offer.

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 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

 

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