2018 Report - Volume 2: Auditor: Better processes needed for maintaining certain SaskPower above-ground power distribution assets

2018 Report - Volume 2: Auditor: Better processes needed for maintaining certain SaskPower above-ground power distribution assets December 11, 2018

REGINA, Sask., December 11, 2018 – In her 2018 Report – Volume 2, released today, Provincial Auditor Judy Ferguson reports that SaskPower has good processes in place to maintain its over one million wood poles (its most significant above-ground power distribution asset), but needs to improve those used to maintain its other above-ground power distribution assets.

Above-ground power distribution assets include wood poles, overhead switches, poletop transformers, and power-line conductors (see example in PDF of media release at bottom of page). These assets are key to providing its over 500,000 customers with a reliable source of power.

At the time of the audit, SaskPower was in the early stages of adopting a new corporate-wide asset management strategy (based on an industry-accepted framework). The adoption of this strategy will help SaskPower formalize and improve key aspects of its existing planning process over maintaining above-ground power distribution assets.

The audit found SaskPower used qualified maintenance personnel. It actively monitored the frequency and duration of power outages including factors that contributed to outages. It was making changes to better collect the reasons for outages to help it identify whether the condition of its above-ground power distribution assets contributed to or reduced unplanned outages.

The audit also found, while SaskPower had completed 94% of the planned maintenance of wood poles in 2017-18, it had not completed about one-half of the planned preventative maintenance of its other above-ground distribution assets, including some identified as very high priority. In addition, it had not documented reasons for not completing identified corrective maintenance.

Key areas for improvement include the following. The need to: consistently keep complete and up-to-date information about the condition of its above-ground power distribution assets, have risk-informed inspection and preventative maintenance strategies, formally prioritize maintenance activities, and formally assess the consequences of not maintaining assets as planned.

“SaskPower must confirm it is doing the right maintenance on all of its above-ground power distribution assets at the right time. Effective maintenance reduces the risk of power disruption, safety issues, and additional costs resulting from unplanned outages,” says Ferguson.

Additional issues highlighted in the Provincial Auditor’s Report include:

  • Analyzing surgical biopsies in Regina and Saskatoon labs efficiently (Chapter 23)
  • Preventing and controlling hospital-acquired infections in Regina hospitals (Chapter 24)
  • Triaging emergency department patients in Saskatoon hospitals (Chapter 40)
  • Preventing and controlling infections in long-term care homes in the former Sunrise Regional Health Authority (Chapter 39)
  • Rehabilitating adult inmates at the Ministry of Corrections and Policing (Chapter 30)
  • Investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect at the Ministry of Social Services (Chapter 26)
  • Protecting children in care at the Ministry of Social Services (Chapter 46)
  • Awarding grants impartially and transparently at the Saskatchewan Arts Board (Chapter 22)

Further details regarding the key topics covered in Volume 2 of the 2018 Report can be found in the accompanying media releases and backgrounder. The full Provincial Auditor’s 2018 Report – Volume 2 is available online at www.auditor.sk.ca.

The Provincial Auditor is an independent officer of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan. The Office promotes accountability and better management by providing Legislators and the public with an independent assessment of the government’s use of public resources.

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For more information, please contact:

Judy Ferguson, FCPA, FCA
Provincial Auditor of Saskatchewan
1500-1920 Broad Street
Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 3V2
Telephone: 306-787-6372
Fax: 306-787-6383
Email: info@auditor.sk.ca

Mindy Ellis
Communications Specialist
1500-1920 Broad Street
Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 3V2
Telephone: 306-787-6374
Fax: 306-787-6383
Email: ellis@auditor.sk.ca

2018 Report - Volume 2: Auditor: Better processes needed for maintaining certain SaskPower above-ground power distribution assets (PDF)

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