Our 2021 Report, Volume 2 includes the results of four performance audits, 20 follow-up audits, and 163 annual integrated audits. Appendix 1 of the Report lists the agencies audited, and those with significant findings included in this Report.
Chapters in this Report cover a wide array of topics, including:
Income support programs
Conducting timely and accurate coroner investigations
Cybersecurity and preventing cyberattacks
Awarding arts grants impartially and transparently
Monitoring quality of care in homes supporting adults with intellectual disabilities
Rehabilitating adult inmates
Inspecting elevating devices
Increasing graduation rates and school instruction time
This is our fourth Report on results of audits since the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. The pandemic continues to impact us, and the world. The constraints of the pandemic affect how our Office audits, and our audit priorities. For example, ongoing and shifting public health orders resulted in us completing most of our audits in this Report remotely and, in many cases, taking additional time to complete them.
We shifted some audit resources to our annual integrated audits to examine government spending on additional pandemic-response and stimulus programs, and use of related federal funding. This 2021 Report – Volume 2 reports the results of our work in relation to some of these significant COVID-19 financial support programs (Chapter 1).
We continue to balance the needs of legislators and the public for timely information about government programs and services greatly disrupted by the pandemic, while managing implications of conducting audits remotely and at agencies immersed in the response. We know some agencies are fully deployed in providing services during the pandemic (such as the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency), which impacts typical audit timeframes and priorities. We extend our appreciation to all agencies that accommodated and cooperated with audits to ensure our Office completes quality work that continues to advance excellence and inspire confidence in the public sector.
In this Report, numerous chapters address specific programs and practices impacting public safety and the well-being of Saskatchewan residents from monitoring tobacco and vapour products’ legislation enforcement to detecting wildfires.
Another theme that emerged in this Report is data collection and analysis whereby agencies inadequately obtained or used meaningful and reliable information to effectively oversee and enhance certain government programs. Whether post-secondary education, inmate rehabilitation, school instruction time, or legal aid lawyer caseloads, having and utilizing key performance information improves decision-making and identifies where improvements are needed to achieve public-service objectives.