November 2009 Auditor General's Report

In our striving to bring process and governance to bear, we seem to have lost sight of the relevance of substance.

Read the Report
Disaster response body inadequate: Auditor General
(CanWest) The federal department charged with disaster planning is itself a disaster when it comes to preparing for emergencies as varied as the swine flu pandemic, floods and terrorist attacks, says Auditor General Sheila Fraser. … The department, which is responsible for co-ordinating the government’s overall response to emergencies, has been working on a Federal Emergency Response Plan for five years, yet it remains in its skeletal form and has not received final approval as of last spring, when the audit was conducted.
One gem buried much further down in the story:
Ms. Fraser also looked at four procurement projects that were “fast-tracked” at the Defence Department to get urgently needed tanks and armoured vehicles to the front lines in Afghanistan. Ms. Fraser found that in three of the projects, the new gear got to the soldiers in time but the paperwork was not handled correctly. The fourth project, involving a weapons system for a light armoured vehicle, is running at least double its $118-million budget and is nearly two years behind schedule. [But, we bet the paperwork was in order]
Disasters may catch Canada unprepared: AG report
[Public Safety Canada] itself “has not exercised the leadership necessary” to meet its responsibilities. In particular, the report said, it:
* Hasn’t yet figured out what critical national infrastructure, such as food, water, and energy supplies; health and financial services; and communication networks, need to be protected during such events.
* Has been unable to help police, firefighters and other first responders gain the ability to communicate and work together by developing standards for compatible radios.
* Has been slow to develop a strategy to deal with cyber attacks on computer and communications networks that control things such as the electrical grid, even though such threats are growing.
“These are issues that have been identified for at least five years or more,” Fraser said Tuesday. She suggested some of the problems, such as the radio compatibility issue, could have been fixed if the department provided some funding to groups like emergency responders.
Disastrous planning: Feds blasted for lack of emergency preparedness
(Sun Media) In a sweeping quarterly report that highlights waste, skirting spending rules and bureaucratic bungling across several government departments, Fraser fingers Public Safety Canada for putting human security and critical infrastructure at risk by failing to put a plan into action.
In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, the feds invested millions of dollars to develop an interim emergency response plan. But nine years later, it hasn’t been formally endorsed by government.

One Comment on "November 2009 Auditor General's Report"

  1. Guy November 10, 2009 at 8:17 am ·

    As my late uncle would always remind me, the process IS the purpose and has been for some time. As to the failure to compile a national disaster plan, it’s instructive to re-read the procurement stories: imagine X10 or X11 or more–the number of procurements to be “co-ordinated” —and of course it is about the $$$. There is also the worrisome issue of whether governments can actually execute a DM program themselves. It would seem otherwise.

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