Quebec auditor general finds provincial auditor didn’t properly audit appareils appareilles
QUÉBEC — The Quebec auditor General has found that provincial auditor Michel Samson did not adequately audit the government’s operations or the way apparelles are being paid.
Samson was appointed by the provincial government in November 2016.
In a report published Thursday, Samson said he did not follow all the guidelines laid out in the government code of conduct.
In addition, the report found that Samson did his own audits of the province’s financial management.
He also concluded that the audit of the Appareil of Quebec, which runs the provincial Appareillé des Québecs (APQ), did not meet the standards of the public administration code of ethics.
The report was released after Samson requested an independent review by the Public Accounts Committee of the Supreme Court of Canada, which is investigating the provincial Auditor General’s conduct.
The Appareils Quebec and APQ were created by the Quebec government in 1999 to manage the province in a more efficient and transparent way.
The provincial government said the APQ is responsible for overseeing the operations of all departments in the province, including the provincial police force, the health care system, education, education services, and the Crown corporation.
The APQ’s mandate is to ensure the public’s right to access, evaluate and use the financial records of the government.
The audit found that the Apparées Quebec failed to perform its responsibilities.
The Public Accounts committee recommended that the Public Services Commission of Quebec audit the APAQ’s finances and perform a “comprehensive audit” of the APAs finances.
The government agreed with the recommendation, and appointed a public accounts expert to do a full audit.
However, the Public Affairs and Procurement Minister said Samson’s review did not have sufficient authority to be carried out.
Samson did the audit himself and found “there were a number of deficiencies in the way the audit was conducted.”
The audit also found that there was a need to review the way all accounts were reported to the APS, which the Public Account Committee said was not consistent with the Public Service Act.
In December 2017, Samson announced that he was stepping down from the post of APA QAQ.
The former auditor general’s report, however, found that he should not have resigned from his role.
He said the report showed he had acted improperly in appointing someone who would have no qualifications in financial management, but that his role was not compromised.
He was also criticized for using the APOQ as a way to gain political advantage.