Author Topic: Highlights of yesterday's auditor general's report:  (Read 1986 times)

Carol-Lynn

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Highlights of yesterday's auditor general's report:
« on: December 12, 2007, 10:22:14 AM »
Highlights of yesterday's auditor general's report:

- Loopholes in the Sex Offenders Registry and other provincial laws allow perverts to escape scrutiny. A pardon will also get a sex offender off the registry. Poor follow-up by police and government lets even more offenders off the hook. About 140 offenders on the registry don't have an accompanying photograph.

- Driver-education certificate grads more likely to crash than those drivers who didn't participate. Auditor said there are allegations that "unscrupulous" driving schools are selling the certificates to new drivers who did not complete course.

- Government doesn't have necessary information from its community partners to assess Ontario's preparedness for a pandemic which could kill 12,000 people and cause two million people to hit emergency rooms.

- One-third of public health units have no full-time medical officer of health.

- The Centre of Forensic Sciences has a turnaround time on DNA testing that is twice that of international centres, and the auditor is concerned that important sex assault and murder cases are being delayed. The three-month wait time is three times that recommended by Judge Archie Campbell after the probe of the botched Paul Bernardo investigation.

Carol-Lynn

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Re: Highlights of yesterday's auditor general's report:
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2007, 10:29:28 AM »
 
Sex offenders escape scrutiny

The Liberals are faulted for loopholes in a provincial registry.
By ANTONELLA ARTUSO, SUN MEDIA QUEEN'S PARK BUREAU CHIEF
 
 
The Ontario government has problems with drugs, drivers and deviants, the annual auditor general's report concludes.

Auditor General Jim McCarter found loopholes in the Ontario Sex Offender Registry that has allowed hundreds of offenders, including dangerous federal felons, to escape registration and scrutiny.

The driver's education program raised questions about the integrity of a system designed to ensure public safety and the province's roads.

And a random review of one pharmacy's billings to the drug benefits program found $270,000 in overpayments, mostly in invalid dispensing fees.

McCarter's annual review of spending recommends changes in important programs that go well beyond ensuring that taxpayer dollars are well spent.

Premier Dalton McGuinty said yesterday his government welcomes the report and will move quickly to make improvements. "There is always more work to be done, still more progress to be made, but the record clearly demonstrates that when it comes to following up on recommendations coming from the auditor general, we are there, four square, making progress on behalf of Ontarians," McGuinty said.

Solicitor General Rick Bartolucci introduced legislation yesterday to amend Christopher's Law, which created the Sex Offender's Registry following the 1988 murder of Christopher Stephenson by a pedophile on federal statutory release.

"This legislation would require more offenders to register and provide more tools for police to track offenders," Bartolucci said.

Interim Conservative Leader Bob Runciman said nothing less than a public inquiry is required to find out how so many provincial and federal sex offenders were able to avoid registering, and why the OPP diverted $9 million meant for the registry to other policing priorities.

"There could have been a number of sexual assaults, even murders, committed by these people who are falling through the cracks because of the failures of the system," Runciman said.

NDP Justice Critic Peter Kormos said an incomplete or inaccurate sex offenders registry may be worse than none at all.

"That is putting children and other potential victims at great risk," he said.

The province's auditors also looked at the GO Train system and found ample reason for riders' frustration.

"Both the overcrowding and the delays in service have gotten worse over the years," McCarter said.

GO's on-time performance lags behind similar systems in Montreal, New York and New Jersey.

McCarter experienced the GO system's problems personally on Monday when he stood around for 40 minutes with other riders waiting for a delayed train, and then promptly switched back to his own car.

McCarter also suggested more needs to be done to prepare the province for a pandemic flu outbreak, such as setting up local quarantine sites and non-hospital assessment centres.

"When this thing hits, you're going to have no time," he said. "You're out of time."

Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman said the province is one of the best prepared jurisdictions but he's looking at improvements.

Smitherman said they've also closed a "back door . . . loophole" that allowed pharmacies to overcharge the provincial drug benefits program.

"Ontario's drug benefit costs are growing at the lowest rate in the country so I know that we've made important moves and good progress," he said. "So I actually see it as an opportunity to save yet more money for the patients."

There were plenty of other eye-popping revelations.

The Archives of Ontario appear to have misplaced a valuable Group of Seven painting, and other important historical documents are at risk, the auditors found.

The Centre for Forensic Science is not meeting the DNA testing times recommended by an inquiry into the Paul Bernardo investigation.

The auditor found problems with how the Ministry of Community and Social Services managed housing for adults and children with developmental disabilities.

In one bizarre case, the ministry authorized the purchase of a bungalow for $390,000 and budgeted $157,000 plus $36,000 in professional fees for renovations. The architect contract was awarded without competition and based on a percentage of the total renovation cost, and the project cost swelled to $380,000.

The expenditures raised the auditor's eyebrows: $18,000 for "allowances, $20,000 for "profit" and $18,000 for "painting."

"We understand that after the renovation was complete, the ministry also provided the agency with approximately $60,000 to furnish this home without receiving an accounting of how the money was spent," the report says.

The ministry never did the necessary work to determine if the entire project was necessary in the first place.

McCarter said he's concerned about the overall findings of his auditors but notes the government was doing a "good job" in many areas and showed a willingness to deal with problems uncovered in previous reports.

AUDITOR GENERAL'S REPORT HIGHLIGHTS

- Novice drivers who took a provincially approved course crash more often than drivers who haven't taken the course; province has not investigated or examined its accredited driving schools.

- Ministry of Natural Resources lacks the cash to properly track the province's fish and wildlife or keep a close watch on endangered species.

- The Centre for Forensic Sciences must speed up its scientific analysis to meet police needs and improve public safety.

- The Ministry of Health does not closely monitor pharmacists to identify potential overpayments; inspecting all would take 30 years at the current rate of inspection.

- Nearly five years after SARS, Ontario is not adequately prepared for large-scale outbreak like an influenza pandemic.

- Ontario owed $967 million in retail sales taxes, up from $587 million in 1999.

- Hundreds of sex offenders are not on a provincial sex-offender registry; no proof the registry works.

- GO Transit needs a better capital plan to accommodate anticipated increase in commuters.

- Despite government focus on surgical wait times, Ontario has no idea how many operating rooms the province has or adequate information about how many patients are waiting for specific surgeries.

- Ministry of the Environment is not properly monitoring or inspecting the dumping of hazardous waste.
 
 http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/News/Local/2007/12/12/pf-4720051.html

Chris

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Re: Highlights of yesterday's auditor general's report:
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2007, 12:10:08 AM »
My goodness, what is the deal about the sex offender thing? Of all the criminals out there, this should proiority #1. They rape and sometimes kill kids or kidnap them.. we need them monitored. They thrive when they can operate in the dark with no one watching over them.

Time for me to write Harper. Where are all his promises about cracking down on violent crimes?