This is page numbers 5333 - 5364 of the Hansard for the 18th Assembly, 3rd Session. The original version can be accessed on the Legislative Assembly's website or by contacting the Legislative Assembly Library. The word of the day was services. View the webstream of the day's session.

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Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 5340

The Chair Tom Beaulieu

Thank you, Ms. Green. Any further comments? Mr. Testart.

Committee Motion 94-18(3): Standing Committee on Government Operations Report on the Review of the 2018 Report of the Auditor General of Canada to the Northwest Territories (Child and Family Services) - Quality Improvement Plan, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 5340

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I move that this Assembly recommends that the Department of Health and Social Services incorporate into its quality improvement plan for child and family services the recommendations made in this report. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 94-18(3): Standing Committee on Government Operations Report on the Review of the 2018 Report of the Auditor General of Canada to the Northwest Territories (Child and Family Services) - Quality Improvement Plan, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 5340

The Chair Tom Beaulieu

Thank you, Mr. Testart. Members, the motion is being distributed. Okay, Mr. Abernethy, proceed.

Committee Motion 94-18(3): Standing Committee on Government Operations Report on the Review of the 2018 Report of the Auditor General of Canada to the Northwest Territories (Child and Family Services) - Quality Improvement Plan, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Glen Abernethy Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Chair. To the recommendation, we have read through the recommendations in this report and, with respect to recommendation one, we agree. The department values the work that has been done by the Standing Committee on Government Operations and will certainly incorporate the recommendations that are not already covered in the quality improvement plan that are being made by the committee.

A couple of them, we have some questions about content and specificity, but in general, we agree with incorporating their changes into our report. As we are going through each motion, I will talk about each one and how we intend to incorporate it. In some cases, the recommendations already are in line with what we are doing in the quality improvement plan, so I will go into that detail, as well. So in principle, we agree with recommendation number one, but as it is a recommendation to government, Cabinet will be abstaining. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 94-18(3): Standing Committee on Government Operations Report on the Review of the 2018 Report of the Auditor General of Canada to the Northwest Territories (Child and Family Services) - Quality Improvement Plan, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 5340

The Chair Tom Beaulieu

Thank you, Minister Abernethy. To the motion.

Committee Motion 94-18(3): Standing Committee on Government Operations Report on the Review of the 2018 Report of the Auditor General of Canada to the Northwest Territories (Child and Family Services) - Quality Improvement Plan, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 5340

Some Hon. Members

Question.

Committee Motion 94-18(3): Standing Committee on Government Operations Report on the Review of the 2018 Report of the Auditor General of Canada to the Northwest Territories (Child and Family Services) - Quality Improvement Plan, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 5340

The Chair Tom Beaulieu

Question has been called. All in favour? Against? Abstentions? The motion is carried.

---Carried

Mr. Testart.

Committee Motion 95-18(3): Standing Committee on Government Operations Report on the Review of the 2018 Report of the Auditor General of Canada to the Northwest Territories (Child and Family Services) - Draft Action or Implementation Plan, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

March 11th, 2019

Page 5341

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I move that this Assembly recommends that any government department, board, or agency being audited produce a draft action plan or implementation plan in response to the audit, provide the committee with a copy of that plan consistent with the appropriate process conventions, and present the plan at the committee's public hearing. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 95-18(3): Standing Committee on Government Operations Report on the Review of the 2018 Report of the Auditor General of Canada to the Northwest Territories (Child and Family Services) - Draft Action or Implementation Plan, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 5341

The Chair Tom Beaulieu

Thank you, Mr. Testart. To the motion. Mr. Abernethy.

Committee Motion 95-18(3): Standing Committee on Government Operations Report on the Review of the 2018 Report of the Auditor General of Canada to the Northwest Territories (Child and Family Services) - Draft Action or Implementation Plan, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 5341

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

You should go to the mover first.

Committee Motion 95-18(3): Standing Committee on Government Operations Report on the Review of the 2018 Report of the Auditor General of Canada to the Northwest Territories (Child and Family Services) - Draft Action or Implementation Plan, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chair. This motion is similar to previous motions the committee has made in response to Auditor General reports. Every year, we learn how to apply more specific language, and we feel this time we've got it right.

The audit function of the Standing Committee on Government Operations is crucial to good governance and serves the role of what would be called the public accounts committee in other jurisdictions. It's crucial that these reviews can be done to the best of the ability of the committee, assessing the best available information at the time. It's difficult to understand how a government is going to respond to the findings of an Auditor General report without a clear action or implementation plan that is preferably costed. That's exactly what this motion is calling for, and this does not apply solely to the department that was audited in this report, but to all future departments and agencies that come before the committee.

The Auditor General reports tend to be high-profile. They tend to have important recommendations that the public is interested in, and if the committee is going to give the opportunity to raise the concerns in the report, the full range of analysis, deliberation, and comment, then we need to see exactly how the government intends to respond.

This recommendation is driven to achieve that point that, in the future, now we are now moving to a cycle of two audits per year from the Auditor General's Office, that, when the departments appear before the committee, they will have something in hand for the committee to address, so the committee and the public has confidence that the recommendations of the Auditor General are, in fact, being delivered on. Further, the standing committee can then come back in six months or other intervals of time and say: how far along are you on your action plan? Which actions have been implemented? It gives the committee the ability to check in on departments as they proceed to address the findings of the Auditor General.

All too often, these reports can become "one and dones." There's one hearing at a point in time, and that's the last you hear of it. We need to move away from it as an Assembly, and ensure the committees have more on their plates to constantly look at the systemic issues and make sure they're being addressed. I encourage the government to take heed to this recommendation, and that, in the future, there will be comprehensive action plans and implementation plans in draft form made available to committee prior to a public hearing. Thank you.

Committee Motion 95-18(3): Standing Committee on Government Operations Report on the Review of the 2018 Report of the Auditor General of Canada to the Northwest Territories (Child and Family Services) - Draft Action or Implementation Plan, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Daniel McNeely

Thank you, Mr. Testart. To the motion? Mr. Abernethy.

Committee Motion 95-18(3): Standing Committee on Government Operations Report on the Review of the 2018 Report of the Auditor General of Canada to the Northwest Territories (Child and Family Services) - Draft Action or Implementation Plan, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Glen Abernethy Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Chair. We accept that recommendation. As a note, this Legislative Assembly has already agreed to develop some process conventions around this area. My one comment on it is I'd hate to presuppose the outcomes of that process convention. It seems like the Member has already determined what that process convention is going to look like. I would say that we need some caution around that.

I've been around for a number of years, and I've seen a number of Auditor General's reports come in, and not all of them asked for an action plan. So if we're developing process conventions that say we have to create an action plan, we may be creating work where we don't need to. Where an action plan is necessary, if that is what the process convention says, that is something that we as a Cabinet will absolutely abide by. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 95-18(3): Standing Committee on Government Operations Report on the Review of the 2018 Report of the Auditor General of Canada to the Northwest Territories (Child and Family Services) - Draft Action or Implementation Plan, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 5341

The Chair Daniel McNeely

Thank you, Minister Abernethy. To the motion.

Committee Motion 95-18(3): Standing Committee on Government Operations Report on the Review of the 2018 Report of the Auditor General of Canada to the Northwest Territories (Child and Family Services) - Draft Action or Implementation Plan, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 5341

Some Hon. Members

Question.