Deja vu all over again

Having just finished reading the BC Auditor General report, I was intrigued to see a Tweet last night regarding a recent Auditor General report on Canada Health Infoway.  Digging a a little deeper a I found a Feb 20th Globe and Mail article about a “new audit” that found “Health Canada handed out millions of dollars to a national eHealth agency without properly accounting for how the money was spent”.  As I read the article I had this strange sense of deja vu, as though I had seen many of the audit findings before.  Also, I found it strange that a “new” Auditor General report would be released when parliament was prorogued.   So, I went to the federal Auditor General’s site and found what appeared to be the report referenced in the article.  It was released  November 3rd, 2009.

http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/mr_20091103_e_33273.html

I make no secret that while I have some reservations about the way that Infoway operates I support the concept of a national eHealth agency and I strongly encourage the federal government to release the $500M earmarked for Infoway.  This support notwithstanding,I firmly believe in the need for honest and open debate about eHealth plans and priorities.  Indeed, this need is the basis for this blog and lack of transparency is one of my key complaints about Infoway.  In that light, I do question whether an audit report released last fall is really “new”.  Now, I’ll give the Globe and Mail the benefit of a doubt.  Perhaps there is another more recent report that I missed.  If so, could someone point it out to me as I’d like to read it.

Mike

Postscript – updated 26 Feb 2010

I did some more digging around and found the internal audit referenced in the Globe & Mail article; you can find it at:

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/pubs/_audit-verif/2009-20/index-eng.php

In addition to the comments noted in the Globe and Mail article, the audit also notes:

  • Overall, Canada Health Infoway Inc. has an effective management control framework in place surrounding the administration of grant funds.
  • Approved expenditures were related to the Scope of Work and Outcomes as defined in the Funding Agreements.

I’m all for shining the light on all government spending.  But, lets share both the good points and bad points and highlight overall findings in addition to picking on specific detailed issues.

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