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BC financial statements 'unacceptable' says province's auditor general

British Columbia's auditor general called the province's record on financial statements "unacceptable" while providing a qualified report on last year's financial statements.

"In the auditing profession, a qualified audit report is a rare occurrence," said Auditor General John Doyle in a prepared statement releasing the report on the 2010-2011 financial statements. "It indicates to the users of the financial statements that some of the information is not auditable or is misleading."

The auditor general's criticism comes as delegates to the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention debate a pledge from Premier Christy Clark to create a municipal auditor general's office.

It has become common for the province to issue financial statements that have given the auditor general concern, Doyle said. "During the last 15 years, this Office has issued qualified audit reports on the Province's financial statements 12 times. For a government that strives for transparency and accountability, this is unacceptable."

In particular, the province has not properly consolidated the statements from the Transportation Investment Corporation, the public body that is responsible for managing the construction of the new Port Mann Bridge, the report said.

"Recording this entity correctly in the financial statements would have resulted in a number of changes to financial statement line items, however the overall deficit would have remained the same," a background statement said.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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