Failing grade, Auditor general slams Alberta Energy’s way of tracking royalties by Archie McLean, October 1, 2007, Edmonton Journal
Alberta Energy’s accounting and accountability practices for oil and gas royalties get a failing grade from Auditor-General Fred Dunn in his annual report, released this morning. The report says the government knew as far back as three years ago that it could collect at least $1 billion more a year without harming the industry. “Neither this information nor the reasons why changes have not taken place have been made public,” the report says.
It then points the finger directly at former energy ministers – such as Murray Smith and Greg Melchin – saying questions as to why no changes were made should be directed their way. Overall, Dunn paints a damning picture of the Energy Department. He says it did not fully meet a single one of the audit’s criteria. In particular, the ministry should do a better job publicly explaining and justifying its work. “To date, the department does not publicly report royalty regime analytical information. This does not provide transparency or accountability for the stewardship of Alberta’s key resource,” the report says.