Nova Scotia Journal

Saturday, December 2, 2023

The government once more refuses calls for a forensic audit of Island Employment

Nova Scotia

Key takeaways: 

  • Official states agency management had a year to ‘cover their tracks’ after the damning report.
  • The Island Employment headquarters in Sydney, N.S.
  • The agency shut its gates in November 2021.

Government rejects calls for forensic audit: 

Senior officials in Nova Scotia’s Labour Department have disclosed a legislature committee they obtained nearly no information from Island Employment after the Cape Breton agency obtained a draft report blaming its management of mishandling or gross mismanagement of public funds.

Deputy minister Ava Czapalay stated Wednesday she would have hoped the individuals running and overseeing the employment services agency would get in contact to differ the report results by regional ombudsman Bill Smith. But Czapalay stated there was little contact from Island Employment after obtaining the temporary report in December 2020.

In her intro statement to the public accounts committee, Czapalay defined the “disappointing shortage of action by Island Employment’s board of directors and senior management” as one of the key reasons the government chose to end its contract with the non-profit agency the previous September.

Read more: Increased waters back to Sydney’s flood area

Government refuses calls to have a forensic audit of the Island Employment

It obtained around $2.2 million a year to deliver employment counseling services on the region’s behalf. The Sydney-based agency shut its gates on Nov. 21, 2021.

In answer to an inquiry by the all-party committee, Czapalay provided details regarding her department’s reply to Smith’s interim report, including “directly” consulting with the Department of Justice and government auditors.

She stated that those talks centered on “the red flags raised by the temporary report,” she expressed. Source –

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