“More important that the government obtain value for money…” Ontario Auditor General

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Dalton McGuintyQUEEN’S PARK – “Today, Ontario’s Auditor General confirmed Dalton McGuinty’s legacy of waste, rot and scandal that plagued eHealth has spread throughout its ministries and agencies,” charges Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak. “The only way to bring about real change that Ontario families deserve is a change in government”.

The Auditor General released the 2010 Report earlier today. “With the province facing large deficits and record levels of provincial debt, it has never been more important that the government obtain value for money for taxpayer dollars”, Auditor General Jim McCarter said.

NDP leader Andrea Horwath stated, ““While the McGuinty Liberals have left people waiting for everything from ER treatment to property tax assessment, they can’t move fast enough to approve infrastructure spending against the advice of their own staff.”

“Once again, we see an arrogant, out-of-touch government that leaves people who need a break paying more and getting less,” added Horwath.

McCarter noted that this year’s Report put a heavy emphasis on the health-care sector, with four value for-money audits, because “this area accounts for almost 40% of government spending.”

Among the Auditor General’s findings with regard to health care:

• Long wait-times in hospital emergency rooms had as much to do with delays in freeing up in-patient beds as with a lack of specialist services or patients walking into ERs with minor ailments.

• More than 50,000 hospital patients who could have been discharged endured longer-than-necessary hospital stays during 2009 because of the length of time it took to line up post-discharge care for them.

• The province tends to fund home-care services based on historical allocations rather than on assessments of current client needs, creating a risk that people with identical needs get varying levels of service depending on where in the province they live.

• Progress has been made on increasing the number of donors for organ and tissue transplants, but certain changes could be made to reduce wait-times for organs.

The PCs point to the Auditor General’s report citing, “The Auditor found that nearly half of the contracts handed out by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) were untendered contracts. Meanwhile, MPAC employees were caught expensing lavish meals and expensive gifts on the taxpayers’ dime. The Auditor also found the Family Responsibility Office (FRO) wasted $21 million dollars on an IT program that never worked, while only 1 in 5 calls to the Office get answered. The Auditor added many of the same problems that he outlined regarding the FRO in 2003 remain today”.

“The Auditor General’s annual report revealed much of what we’ve come to expect from Dalton McGuinty – and confirmed the legacy of waste continues across multiple ministries, agencies and programs,” stated Hudak.

Premier Dalton McGuinty has yet to comment on the Auditor General’s Report.

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