Description: Last week this blog raised the matter of how the Auditor General of New Brunswick has been denied access to a government-created investment firm called Vestcor. This week, well-known accounting scholar, Dr. Steven Salterio, the Stephen J.R. Smith Chair of Accounting and Auditing at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, weighed in on the issue. Dr. Salterio noted “I think the auditor general is correct in that she should have the mandate to deal with this newly privatized corporation from the point of view this is strictly a government entity.” In reflecting on the billions entrusted by the government and its pensioners to Vestcor, Salterio offered “this is a lot of provincial money going into an organization that is not accountable to the auditor general.” But with the current government apparently unwilling to budge on the issue, the Auditor General feels like her next move might be a legal one.
Date: March 1, 2021
1) Do you agree with Dr. Salterio’s position?
2) Why are governments willing to take the advice of experts during this Covid-19 crisis, but unwilling to take it in other matters, such as Dr. Salterio and the Auditor General providing advice on this pension organization?
3) In chapter one of Wiley’s Auditing: A Practical Approach, we are introduced to several types of audits. What type or types of audits would the Auditor General of New Brunswick probably want to perform at Vestcor?