ALC audit sheds more light on secretive gaming practices

 

Stratford  –  A regional audit into the Atlantic Lottery Corporation has shed more light on secretive gaming practices by the MacLauchlan government, says Stratford-Kinlock MLA and Public Accounts Committee Chair James Aylward.

"The ALC audit sheds more light on the secretive gaming practices of the MacLauchlan government, particularly when it comes to the failed eGaming and Geosweep projects that have cost Island taxpayers millions of dollars. I was surprised to learn today that the government went to such extraordinary lengths to shield details of its gambling investments from the public, even going as far to get outside legal advice around how to skirt transparency and public oversight,” says Aylward.

Auditor General’s from the four Atlantic province’s performed a joint audit on Atlantic Lottery Corporation, a crown corporation jointly owned by the four Atlantic provinces. Among the audit findings were:

* Secretive and highly unusual approvals around the Prince Edward Island governments decision to invest and ultimately lose millions on Geosweep;

* A governance framework that leads to poor oversight of ALC operations;

* A major spike in executive compensation without approval from the shareholder provinces;

* Concerns about a lack of independence between ALC board directors and the shareholder provinces;

* Loose controls around travel, hospitality and board expenses;

At a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee this morning the Auditor General briefed MLA’s on the report. Under questioning from PC MLA’s the Auditor General revealed that government sought an outside legal advice around both the feasibility of the Geosweep investment and how to shield disclosure of the investment from public oversight.

“As a shareholder in Atlantic Lotto Islanders have a vested interest in seeing that ALC runs smoothly. The profits from ALC help fund our hospitals, our schools, our roads and our important public services. So when four provincial Auditor Generals raise such significant issues about how the business relationship is working it raises major concerns," says Opposition Leader Jamie Fox.

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