Better public representation needed on secretive lending boards
New Glasgow – TheAuditorGeneral’s Report on the eGaming scandal shows the need for the MacLauchlan government to overhaul how it appoints government boards like Innovation PEI and Island Investment Development Inc. (IIDI), says Rustico-Emerald MLA and Opposition Communities, Land and Environment Critic Brad Trivers.
Trivers made his comments following a presentation this week to a legislative committee on how the MacLauchlan government fills vacancies on agencies, boards, and commissions.
“The Auditor General’s Report into the eGaming scandal found a lot of problems with how the IIDI board works basically as a secret bank. It has no members of the public on the board, only deputy ministers. As a first step there should be members of the public on this board. A little transparency and public oversight would go a long way here,” said Trivers.
Over half of the recommendations in the Auditor General’s Report on the eGaming scandal focused on accountability gaps at Innovation PEI and IIDI. Particularly as it related to how IIDI financed the failed eGaming scheme in secret. At present only Deputy Ministers sit as members on the IIDI board, limiting transparency for the public. IIDI is one of the government’s main sources of loans and commercial financing. As of March 31, 2015 IIDI had loans outstanding totaling over $173 million.
“I was surprised to learn that only half of government’s agencies, boards and commissions are covered under the MacLauchlan government’s appointment process. At the end of the day the Premier still gets to decide whether to reward his party supporters which we’re seeing happen more and more. There’s a lot of room for improvement to have a more open, transparent and accountable process that engages Islanders,” said Trivers.