N.S. auditor general keeping close eye on IWK expenses investigation
Nova Scotia Auditor General Michael Pickup is not involved in the audit of former IWK president and CEO Tracy Kitch's expenses, but he plans to meet with the IWK's board of directors once it's released.
“Waiting to have some discussion with the appropriate people and we will see where we go from there,” Pickup says.
Kitch's resignation more than two years before the end of her contract comes months after the hospital launched an audit of her expenses.
“All organizations that are part of the government should be disclosing travel and hospitality expenditures of the senior level,” says Pickup.
A spokesperson for the IWK says the policy requires that the CEO report travel expenses, but Pickup says reporting should be done by all executives.
“The principal and spirit of that would mean those essentially running an organization. So that could be the top, in some organizations, the top 10 per cent of the management group” says Pickup.
It's not yet known if or how the issues with Tracy Kitch's expenses are related to her sudden departure from the IWK. The hospital's board of directors will answer questions about that next week when an independent audit will be released.
Nova Scotia's Department of Finance declined to provide an interview about the audit or Kitch's expenses, saying, "If there are errors in an organization's expense reporting, the organization is expected to correct information and post the updated version."
For the auditor general, public reporting is a simple matter of transparency and public trust.
“Can I explain to my grandmother in Cape Breton, for example, that this was a good use of her money?” Pickup says.
The IWK's finances are audited by a private firm. The results will be included in Pickup’s next report to the legislature in October.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Sarah Ritchie.