Auditor General reports today on OPP, drive clean and long term care

TORONTO – The Ontario Provincial Police and the Drive Clean program for car emissions are just two areas that will be covered in the auditor general’s annual report today.

Auditor General Jim McCarter examined the OPP’s $979 million in expenditures in 2011-12 to determine if the force has adequate procedures in places to control the costs of delivering police services.

He also looked at the effectiveness of the Drive Clean program that began in 1999 to see if it is actually reducing vehicle emissions.

McCarter selected 13 areas of provincial government responsibility for this year’s report, digging into other topics ranging from cancer screening programs to admissions to long term care homes.

Also under the auditor’s microscope this year is Metrolinx, the regional transportation agency that will spend billions of dollars over the next 25 years to integrate public transit in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area.

McCarter also examined the government’s four-year, $741 million diabetes strategy, and assessed the delivery of the $370 million-a-year youth justice services programs for teens waiting trial or who have been convicted of a crime.

The annual auditor’s report is always an embarrassing day for the government, and Premier Dalton McGuinty admits there’s always room for improvement, especially in a $126 billion budget with 1.3 million public sector workers.

“I think by any objective we keep making gains every single year,” said McGuinty.

“I’m looking forward to the auditor’s report. He’s always got some great advice and we always follow up on his recommendations.”