Alberta's auditor general is raising concerns with how the province's 4,400 bridges are inspected and maintained.
In his report released on Thursday, Merwan Saher says that his audit didn't find evidence that the bridges are unsafe.
However, he found deficiencies in how often and thoroughly bridges are inspected. Some bridges hadn't been inspected at all.
"Our concern is that the department, generally, has well-designed systems but these systems are not operating as intended," Saher said. "The consequence is a risk of unsafe bridges. The risk of unsafe bridges is unnecessarily high."
The report also highlights problems with the contracting process for inspections and in how the province monitors bridge maintenance. Maher also found inspectors allowed some of their certifications to expire.
'The risk of unsafe bridges is unnecessarily high.'—Alberta Auditor General Merwan Saher
Transportation Minister Ric McIver said that his department has already implemented the improvements recommended by Saher.
He said inspectors knew what they were doing even though their certifications had expired.
"Where the system broke down, if you will, is that some of those very qualified people didn't update their certifications on a regular enough basis," McIver said.
Saher dealt with other areas of the government in his fall report.
He found that Alberta still hasn't improved the reliability and relevance of public reporting on climate change targets
The Department of Energy was also singled out for lacking controls in how it reports royality information. Saher believes this could create misinformation about royalty reduction programs.