Almost four years after federal Auditor General Sheila Fraser slammed the Nunavut Business Credit Corp. for mishandling millions of dollars in loans, the Crown corporation still has not received her approval on its financial statements.
A 2007 audit by Fraser identified a "serious breakdown" at the Nunavut Business Credit Corp. which handles millions of dollars in loans to Nunavut business ventures.
Loans were seriously mismanaged, documents detailing many loans were missing, and numerous transactions broke the laws and regulations by which the corporation was bound, Fraser said.
Could get OK this year: official
Since Fraser released her audit in November 2007, she has refused to give her stamp of approval on the Nunavut Business Credit Corp.'s financial statements.
Chris D'Arcy, Nunavut's assistant deputy finance minister in charge of policy and planning, said the Crown corporation is working on getting its financial books to a state in which they could be approved this year.
"Because there were so many loans, it took a very long time to be able to get that cleaned up," D'Arcy said Tuesday.
"I believe that they're coming very close to success, and we'll know as soon as the [auditor general] is able to express an opinion."
No charges announced
Nunavut government officials also have yet to find out if any criminal charges will be laid in connection with the fiasco at the credit corporation.
In the wake of Fraser's report, cabinet MLAs had asked the RCMP to determine if any fraud was committed by corporation staff. The RCMP has since completed its investigation and handed the file to Crown prosecutors.
"As far as we know, the Crown counsel is still in the process of reviewing the file," Justice Minister Keith Peterson said. "We have still to receive an update from Crown counsel [of] what their decision will be."
Fraser estimated that the credit corporation might not be able to collect on about $5 million in loans. Finance officials say there has been no request yet for the legislature to write off any of that debt.