7 things Saskatchewan's auditor wants you to know

Saskatchewan's Audior released her latest report Wednesday and she's raising some warnings related to the province's swelling population.
Saskatchewan's auditor released her latest report, recommending several improvements for the surgery wait times, drinking water and school divisions. (Dani Mario/CBC)

Saskatchewan's Auditor released her latest report Wednesday and she's raising some warnings related to the province's swelling population.

Here are seven highlights from Bonnie Lysyk's report:

1.Surgery Wait Times: Bonnie Lysyk said inefficiencies in the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region could be increasing waits for surgeries. She said the region does not compare the number of surgeries it could do, with how many it actually does.

"So for instance, they would count the use of an operating room once a day as 'the operating room is being used.' We're saying, if you have seven hours in a day, what percentage are you using the operating room?"

2.School Regions: Lysyk said the priorities for school divisions should be assessed province wide.

While she acknowledges each division provides a list of its own projects, she said "they need more information to know the relationship between spending money in one school division versus another from an overall prospective, so there's more work they need to do."

She also noted some schools are more than 40 years old, and that more children are now entering the school system. 

3.Regulating Drinking Water: The auditor is calling on the Water Security Agency to better monitor public water as Saskatchewan communities are growing.

The report says the province needs to ensure all public waterworks are inspected regularly, and that it should make sure the public waterworks owners who do not have permits are dealt with.

She also suggests upgrading public water systems before new housing developments are completed.

4.Contaminated Sites: Lysyk calls on the Ministries of Finance and Environment to identify all sites in the province that may have been contaminated by physical, chemical, biological or radiological substances.

"Without knowing where these sites are located, one cannot determine what public health and safety risks exist," said Lysyk.

Since the province is responsible for the clean up, identifying all the sites will help the province calculate the cost.

5. University of Regina Research: Lysyk says the university needs to better manage its research operations.

She recommends the university better communicate expectations to faculty, improve its policies and procedures on how research is carried out, and do a better job of managing its rights and research interests.

6.SaskEnergy System Improvements: Lysyk suggests SaskEnergy needs to improve the security of its Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system.

It's what monitors and controls the gas distributed to people in Saskatchewan. She said if the system fails it would affect Saskatchewan people, as well as services provided by the other provincial utilities.

7. Rehabilitation of Young Offenders:  Regina has the highest youth crime rate in the country, 3.1 times the national average. Lysyk's office was not given access to offender case management files.

"Because of this, we were unable to complete the audit, and therefore could not determine if the Ministry of Justice had effective processes for rehabilitating young offenders," she said.

The full report can be found on the provincial auditor's website.