Four months ago, concerned that BC Hydro had failed to make public its second quarter report as required by law, I wrote this message to Minister Michelle Mungall:
From: Norman Farrell [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 12:33 PM
To: Minister, EMPR EMPR:EX
Subject: BC Hydro – Overdue Quarterly Report
May I have a copy of the Minister’s written statement explaining BC Hydro’s non-compliance with this act respecting the quarterly report for the three months ended June 2017 that should have been made public by September 15, 2017.
Budget Transparency and Accountability Act:
10 (1) Quarterly reports must be prepared in accordance with this section and with the accounting policies as established by Treasury Board…
(3) A quarterly report must be made public on or before
(a) September 15, in respect of the first 3 months of the fiscal year…
17 If a document required to be made public under this Act
(a) is not made public within the required time,
(b) does not include all the required information, or
(c) does not present the information in the required manner,
then, at the time the document is required to be made public, the responsible minister must make public a written statement giving the reasons for the non-compliance.
Four months later (being today), I received this response:
EMPR DMO Correspondence EMPR:EX
Attachments3:27 PM (1 hour ago)
to me, Chris.Oriley, Ryan.Layton
Mr. Norm Farrell
Dear Mr. Farrell:
Honourable Michelle Mungall has sent me a copy of your October 10, 2017 email regarding BC Hydro’s Quarterly Report for the three months ending June 2017.
BC Hydro prepared its Fiscal 2018 Quarter 1 Financial Results report in accordance with the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act (Act) and with the accounting policies as established by Treasury Board.
As required by Part 5 of the Act, electronic and paper copies of the Fiscal 2018 Quarter 1 Financial Results report were available upon request to the general public beginning on the deadline of September 15, 2017. The report was also submitted to Minister Mungall’s office as the Minister responsible.
The report was not posted online until October 16, 2017. BC Hydro has been asked to ensure that, in addition to making quarterly reports available to the public upon request by the deadlines specified in the Act, a copy also be posted online at http://www.bchydro.com/about/accountability_reports/financial_reports/quarterly_report.html.
The Fiscal 2018 Quarter 2 Financial Results report was posted online by the deadline of November 30, 2017 at https://www.bchydro.com/content/dam/BCHydro/customer-portal/documents/corporate/accountability-reports/financial-reports/quarterly-reports/f18-q2-report.pdf. You can expect the Quarter 3 report to be posted on or before the deadline of February 28, 2018.
Thank you for writing.
Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources
Note the government’s response says, “electronic and paper copies of the Fiscal 2018 Quarter 1 Financial Results report were available upon request to the general public beginning on the deadline of September 15, 2017.”
However, I contacted BC Hydro’s media office in late September, asking for a copy of the first quarter report for fiscal year 2018. The individual I spoke with could provide no link to an electronic copy and had no idea when the report might be available to the public. She promised to get back to me but did not.
In addition, I directed numerous Tweets at the Minister and other NDP members noting BC Hydro’s failure to provide the public with timely reporting, as required by statute.
That the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources took four months to offer a disingenuous response to my communication illustrates that little has changed since a new government was installed in July. It may also explain why policies contrary to the public interest are still being followed.
By the way, Deputy Minister Dave Nikolejsin’s employment cost taxpayers almost $350,000 in the last fiscal year, including $90,255 in expenses, an amount that was more than $25,000 higher than any other DM or ADM.
How does one bureaucrat spend near $2,000 a week on expenses?
Categories: BC Hydro