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RQHR Strengthens Financial Controls Following Investigation Into Potential Contractor Billing Irregularities

26-Jul-2017

The Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region (RQHR) is strengthening its internal financial controls as well as procurement practices and procedures following an investigation into contractor billing irregularities.

“In March 2017, concerns were brought to our attention regarding potentially inappropriate contractor invoicing at Regina Pioneer Village. We immediately started an intensive and comprehensive internal investigation,” said President and CEO Keith Dewar.  

“Today, we have officially filed a complaint with the Regina Police Service and have initiated a civil litigation claim against a local contractor who has performed significant work at the facility over the past several years,” he said. The Region will co-operate fully with any requests for assistance from the Regina Police Service. The Region’s internal investigation has verified that concerns focus only on administrative issues and there is no evidence to suggest that there are concerns with the safety or quality of the work performed by the contractor.

In addition to the steps taken today, RQHR has also notified the Provincial Auditor and filed a loss report with the Financial Services Branch, Ministry of Health for a loss that could exceed $100,000. The amount of the loss will be further quantified through the evidence that will be gathered by the police as part of their investigation and through the civil court process. 

“RQHR recognizes the critical importance of appropriate and prudent stewardship of and accountability for public funds,” Dewar said. “We clearly regret that this has occurred and assure the public that we will take all steps not only to recover any funds owing, but to take all appropriate measures to prevent any similar occurrences in the future.”

As part of its investigation, RQHR took immediate steps to remove the contractor’s ability to provide services. The Region ceased payment of all outstanding invoices pending verification of work performed. Internal verification controls and procurement practices were improved to mitigate risk. The Region has also engaged the services of MNP to provide additional insight into areas for improvement. “We look forward to any recommendations from MNP and the Provincial Auditor which may assist us in further tightening our controls and practices,” Dewar said.
For More Information:
Anne Lindemann
Communications Consultant
RQHR Communications
Email: anne.lindemann@rqhealth.ca
Phone: 306-766-0889