Thursday, March 25, 2010

2010-11 budget shows Wall government turning CPSP licensing and inspection functions over to arms-length Delegated Administrative Organization

Corrections, Public Safety and Policing 2010-11 Plan, p. 5

Corrections, Public Safety and Policing 2010-11 Plan, p. 13

The Wall government’s road to privatization has cut a path through the licensing and inspections branch of Corrections, Public Safety and Policing (CPSP).

The ministry’s plan for 2010-11, released with the provincial budget on March 24, 2010, contains strategies and actions that will be pursued in the upcoming year, measures to gauge the ministry’s progress, and a financial summary.

According to the report, one of CPSP’s “key” actions this year will be to: “Establish a legislative framework for the delivery of services through delegation of program delivery, with government retaining responsibility for policy and legislation.”

Buried on the last page under ‘Highlights’ the plan states: “The Ministry will see a service funding reduction of $1.6 million from the Licensing and Inspections Branch for establishment of an arms-length Delegated Administrative Organization to deliver the licensing and inspection functions for boiler and pressure vessel, amusement park rides, and elevators. The Ministry will retain the responsibility for legislation and regulation of these technologies.”

The 2010-11 estimates show that $1.667 million is being allocated to licensing and inspections this year, down from $3.260 million in 2009-10. [Estimates, Corrections, Public Safety and Policing, Vote 72, Public Safety (CP06), p. 43]

And finally, the budget summary document provides the Saskatchewan Party government’s justification for the move: “Effective July 1, 2010, boiler and pressure vessel, elevator, and amusement ride licensing and inspection services will move from the Ministry of Corrections, Public Safety and Policing (CPSP) to a delegated administrative agency.

“This move will allow these services to be provided in a more flexible manner, adapting to industry demand for licensing and inspection services. Costs will be recovered on a fee-for-service basis. Legislative and regulatory authority will remain with CPSP.” [Budget Summary, p. 24]

The name of the agency that will be doing the work is not mentioned.

In October 2009, the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union (SGEU) posted a news bulletin on its website warning that the Wall government was considering handing the responsibility for these duties over to private interests.

SGEU subsequently launched a public awareness campaign to let the people of Saskatchewan know what was happening and what was at stake.

The provincial government “is proposing to move safety inspections from the public service to a Delegated Authority. This new authority would be governed by a board of directors that would include industry representation,” the SGEU said.

“The public has not been made aware of any plans to shift responsibility for safety inspections from public to private hands. Industry has been consulted, but the people of the province have been left in the dark.”

SGEU says that industry self-regulation too often means lower standards, inadequate reporting, limited monitoring and reduced compliance. The union would also like to know if the provincial auditor and ombudsman will have powers to oversee operations and address problems, and whether freedom of information and privacy protection rules that apply to government ministries will apply to the Delegated Authority. Good questions. Unfortunately, the budget documents don’t answer them.

2010-11 Budget Summary, p. 24

2010-11 Estimates, p. 43

2 Comments:

At 6:25 AM, Blogger Ideas of a soccer guy! said...

Budget 2010: Promises Deferred, Future Ignored
March 24, 2010
REGINA - Saskatchewan Liberal Leader Ryan Bater called the 2010 Saskatchewan Party budget damage control at its worst. “The Saskatchewan Party is clearly floundering in this budget,” said Bater, “and while in crisis mode this government has mortgaged our future and targeted First Peoples as the victims of their repeated fiscal mismanagement.”

“For starters, the budget is not balanced and debt is on the rise. There is an operating deficit of $175 million and they are using the Financial Growth and Security Fund to hide it. Even worse, public debt is forecast to rise over the next three years. Debt elimination should be a priority for any government that truly believes in our economic freedom in the future, but this government is content to rest on their laurels from the token debt payments they’ve made in recent years.”

“Second, there is very little belt tightening. They have only reduced spending by 1% from last year- which means this government has still increased spending by a whopping 20% since taking office. This is still unsustainable and after last year’s fiscal disaster they have made last minute desperate cuts to the civil service. These cuts were made haphazardly without the Sask Party government having done a value-for-money audit first. The use of attrition as the means to make these cuts has robbed Saskatchewan of the next generation of talent in our professional civil service.”

“Saskatchewan has no greater priority than to ensure the full participation of First Nations and Métis people in our economy. We urgently need a real push for aboriginal economic development with the start up and expansion of small businesses and entrepreneurship. Instead, the Sask Party eliminated the critical Aboriginal Employment Development Program and has allowed the First Nations and Metis Business Development Program to fade away.”

“Worst of all, their targeting of tobacco on reserve land is a further depletion of Treaty Rights that the government has no jurisdiction over. This is nothing more than a tax grab by a government that is desperately trying to hide its own fiscal mismanagement and incompetence.”

 
At 3:20 PM, Blogger Hilary said...

Excellent. I'll just take the stairs and avoid fair rides. What a good idea! I'll save money and trim my waistline at the same time! Except for those people who are unable to use the stairs, but who cares about them anyways?

/sarcasm

 

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