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