January 13, 2017
For Immediate Release
Hutchings Seeks Status of AG Report: Review of Ball Government’s Actions in Change of Nalcor CEO
Keith Hutchings, Finance Critic for the Official Opposition, has written to the Auditor General to ask when he expects to release his report on the circumstances around the departure of the former CEO of Nalcor and how it was handled by the Premier and Natural Resources Minister.
On May 29, 2016, Premier Ball wrote to the Auditor General stating: “Pursuant to section 16 of the Auditor General Act and in accordance with OC2016-071 the Lieutenant-Governor in Council is requesting that you inquire into and report on the appropriateness of the severance benefits received by Mr. Edmund J. Martin upon cessation of his employment as Chief Executive Officer of Nalcor Energy. Please be assured of the full cooperation of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador in the conduct of your review.” http://gov.nl.ca/publications/pdf/AG_letter_2016.pdf and http://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2016/exec/0529n01.aspx
Hutchings said, “The questions surrounding the former CEO’s departure are indeed far from transparent after weeks of questioning in House of Assembly to the Premier. The questions remain unanswered by the Premier and his Natural Resources Minister nine months after the fact. The Premier refused to release a Justice department review of the matter even though the Auditor General said doing so would not prejudice his own inquiry. With so few answers about how the Premier, his Natural Resources Minister and others handled this matter, we are eager to see what the Auditor General has found in his own review.”
The Official Opposition wrote to the Auditor General on July 4 to urge him to issue his report, not to Cabinet, but directly to the House of Assembly, and also to expand the scope of his inquiry to include all matters pertinent to a thorough review, not just the issues narrowly defined in the Premier’s letter.
“The Premier’s and Minister of Natural Resources’ stories and recollections on what transpired during the departure of the former CEO of Nalcor, on whether he was terminated or quit, and on what entitlements were due, were unclear and changed regularly last spring during question period in the House of Assembly, raising a number of flags. It is important that the facts be reviewed and released publicly as quickly as possible,” said Hutchings.
Director of Operations and Communications
Office of the Official Opposition
(709) 729 6105, [email protected]