Auditor General's Report

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In 2010, the Auditor General of Canada conducted an audit of the GNWT's involvement in the Deh Cho Bridge project, which was tabled in the NWT Legislature on March 1, 2011.

Unfortunately, the audit was limited to "whether the GNWT adequately managed the risks of entering into a public-private partnership for the bridge’s construction", and "whether, since taking over the project, the Department of Transportation had put in place a framework to manage the key risks associated with the project’s quality, schedule, scope, and cost." Specifically, the audit did not cover ..."other aspects of the project or the Deh Cho Bridge Corporation and contractors hired." The means that a number of the most interesting issues were outside its scope.

In general, the main audit conclusions were:

  • that this was not a true public-private partnership; there was no significant shifting of risk to the private sector.
  • lack of a fully developed design before the start of construction significantly increased risk, and the inability to resolve design issues led to the eventual default by the DCBC.
  • the Department of Transportation still needs improvement in their risk management measures
  • significant risks still remain in the schedule, scope and cost of the project.

The Department has indicated it agrees with the audit's conclusions.

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