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as John has mentioned, we were requested to take a look at the grant administration at the B.c. arts council. it is a small amount of money — it is only $13.9 million
but it assists the arts community in a number of ways,
and we gured that it would be a good thing to take a look at. e arts council does have a long history of about 12 years of issuing grants, and so we expected to see some good processes in place there.
What we found was that there were well-dened eli- gibility criteria and a clear process for monitoring the use of funds by grant recipients. We also found that there was a lack of documentation in support of how the assessments against the criteria were being done and how the funding amounts were determined. and we also found that funding agreements were seldom used, which of course makes it very dicult to recover funds if the funds have been used inappropriately.
en what we came up with, on the last page of the
letter that we published, was a list of nine recommenda- tions, which we have summarized here into seven. i will not go over those, because i'm assuming everyone has read them.
Just as a follow-up to what has occurred since the letter was released, the arts council has fully or sub- stantially implemented six of those recommendations, and three of the recommendations have been partially implemented.
b. blackhall: ank you, John, and good aernoon, chair and committee members.
our previous reports on the games in 2003 and 2006 looked at the costs and benets associated with hosting the games and also the signicant risks involved. We noted that there were several areas of risk in the esti- mates, both in the province's budget and in Vanoc's budget, that could have resulted in further costs and also noted that the costs being reported at the time by the province were not, in our opinion, a complete pic- ture of the total games-related cost.
Shortly aer Vanoc had completed its version 2 business plan in 2007, we began our follow-up pro- ject to look at the revised games estimates prepared by Vanoc and of the province's revised estimates for its cost of hosting the games. e version 2 business plan was Vanoc's nal estimates leading up to the games and was subject to a detailed review by the province's internal audit and advisory services department with the purpose of assisting the province with its decision whether or not to approve the plan, which they did in early may 2007. our work was conducted over both 2007 and 2008 due to our sta time commitments with our nancial statement audits.
regarding what we looked at, our review of Vanoc's version 2 business plan consisted of looking at the oper- ating revenue and expense estimates and also the venue
capital cost estimates. We also reviewed the costs being budgeted by the province at a $600 million envelope and those being budgeted by government organizations, lo- cal governments and canada. is work also involved looking at the post-games legacy plans that were being prepared and also plans by the province to achieve the economic benefits being forecasted from the games- related activity.
as a result of this work, we concluded that the full cost of the games was not being presented. ere remained a fundamental dierence of opinion between our oce and government as to what constituted a games-related cost. is was covered at good length in our 2006 report. on the venue capital side, we found Vanoc had done a good job in preparing cost estimates for those venue costs that were under its control.
as John already mentioned, the next step is that we're awaiting nal reporting from Vanoc, which is prob- ably going to be mid-december. We'll take a look at that information and have any necessary discussions with management to determine whether we need to con- duct any additional work on games-related costs and benets.
We had one recommendation that came out of the summary report. John has already gone over that, so i don't think i need to repeat it.
at concludes our presentation.
Ralston (Chair): anks very much.
i'm going to ask the representatives of the B.c. arts council to respond. i have gillian Wood, who's the assistant executive director of B.c. arts council, and murray Jacobs, the chief nancial ocer and director of crown operations.
M. Jacobs: good aernoon, members. i am murray Jacobs. i'm the chief nancial ocer for tourism, trade and investment. i was the chief nancial ocer for the ministry of tourism, culture and the arts when this re- view was undertaken. With me is Sarah durno. She's the senior arts policy and program adviser for the B.c. arts council, in case you have specic questions about the arts council aerwards.
is presentation was prepared by sta of the B.c.
arts council. gillian Wood, the exec director of the arts council, had hoped to be here today to present their re- sponse, but unfortunately, she's out of town, so she has asked me to present it on her behalf. She also asked me to pass along her thanks to the auditor general and his sta for their thoughtful, considerate comments and their recommendations.
She also wanted me to point out that the arts council program was already planning a number of the program modications, so the auditor general's report was help- ful in that it provided assurances to the program that we're proceeding in the right direction, and it also gave