FREDERICTON (GNB) – In his report tabled today at the legislative assembly, auditor general Paul Martin highlighted issues noted with salary and benefits practices in Crown agencies following a survey of 14 agencies in the province.

“We found some notable differences when we compared the salary and benefits practices between certain Crown agencies and core government, even though it is important to the government that these practices remain consistent for similar staff,” said Martin.

Salaries and benefits expenses of Crown agencies examined comprised over $2 billion in 2019 and represented up to 75 per cent of expenses for some.

“If the expectation is that salary and benefits practices are to be consistent with central government and among Crown agencies, then more work is needed” said Martin. “For instance, the government should define what it expects from Crown agencies, as part of the Memorandum of Understanding that establishes expectations from central government for certain Crown agencies where government is not the employer.”

“Differences were found among Crown agencies in areas such as bonuses, merit increases, vacation, and health and wellness spending,” he said. “This is possible due to a combination of wording issues in the government’s direction to these entities, as well as an out-dated central government policy.”

The auditor general made two recommendations in his report, including one to the Executive Council Office to clearly define what the government expects for salary and benefits practices for non-bargaining employees, in consultation with the Department of Finance and Treasury Board. The second recommendation is to the Department of Finance and Treasury Board to update a government policy to reflect current government practice.

Full details are available online.