The Canadian government has been unable to account for 3.1 billion Canadian dollars in anti-terrorism funding, the auditor general says. Michael Ferguson on Tuesday presented his spring report, which did not include information on spending and what was achieved with the money spent. "Overall, we found many areas where the government should improve on the results that it achieves with taxpayers' dollars," said Ferguson. The outcome of his audit of the Public Security and Anti-Terrorism (PSAT) Initiative showed that 35 departments had spent 9.8 billion Canadian dollars of the 12.9 billion allocated for security and anti-terrorism measures between 2001 and 2009. However, Ferguson was unable to determine where the remaining 3.1 billion had gone. The Treasury Board has not given any clear answers to the auditor general regarding the unaccounted gap. Shortly after the presentation, the National Democratic Party (NDP) accused the conservative government of mismanaging public funding.
"It is really scandalous that [the government] can't account for the $3.1 billion," said NDP Member of Parliament Malcolm Allen.Prime Minister Stephen Harper defended the accusation by saying Ferguson’s report had nothing to do with the improper use of money, but rather how the spent money is categorized. Treasury Board President Tony Clement said he has accepted the auditor general’s recommendation for his department to present to the public a clear picture of spending and the achieved results for federal programs. CAH/PR