Friday, September 28, 2007

Premier Stelmach's Next Week Will Just as "Interesting" as His Last Week

Ed Stelmach has had a busy couple of weeks and next week will not see any slack in his pace with the stuff that is known to be coming up.

The next shoe that is going to fall on the Alberta government is when the Auditor General releases his report next Monday morning at 10 am. That report will deal with the tepid (to put it politely) responses accountability and record keeping for energy royalties by the Alberta government. My guess is that it will not be any kinder than the independent expert panel lead by Bill Hunter was on the Alberta government in its role as stewards and trustees of our non-renewable natural resources.

This will not be the first time Fred Dunn has brought this issue up. What makes it different this time is the Hunter Royalty Review Panel’s Report that reinforces the messages to the powers that be.

Another interesting issue that will be in the Auditor General’s Annual Report will be an update on what progress the EUB has made since the 2005 recommendation that they strengthen the controls for verifying the accuracy and completeness of oil and gas volumetric data and for enforcing measuring standards.

Big oil is complaining that the Royalty Review Panel got its numbers wrong in its analysis and the Panel says they merely used the data supplied by industry to the government…and no doubt some of those numbers come from EUB. Funny how all this stuff networks and connects together as between government and the energy sector. Nothing wrong with that as long as the information is complete, accurate, timely and verifiable…and we have to wonder if any of those tests are being met.