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Report Critical Of Former Board

Published: May 19, 2015 3:48 pm ET

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It has been reported that a recently-completed operational review of the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition Commission found that ‘meddling’ and ‘poor planning’ by the former board were key factors in the precarious financial position that the organization had found itself in recent years.

A report on the situation by the Truro Daily News explains that the review was conducted by KPMG for Agricultural Minister Keith Colwell. The NSPE Commission is the organization that operates live harness racing at Truro Raceway.

The article states that the review of the organization did not find any evidence of criminal wrongdoing, but it did come to the conclusion that the board of directors ‘regularly interfered with how the facility was run.’ According to the Truro Daily News piece, the review determined that the commission was unable to pay its bills due to poor financial planning.

The review also unearthed the fact that the commission’s financial records from 2009 through to 2011 are missing. According to the report, the lack of information from the time period is being blamed on a changeover in office staff and the introduction of new computer software.

The Truro Daily News piece directly cites an excerpt from the KPMG review as saying that “In recent years the commission has experienced turnover at the general manager position. This is partly due to the governance structure in that the board of directors have been actively involved in the commission’s operations which has undermined the general manager’s authority.”

In reference to a lack of ‘proper business controls’ at the commission, Minister Colwell was quoted as saying that “the list goes on and on and on and on.”

Given the findings, Minister Colwell has still said that the NSPE has “a great deal of potential” and that he is “optimistic” if proper business controls are put into effect at the organization.

(With files from the Truro Daily News)

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