The Parliament’s spending watchdog has pointed out that the federal government’s primary infrastructure program is not adequately transparent and apparently behind schedule. According to Parliamentary Budget Officer, Jean-Denis Fréchette, his office is concerned about the pace of federal infrastructure spending, which was a major feature of the Liberal party’s election campaign and 2016 budget.
The report released on Thursday discusses the projects promised in the budget to start quickly by launching a first phase worth $13.6-billion focusing on upgrades and repairs of existing assets over a two-year period. The plan also includes a much larger second phase to be launch this year. Altogether, the government has promised to spend more than $186.7-billion on infrastructure over 12 years. However, the PBO noticed that given the large amount of spending, there should be clearer reporting on what has happened so far. The report states that “the government has provided no performance measurement framework with which to evaluate the [National Infrastructure Program]’s performance, and only limited visibility on tracking how the money is being spent.”