Statement from Jennifer Williams, CEO, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro
Responding to the Auditor General Report of Nalcor Energy Operations from 2013-2018

Earlier today, the Office of the Auditor General released its audit report of Nalcor Energy as well as the associated recommendations. The audit covers the period of 2013-2018 and focuses on the areas of Discretionary Spending, Conflict of Interest, and Embedded Contractors.

With respect to the assessments in the report, recognizing the audit period was from 2013-2018, many of the observations and/or recommendations regarding areas of discretionary spending and conflict of interest, have already been implemented.

As a crown utility, we strike a careful balance in our operations. We must prudently manage costs and honour our collective agreements, while also serving our customers with reliable, cost-conscious electricity. Our costs and decisions are scrutinized by the Auditor General, as well as the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities (PUB) every few years in General Rate Applications. We welcome that scrutiny. We are working in, and competing with, a local utility industry and the slightly broader Atlantic utility industry, and are working hard to find the right balance for our business. We know the people of the province are counting on us to do that.

To that end, in 2019, a process began internally to review, evaluate, and, when appropriate, revise policies and procedures as necessary. These efforts continued and in 2021, Nalcor Energy transitioned under Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (Hydro) with a number of organizational changes implemented to ensure a more efficient and streamlined operation. Hydro undertook efforts to advance cost management through streamlining the organization, removing duplication, finding efficiencies and reducing operating costs.

With respect to the use of embedded contractors on the Lower Churchill Project as noted in the Auditor General report: the Lower Churchill Project is now constructed and all embedded contractors, with the exception of a handful of transition contractors, have since discontinued work and the project office has closed.

I recognize the time and effort that it has taken to complete this audit, and I thank all of those involved at both the Office of the Auditor General and at Hydro.

For specific policy revisions since the 2013 – 2018 audit, please click here see Hydro’s management response.

Thank you,

Jennifer Williams

CEO, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro