September 04, 2020

Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford Audit Released

The Government of Saskatchewan today released the third party independent audit of the Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford (SHNB) facility, and is acting on recommendations to repair identified deficiencies and strengthen governance and processes.

“Government initiated this independent audit to fully understand the state of the facility to ensure the safety of patients, staff and families,” Central Services Minister Ken Cheveldayoff said.  “The audit is a snapshot in time that provides a foundation to address any deficiencies at no cost to government under the unique protections provided through the Public-Private-Partnership (P3) Project Agreement.”

Following a Request for Proposals (RFP) process, JPH Consulting was selected to conduct a construction audit of the quality of materials, equipment, labour and workmanship during the construction phase, and a review of processes used during design, construction and operating periods to examine their adherence to the P3 Project Agreement between Access Prairies Partnership (APP) and the Government of Saskatchewan.

The construction audit identified a range of construction-related deficiencies and issues, and noted the majority of items are not unexpected in a facility of this size.  The audit also states the facility’s construction generally meets the requirements set out in the Project Agreement.

Central Services is working with APP to address items, giving priority to ensure compliance with building code, fire code and safety requirements.

“Ensuring the safety of the patients and staff at the Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford has always been and continues to be our priority,” Graham Capital President and owner of APP and Graham’s Chief Financial Officer Tim Heavenor said.  “This facility has had its challenges, many of which have already been resolved at no cost to the people of Saskatchewan.  We are committed to addressing the remaining issues outlined in the audit report, so that patients and staff can continue to deliver and receive treatment in a modern mental health facility.”

The process evaluation noted that while commissioning and quality assurance plans were in place to guide the construction phase, the plans were not fully implemented due to unclear roles and responsibilities.  As well, formalized approval and other processes were not consistently followed in accordance with the Project Agreement resulting in some gaps in record-keeping documentation.

“This complex project did have challenges and we have learned from this experience that while we have solid plans in place, we need stronger governance to ensure the plans and formal processes are strictly followed,” Minister Responsible for SaskBuilds Gordon Wyant said.  “These learnings will be applied to future projects, including traditional and P3 builds.”

The audit report is available at https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/government-structure/ministries/central-services.