In what has become an annual blog post, I am writing once again about the lapse in spending by the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills (OLES), Employment and Social Development Canada.
The 2016-2017 Public Accounts was recently tabled in the House of Commons. While Parliament approved spending of $18,009,000, only $8,457,994 was actually spent by OLES. This means that $9,551,006 was left on the table, likely returned to general revenues.
I had hoped that the Trudeau government would reverse this trend. Last year, only about 39% of the budget was spent, this year 47% was spent. This underspending is far worse than what took place over the Harper years when, on average, 57% of the budget was spent.
OLES has not had a call for proposals since 2015. In my next post, I’ll look at what projects have been funded. In the meanwhile, one certainly needs to ask what the folk at OLES do on a daily basis and why, when literacy and essential skills are still issues to be addressed, the federal government continues its lack of attention and lapsing of money. Parliament thought literacy was important enough to authorize spending; why is it that OLES can’t spend the money it has been given?