As the sun sets on my time as auditor general of Nova Scotia, I want to express my thanks to all Nova Scotians for their appreciation and respect for the office’s work during my six years of service to the House of Assembly.

As an independent officer of the legislature doing independent audits, I want to pass on my deepest thanks to current and former members of the legislature for the respect and interest shown in the work of my office. During my six years as auditor general, the office has tabled 32 reports to assist members in holding government accountable and to positively impact how programs and services are delivered to Nova Scotians.

I also want to commend the public service and all members of public sector organizations, which include government departments, Crown corporations and other organizations, that have been subject to audits by the office. It is worthwhile to note that organizations we audit improved their rates of completing our recommendations from about 50 per cent to 75 per cent during the past six years and public sector employees should be proud of the improvements in delivering programs and services to Nova Scotians. In addition to conducting an extensive number of performance audits, during my time as auditor general, the office chose to become the annual financial statement auditor of both the IWK Health Centre and the Nova Scotia Health Authority.

I want to extend equal appreciation to my team for their hard work, dedication and output to conduct independent audits with impact for Nova Scotians. During my term the team grew by 10 per cent and represents the diverse culture of Nova Scotia. Thanks to my team for being agile and adaptive and waking up each morning to work hard to do independent audits for the legislature that have improved government for Nova Scotians. One example of this was the office being the first legislative audit office in Canada to report during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic the office tabled three reports to the legislature.

Finally, I want to thank my family and friends for their understanding of the long hours, including the weekends and evenings, spent working. I came into this position knowing it would be a 24 hour, seven days a week job and it pretty much was, and I have no regrets for that.

I wish all Nova Scotians well and say thank you for a wonderful six years.

Michael Pickup

former Auditor General

of Nova Scotia