business pages

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Subscriber pages
buttonspacer News Desk
buttonspacer Columnists
buttonspacer Editorial
buttonspacer Readers comment
buttonspacer Tenders

Demo pages
Here's a sample of what only subscribers see

Subscribe now
Subscribe to both hardcopy or internet editions of NNSL publications

Our print and online advertising information, including contact detail.

Home page text size buttonsbigger textsmall textText size Email this articleE-mail this page

Board of directors to oversee Housing Corp

Jeanne Gagnon
Northern News Services
Published Monday, February 7, 2011

IQALUIT - The Nunavut Housing Corporation will now have a board of directors to oversee operations and a centralized office to handle its finances, changes its president said will strengthen its financial management.

The changes come on the heels of an external audit by consultant firm Deloitte and Touche which found the corporation's $50 million shortfall to complete 285 housing units was partly due to staff shortages, a flawed budget process and material thefts. The report stated one of the problems the corporation faced was its decentralized organizational structure.

Alain Barriault said the Nunavut Housing Corporation Act will be amended to allow the corporation to have a board of directors as the act's provision does not currently allow it. Who and how many people will sit on the board is still undetermined but Barriault said they are considering having five people with expertise in fields such as finance, property management, construction and social program development.

"We're working on the paperwork now to make the legislative changes," he said.

"The purpose of the board of directors is really to provide some sound advice and oversight in development of strategy and corporate policy, risk management, corporate performance - all these types of issues."

The second change involves moving the corporation's finance division in Arviat to the directorate office in Iqaluit, a move the corporation stated in a press release will improve the sharing of financial information between the finance division, the chief financial officer and the president. Barriault said this will mean the left hand will know what the right hand is doing.

"The main challenges we've had, besides recruitment, has been really the information technology side - the ability to share financial files to do proper financial management - and it has to do with the limitations on the Internet and the government systems. It's really an (information technology) infrastructure issue," he said.

Tagak Curley, the territorial minister responsible for the corporation, said the changes are "good" for NHC.

"In order to be able to function, it has to have check and balances. I think this will enable it to get on its feet more efficiently. Most importantly, the financial positions will now be under one roof and that will simplify managing the huge volume of finances," he said. "We requested those changes and I wanted those changes (so) I'm satisfied."

Curley said he got approval from cabinet regarding the instalment of a board of directors at the corporation, and the legislative changes will likely occur in the spring session of the legislature.

Barriault said the corporation continues to review its entire operation to see what other areas might need improvement.

"These are somewhat fundamental changes that we are making and they will strengthen the financial management and the governance of the Nunavut Housing Corporation," he said.

"It really will position us to be better able to deliver on any future investments in housing for Nunavut."

E-mailWe welcome your opinions. Click here to e-mail a letter to the editor.