This report’s two chapters provide a comprehensive review of the oversight of public post-secondary institutions, both by government, and by the governing boards of each institution.

Government oversight of public post-secondary institutions

The Auditor General found government did not have an overall strategy for the post-secondary system, and monitoring of post-secondary institutions was weak. The audit also found that communication processes between government and the institutions’ governing boards needs to be improved.

Governance oversight by the governing boards of post-secondary institutions

The Auditor General also found institutions need to modernize and strengthen key governance practices to ensure the governing boards’ oversight functions are appropriately fulfilled, especially with respect to oversight of the President.

The report highlights a number of areas to enhance board oversight, including enhanced orientation and training for board chairs, more active involvement in strategic risk oversight, improving committee structures and practices, more appropriate use of in camera sessions, as well as improving conflict of interest disclosure processes, and board evaluation processes.

The report also notes the governing boards must do more to ensure presidents’ employment agreements are complied with, and negotiated to ensure the best interests of the institution are protected. In addition, the Auditor General found board oversight of Presidents’ expenses was impaired by weak administrative practices and supporting documentation. The report notes a number of areas where institutions’ expense policies could be strengthened to improve clarity.

Manitoba lacks central support and guidance for board-governed public sector organizations

Many of the issues identified in the report—including the need to build mutually respectful relationships and improve communication between government, governing boards, and executive management—are not just pertinent to the post-secondary sector.  Government can do more to support and enhance governance practices and relationships throughout the public sector.

Published: October 2020

Sector: Education, Government Operations

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