Statement from the Alberta Police-Based Victim Service Association (APBVSA) regarding the Auditor General’s Report into the Victims of Crime Fund
The APBVSA, a non-profit group that supports all 76 police-based programs who in turn provide support to 153 service delivery areas acknowledges the findings of the Auditor General’s Report into the Victims of Crime Fund (VOCF) that was released February 10, 2016.
In December of 2015 the APBVSA had the opportunity to meet with Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley as well as contribute to the Auditor General’s review of the VOCF. Both were very productive and positive meetings where the Association had the opportunity to discuss the numerous successes and challenges faced by Victim Service Programs across the Province.
The APBVSA acknowledges that some of our programs are underfunded and understaffed while we have seen an overall increase in violent crime over the years. During that time, funding has remained stagnant, or in some cases incurred a reduction. We appreciate that the Auditor General has acknowledged that and made specific recommendations to address those issues. We are also aware that some of the barriers and challenges faced by the VOCF program management are as a result of Treasury Board’s budgetary process. These are all issues that have been in existence for numerous years and that have contributed to the increase in the surplus.
The APBVSA continues to be involved in positive discussions with staff from the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General Department as well as the Director of Victim Services. We trust that the new Government and Minister are now fully aware of some of the long standing issues with the VOCF and that they are committed to putting in place business and budgeting practices that continue to support and enhance existing police-based victim services programs, victims of crime and the citizens of Alberta.
Program Manager, Peace Regional Victim Services