Justice Richard LeBlanc has ordered a forensic audit has party of his public inquiry into the Muskrat Falls project.

Grant Thornton LLP was selected to conduct the audit after a competitive request for proposals. The accounting firm was chosen based on “the expertise of the international team proposed to conduct the audit” and the cost to complete the work.

The audit will be conducted in two phases, according to a news release from the Muskrat Falls inquiry.

“The first phase will involve an investigation into the sanctioning of the Muskrat Falls Project, including the options considered by Nalcor to address the future electricity needs of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as the financial analysis conducted by Nalcor for the Muskrat Falls Project and for the Isolated Island option. The second phase will involve an investigation of the costs incurred by Nalcor since commencement of Project construction to the present time, as well as current estimates of the costs to Project completion. The actual costs and current estimates to completion of the Project will be compared to the costs estimated by Nalcor at the time of its sanctioning.

“Both phases of the audit will be completed in accordance with strict time limits. While Grant Thornton LLP will conduct the audit independently of the Commission, in order to reduce the time and cost for the audit and to ensure the least possible disruption to the Project construction, the Commission will use its legal powers to compel documents and other evidence to assist in collecting and producing documentation to Grant Thornton LLP.

“The audit reports shall be entered into evidence during the public hearings and form part of the Commission’s public record. The Commissioner may accept all, some or none of the findings and conclusions of Grant Thornton LLP. In order to fully respond to its Terms of Reference, the Commission may engage other experts, as required.”