'A troubling and serious matter' - Macleans.ca
 

‘A troubling and serious matter’

The interim auditor general comments on the G8 Legacy Fund.


 

The interim auditor general comments on the G8 Legacy Fund.

Speaking in a news conference later, he said it was “a troubling and serious matter.” Public servants weren’t involved in the process, which he said was “very unusual.” “There is no paper trail behind the selection of the 32 projects,” Wiersema said. “I personally in my career in auditing have not encountered a situation like that where there is absolutely no paper trail behind this. It is an unusual situation. I find it quite troubling.”

The report also criticized the way the G8 Legacy Infrastructure Fund was established, noting the government sought parliament’s approval for the spending under a separate fund for investments in infrastructure to reduce border congestion. “In our view, by presenting the request for funding in the Supplementary Estimates in this way, the government was not being transparent about its purpose,” it said.


 

‘A troubling and serious matter’

  1. “I personally in my career in auditing have not encountered a situation like that where there is absolutely no paper trail behind this. It is an unusual situation. I find it quite troubling.”
    Meh.  What’s $50 million dollars of our money?  ADSCAM ADSCAM ADSCAM!!!

    • There was a paper trail for ADSCAM! That’s why they were able to call in all these suppliers and that’s why we saw civil servant after civil servant come to the Gomery Commission to explain what their coded lists meant and what their email trails meant.

      • It’s troubling that what the Conservatives learned from Gomery was “don’t leave any paper trail.”

  2. Harper’s doing a Bev Oda in QP today.  He should have let Baird handle it – oh wait – he’s turned it over to him.  Let the shovelling begin.  Bad optics – Baird and Clement are seated beside each other.
    Back to Harper – explains that money for Border Services are not always used in border communities. So I guess the gazebos have some sort of border function?  Wow, I was expecting a smoother response.

    • Words mean what I want them to mean. It’s your fault if you don’t speak my language.

    • It WOULD be less intimidating to go through Customs if there was a gazebo.  Also easier to swim across a cute li’l fake lake to cross the border than most bodies of water…

      • Maybe it was a faulty GPS because placing the border gazebo 300 klm’s from the actual border seems problematic. There must be an assistant to blame for this.

        • Fire the knave!  Then get Kenney to rehire the knave!

  3. The NDP’s QP performance today was awful. They have to make better use of QP to hold the govt. accountable. They got smoked by the govt. on this. Hopefully the media will fill the gap, but the NDP opposition has to up their game.

    • Sadly, they are up to their game.

  4. Well it no longer matters.  Harper has his majority, and the AG has retired. End of story.

    Until it happens again of course.

    • It need not happen again, because of the majority. They can pass what they want, when they want.

      • It’s got nothing to do with a majority….bad accounting is bad accounting.

          • Ahhh well I admit I wasn’t terribly clear…sorry.  I meant whatever govt project is voted on in the future, it’ll go through….but it could still end up being small town mayors and no paper trail

  5. Wiersema also said:

    “Wiersema said the audit found no evidence that the government
    deliberately neglected to inform MPs about the G8 fund, but didn’t let
    Clement, Baird and their government colleagues off the hook.
    “The evidence that we saw suggests that this was done for matters of
    expediency. We have no evidence to suggest that it was a deliberate
    attempt to mislead. Having said all that, going to Parliament requesting
    money for one purpose and using it for something else is a serious
    matter that we think deserves Parliamentary attention,” he said.”

    • “The evidence that we saw suggests that this was done for matters of
      expediency. We have no evidence to suggest that it was a deliberate
      attempt to mislead. Having said all that, going to Parliament requesting
      money for one purpose and using it for something else is a serious
      matter…”

      I find this puzzling. He seems to be saying 1) they were looking for the fastest/easiest way to get the money, 2) they didn’t mislead Parliament, they just 3) gave Parliament false information on how they would use the money.

      I suspect he’s trying to avoid criticizing the government in too pointed a manner. Maybe he doesn’t want to go the way of so many other civil servants who did their jobs to the displeasure of Stephen Harper.

      • I sincerely doubt that he is trying to play nice to the CPC. He is an interim AG, so he probably isn’t planning to be there long?

        If someone only reads the tidbits that people put out about this issue, it is easy to be misled. He is saying that the gov’t wasn’t transparent, that they don’t have a paper-trail on how the projects were decided, and that the money came from a fund that was not intended to be used for this purpose. He didn’t sugarcoat anything, it is just that some members of the media are trying to skew it to be something more.

        That is why it is weird to read his comments; it is because they come after you read all the ‘unbiased’ media reports.

        • My sense is that an interim AG might need a job after his interim post. And he won’t have the same untouchableness of an appointed AG, so he has a good reason to play nice, given Harper’s record of savaging civil servants. Just speculation on my part, so keep that in mind.

          I really don’t think I’m being misled on this. I’m looking at a direct quote: “Having said all that, going to Parliament requesting money for one purpose  and using it for something else is a serious matter…”

          To request money for one purpose and use it for another (especially when planned in advance) is obviously misleading Parliament. No media interpretation required.

          And to be said that they did it for reasons of “expediency” isn’t a good thing! It would be expedient if I bypassed financial controls at work and bought gear without oversight or a business case. But it wouldn’t be right or acceptable, and I’d almost certainly lose my job. If “expediency” becomes an acceptable excuse for bad behaviour by our politicians, just about any abuse becomes possible.