Monday, October 17, 2005

Why audits are a good thing

It was the federal auditor general, Sheila Fraser, who first uncovered the sponsorship scandal. It was also the federal auditor general who uncovered the HRDC scandal and the overspending on the gun registry.

As the Canadian Press story below illustrates, audits are a good thing.

(CP) The exhaustive internal review of the department's $42-million annual bill for travel and hospitality found:

- Some employees attending foreign conferences stayed abroad after meetings ended, claiming expenses without any evidence they were actually doing government business.

- Staff at some meetings claimed meal allowances, even though meals were provided at the gatherings.

- Other employees used exorbitant exchange rates to make claims for foreign travel even though the rate they actually paid was lower.

- One staff member in a remote posting claimed $6,000 for hotel, meals and incidentals for 27 straight days so he could be with his spouse for the birth of a child. There was no evidence anyone had authorized the expenses in advance.

- One office habitually booked high-priced flights, each costing an average of $5,400 more than the lowest-priced flight available.

The audit, dated Sept. 30, covered two years of spending on travel and hospitality up to March 31 this year.

Investigators also found numerous cases where travel was not pre-authorized as required, expense claims were missing receipts, and Treasury Board policies were being ignored or subverted. (Canadian Press)

2 comments:

Shaky said...

I am sure the 400 new auditors added to the government payroll are also happy about the expansive arm of the AG.

I am glad that we trade one form of government spending for another - the George W Bush approach.

len pryor said...

"I am glad that we trade one form of government spending for another - the George W Bush approach."

Unfortunately it does cost to keep watch on the hired and elected crooks. Also unfortunately the crooks exist and always will. If there is no form of watch-dog to try and keep them in check they would be free to cost us taxpayers a whole lot more than the cost of rooting them out.

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