Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Another bizarre and alarming twist in the auditor general scandal

The Times Colonist has a damaging story and column on the decision not to reappoint John Doyle as auditor general.
Rob Shaw and Les Leyne reveal that Liberal MLA Eric Foster, the chairman of the committee that turfed Doyle, was cited for spending and conflict concerns in an auditor general’s report in October - “the only MLA singled out.”
The devastating audit identified widespread sloppy management practices of MLA expenses and $63 million in legislature spending.
And it cited the case of $78,000 paid to the landlord for renovations at Foster’s constituency office in 2009.
Doyle raised several issues. First, there was a possible conflict of interest, he found. The rented office was in a building owned by the family of Foster’s constituency assistant. The renovations benefited the family.
Foster took that concern to conflict commissioner Paul Fraser, who cleared him.
The October audit also found the bill for renovations was “"paid without an appropriate level of review for reasonableness and without adequate supporting documentation." 
Foster's staff provided only a spreadsheet showing $67,000 in work, without invoices, details or evidence quotes were obtained for the work to get the best price.
The payment also violated policy on renovations in rented offices, which are to be covered only if specified in the lease. The auditor was told Speaker Bill Barisoff ordered the payment to be made.
It seems clear Foster should have quit the committee, given the possible perception that he had an axe to grind with Doyle. 
This is where things get bizarre. Foster says he never knew the spending was questioned in the audit. So serious concerns are raised, and no one in government or legislature even bothered to ask him about them. He didn't think the auditor's concern about conflict was significant enough to justify stepping aside
A remarkably sloppy way to treat the public’s money, and handle an important appointment.


G. Barry Stwart said...


This is so much more meaty than Milfgate. I trust that it will help people forget about Glen Clark's deck, once and for all.

Anonymous said...

Can it get any worse? Totally corrupt! We have joined the other banana republics and if you vote for these liars and cheats you deserve what you get!

Don F. said...

This is cause for a hanging if you're an indian chief.

oceantor said...

Viva La Revolution Viva Viva
And a caboodle of KKK!! "O-Yeah"
Surly there is a need for a better form of Warrantor. Eh!!

judi sommer said...

Terrific news! This should put the spotlight squarely on the miscreant Foster who is clearly on a personal vendetta. Hope Global picks this up or would it be too much to hope for?

Anonymous said...

incompetent, ambivalent, deceitful. seems that if Foster wasn't aware of being cited you might want to pick one of the above.

kootcoot said...

like Don F sez, it's okay for white man to not have documentation and no need to audit big time white crooks.

If Global picks it up at all it would only be to bury it somewhere!

Ed Seedhouse said...

I suggest a look at David Schreck's page at where the article posted today shows that the new auditor general cannot be appointed before the election. Which means it can be an election issue and people can choose their vote based on each party's position on the matter.

off-the-radar said...

Thanks Paul, another great column on BC politics (while you're in Honduras too!).

The penny really dropped for me when you wrote about Mr. Foster RENTING his MLA offices. For some reason, that part of the story wasn't clear in my mind from reading other articles.

So $67,000 of the taxpayers' money spent for the landlord's benefit.

Wow. It's so bad, it's veering into the farcial.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

David Bratzer said...

Hi Paul, hope you are doing well. Regarding MLA Eric Foster, you might find this post interesting: