[Politech] Auditor finds shocking abuses by ex-Canadian privacy commissioner [priv]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Thu Oct 02 2003 - 09:38:30 PDT

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    Previous Politech message:
    Canadian privacy commissioner resigns after investigation
    Auditor finds 'reign of terror'
    Fraser says privacy chief's abuses exceeded her 'wildest dreams': Robillard 
    'didn't have any idea it was so bad' - Radwanski says no bureaucrat is safe now
    Kathryn May
    Wednesday, October 01, 2003
    OTTAWA - Auditor-General Sheila Fraser says the scope of the abuses, 
    cronyism, extravagance and misuse of taxpayers' funds uncovered in an 
    investigation of the Privacy Commission was beyond her "wildest dreams."
    The long-awaited report exposes abuses on a scale that shocked MPs, 
    bureaucrats and even ministers who say they had no idea of the "reign of 
    terror" and management free-for-all that existed at the commission under 
    George Radwanski, who was named commissioner in the fall of 2000.
    The Privacy Commission is now at the centre of at least a dozen 
    investigations, probes and reviews. Ms. Fraser called in the RCMP to 
    investigate several breaches of the Financial Administration Act and the 
    Canada Customs and Revenue Agency to investigate unclaimed taxable benefits 
    enjoyed by senior executives.
    In turning over her report to the RCMP, Ms. Fraser flagged two $15,000 
    advance payments made to Mr. Radwanski for which she found no 
    justification. One payment has been repaid, but the second is still owing.
    The police have also been asked to examine $200,000 worth of cashed-out 
    vacation leave Mr. Radwanski and three of his executives collected, though 
    they had taken the time off as vacation.
    Payback time
    Radwanski lived large at taxpayers' expense. He should give back everything 
    he took
    National Post
    Thursday, October 02, 2003
    The 47-page report from Auditor-General Sheila Fraser on former privacy 
    commissioner George Radwanski, released Tuesday, makes for shocking 
    reading. The abuse of taxpayer money uncovered by Ms. Fraser's auditors was 
    wanton -- even by Ottawa standards.
    Page after page, paragraph after paragraph, Ms. Fraser enumerates how Mr. 
    Radwanski and favoured members of his senior staff disregarded the 
    government's own Financial Administration Act, awarded lucrative consulting 
    contracts without competition and hired "friends, acquaintances or former 
    colleagues" at will, then paid them 50% or more over what was allowed by 
    pubic service rules. "Over-classification was a major problem," according 
    to the report. Eight of 10 executives, and 15 of 17 junior employees 
    examined had their position descriptions inflated beyond the jobs they were 
    performing so they could be paid salaries well in excess of the allowable 
    limit for civil servants with their actual qualifications and duties.
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