Wednesday, May 01, 2013

$3.1-billion : Now is the time to commit accounting

The Sixth Estate : Who is the Auditor General Protecting on $3 Billion Boondoggle?

Auditor General Michael Ferguson on As It Happens yesterday :
"... or maybe in fact it was spent on things other than the public, uh, the anti-terrorism-type initiatives. Now there was also the ability for government, for departments, to get approval to re-allocate some of the funding so that could have been part of the story as well."
So $3.1-billion, nearly 25% of the Public Security and Anti-Terrorism Initiative, was perhaps re-allocated and spent on "things other than the anti-terrorism initiative" it was budgeted for.  Then in 2010, the Treasury Board stopped tracking it altogether.


Fun fact : The day before 9/11, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld held a presser to "declare war on the Pentagon bureaucracy", citing that the Pentagon's own auditors couldn't account for 25% of their spending either.

But this is Canada so instead we have an auditor general who says : "We didn’t find anything that gave us cause for concern that money was used in any way it should not have been."


Anonymous said...

It isn't just PSAT monies the Treasury Board stopped tracking in 2010 - we no longer have annual budgets either. The meandering yearly reports called Economic Action Plans containing vague references to merging departments and cancelling programs are not budgets in any sense that would be recognized by any other G7 country. The Conservatives are not just the worst money managers we've ever had - they aren't money managers at all.

Owen Gray said...

I wouldn't be surprised if some of the money was spent to "beautify" Tony Clement's riding.

Hugh said...

I'm curious about what the $9.8 billion, that they know about, was spent on.

Are we safe now?

Toe said...

I find it too Canadian that no one can say it went to fund covert keep us safe.

Beijing York said...

I was thinking gazebos too, Owen.

I'm also curious about that $10 billion that was tracked - what safety measures was it spent on?

Sixth Estate said...

"We didn’t find anything that gave us cause for concern that money was used in any way it should not have been."

How could we, when we found no evidence of what it was spent on at all?

This is like saying there's no evidence of foul play because you haven't found the body yet.

Alison said...

Anon : Paul Wells did a good article on that. If you know more specifics, and I'm guessing you do, why not guest blog it here?

Alison said...

Sixth Estate : Kinda turns that whole "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" thing right on its head, doesn't it? Great post btw.

Owen : Good point. One of the five areas of funding was "border infrastructure" so yeah, quite likely.

BY, Hugh, Toe : Original 2001 budget for PSAT was to fund :
~air security,
~emergency preparedness and military deployment,
~intelligence and policing,
~screening of entrants to Canada,
~border security and facilitation, and
~border infrastructure.
across 17 depts and agencies, but it was revised in 2004 and is now called the Public Security Initiatives.

The audit only focused on how accountable the Treasury Board was, not "the implementation of individual department programs and projects."
aside from mentioning that
"PSAT objectives were broadly stated, and we found that activities proposed by departments and agencies to address them were equally broad."

The only projects mentioned :
"Departments and agencies spent funds on improvements to equipment for border officers, for repairs to married personnel quarters at Canadian Forces Base Shilo, and for the services of a security expert to advise a host country on security matters related to the staging of an international sporting event."

but I immediately thought of the G8/10 pilot project in kettling and crowd control and its JIG report identifying supporters of "environment, animal rights, First nations' resource-based grievances, gender/racial equality, and distribution of wealth etc."

Beijing York said...

"for repairs to married personnel quarters at Canadian Forces Base Shilo" - WOW! I'm sure that cost a great deal, lol. And why am I thinking conjugal privileges? Plus, do non-married personnel deserve to live in dives?

Anonymous said...

"The government has spent more than $100-million since 2009 promoting the “economic action plan” brand."

That's $100 mil of our money to promote the Cons agenda to us.

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