Saturday, June 19, 2010

But Harper couldn't possibly be corrupt. He hangs out with Nickelback

"Mark my words Francois, sinister forces are at work."

Inspector Jacques Clouseau

During the Pink Panther movies, the criminals were perpetrating their crimes right in front of the bumbling Inspector Clouseau. In a similar fashion, a pattern continues to develop of this Conservative government breaking all sorts of rules designed to prevent corruption. One day, as with Mulroney, the media will notice what is going on in front of their noses and kick up a fuss.

In the meantime you will look deep to find stories like this (MEIB).

The prime minister's own department has been repeatedly breaking the rules for issuing government contracts.

Almost a third of the contracts awarded by the Privy Council Office have been "retroactive," that is, they were drawn up only after the work or service had started.

"There is some risk associated with the relatively high number of contracts issued for work that has already begun, i.e., after the fact," says a newly released audit.

Auditors examined a sample of 70 contracts from the 2,200 the Privy Council Office signed in the 18-month period ending June 2009. The value of all the contracts was $31 million; no dollar figure was given for the sample.

Twenty-nine per cent of the sample contracts were created retroactively, contrary to Treasury Board rules that were toughened by the Federal Accountability Act, implemented after the Conservatives came to power in 2006.

Many were valued at less than $5,000, but one was for unspecified "professional services" worth $95,000. Auditors also noted two amendments to contracts were made after the additional work had begun.

The findings of the report, dated Feb. 17 this year, parallel those in another Privy Council Office audit also completed in February.

The internal probe of the massive legal bill for the inquiry into Brian Mulroney's dealings with Karlheinz Schreiber found officials improperly "backdated" approvals for lawyers' expenses that went over budget. Costs of the Oliphant Commission were at least $16 million, mostly for lawyers' fees.

The latest audit also found a sole-source contract that was not justified. Its value and purpose were not disclosed in the report.

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