Government won’t say if bureaucrats who misused government credit cards were fired

Two staff members at the federal employment department were found to be misusing government credit cards, but the government isn’t saying what happened to them, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.

In a statement, the Department of Employment and Social Development said one manager and one employee were involved in the misuse. It didn’t say if police were involved, or what happened to the two bureaucrats.

“A manager was found to have committed wrongdoing by directing or counseling an employee to commit wrongdoing and seriously breached the departmental Code Of Conduct,” staff wrote in a statement. 

“The investigation also found the internal integrity and security office in the Western Canada & Territories region had committed wrongdoing by contravening government contracts regulations and Treasury Board contracting policy.”

The announcement came after a 2019 audit of the department found that only 30% of purchases on department credit cards were approved beforehand. Up to that point the department spent $34 million through cards.

True North fellow Andrew Lawton says it shows extreme irresponsibility to allow fraud to take place in government and not assure Canadians that the perpetrators have been punished.

“It’s egregious that people entrusted with taxpayer money are spending it so irresponsibly, but all the more so that the government won’t say whether the individuals involved in this were fired or not,” he said.

“A few thousand dollars here and there might not seem like much when one looks at Canada’s debt, but it adds up, and contributes to a culture that doesn’t respect whose money it really is – the taxpayers’.”

Similar audits initiated in 2018 and 2019 also found misuse of government credit cards. Auditors determined staff at the National Research Council used credit cards to buy products like souvenirs, and shared the cards with unauthorized staff. Another instance of potential credit card fraud was found at the Department of Fisheries.

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