Wednesday, July 23, 2014

BC Liberals Give Secret Payouts to Senior Staff Under the Table, But No One Pays for Breaking the Rules

A "troubled and disappointed" BC Finance Minister Mike de Jong
Don't expect much more than a 'tut tut' for these taxpayer abuses.
Bill Tieleman’s 24 Hours Vancouver / The Tyee column
Tuesday July 22, 2014
By Bill Tieleman
"Honesty pays, but it don't seem to pay enough to suit some people."
- Kin Hubbard, American humorist, 1868-1930
When the rules on how much senior government-funded staff can make are broken once, it's regrettable; when it happens time after time, it's a clear pattern of intentional deception.
That's occurred repeatedly as already highly-paid B.C. bureaucrats are found to be getting extra payments that are banned by government policies, but those doing the hiring deliberately violated them.
And it's not just payments for new hires -- you can flagrantly break conflict of interest rules on the way out of your cushy government job worth $465,000 a year and still get a $114,000 severance package.
Senior heads should roll for these outrageous abuses of taxpayer dollars, but BC Liberal Finance Minister Mike de Jong just says "tut-tut" and does little more than ask for some money to be returned or request a partial roll back of the pay for those caught out.
Stinky supplements
The latest in a long string of stinky salary supplements was last week, when we learned the chief executive officer of the BC Cancer Agency was hired in 2012 for $500,000 a year when the maximum allowed was $400,000.
The minister wants that salary rolled back $50,000, so it would then only be $50,000 over the limit. That's how de Jong gets tough.
Then it was the Royal B.C. Museum's turn, where its CEO also wrongly got a "secondary contract" worth over $50,000, including three business class flights to London, England a year.
But wait, there's more. Michael Graydon, the ex-head of the BC Lotteries Corporation, got a severance package even though he quit to take a job with Paragon Gaming, a private company doing major business with BCLC.
BCLC asked Graydon to pay back $55,000, but if he doesn't, well, nothing will likely happen.
'Troubling,' indeed
Before that, New Democrat MLA David Eby triggered a government investigation into the secret $50,000 payment to Kwantlen Polytechnic University president Alan Davis to take his current job.
Who was vice-chair of Kwantlen's board of directors that put through the undisclosed "pre-employment contracts"? Amrik Virk, now minister of advanced education and responsible for making sure such things don't happen!
Virk first denied anything was wrong and accused Eby of "fishing," but a government report confirmed it all -- yet he still has the cabinet job. And then-Kwantlen board chair Gord Schoberg, who was also involved in the contract, was not terminated.
"Troubling" and "disappointing" is what de Jong calls these cases.
But what's "troubling" and "disappointing" is that Premier Christy Clark has not fired either Virk for misconduct or de Jong for incompetence.
In fact, Clark said of Virk: "I have spoken to him and have absolute confidence in him and his ability to serve as minister of advanced education."
After all, who better to enforce the rules than someone caught breaking them?
Paying for incompetence
Ironically, the B.C. government wouldn't be in its current mess with Michael Graydon if it had taken my advice back in 2010 and fired him with cause and without severance after the BC Lottery Corporation was fined $670,000 for more than 1,000 violations of the federal Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financing Act.
The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada fined the BC Lottery Corporation because it misfiled 1,020 reports for casino transactions over $10,000.
Graydon reportedly said that the reports were filed late because of technical glitches and human error. But the mismanagement still stands.

But hey, why worry about any of this? Taxpayers will pick up the BC Liberal tab for incompetence once again.

.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

BC Liberally liberal obfuscating party.?
Catch us if u can .?
Sorry but we will keep the proceeds.?
Try looking in the archives.?

Anonymous said...

Bill
There seems to be separate rules of conduct.
Rules for the "taxpayer to pay" and the rule for the "government to spend without authority"
In another business or private venture , Heads would role without question, plus there would possibly be criminal charges filed.
Will the general public recall these events when election time rolesaround? Likely not unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

Not good, but the NDP lost the election.

Anonymous said...

Democracy doesn't end when the election is over. For the BC Liberals it doesn't even start with an election.

Anonymous said...

"Democracy doesn't end when the election is over. For the BC Liberals it doesn't even start with an election."

It doesn't with the NDP, either.

As the NDP has found out again, and again, democracy is a real bitch when you lose, especially when losing is a result of basic stupidity on their part.


DPL said...

There goes some more of my tax dollars, as Mike says OOPS

Anonymous said...

There goes some more of my tax dollars, as Mike says OOPS

Yep, just as tax dollars were spent on the comfy salaries of Bob Williams, Adrian Dix, Marc Elisen,
John Laxton, etc. etc.

If the NDP had become government, they would be rewarding their friends and insiders too.

Nestaken Squire said...

Hello Mr. Bill
Now I just got home and had this important blog read to me. I will now dictate a response. First of all, I hear the copy cat has also found this blog.I wish her or his's mental health adviser reads what the comment was. I am sure it's computer privileges will be withdrawn. As far as I am concerned it's comments are welcome as it certainly provides a good laugh.
To continue, there are so many abuses of Govt funds by both mr. cambulL and mrs larK to fill all the pages of the Van Sun. I do not have the time to outline such. Perhaps a honest liberal MLA will see the light of day and type such a list. It will be a very, very long list. In closing that copy cat seems to think the mistakes of the NDP justify the present lieberal ship of fools to also burn the taxpayers.Note, the lieberal are experts as rewarding their big business fund raisers. Is a taxpayer revolt in order. Yes as in lets make it happen. I will be there as will my circles of associates. Final, the copy cat can now respond so we all can have a good laugh.

Anonymous said...

"First of all, I hear the copy cat has also found this blog.I wish her or his's mental health adviser reads what the comment was. I am sure it's computer privileges will be withdrawn. As far as I am concerned it's comments are welcome as it certainly provides a good laugh."

Seems Nestaken Squire could use the benefit of a mental health advisor. He is obviously in some psychotic state. But if he can figure whom a person is even not seeing someone there is talent that can be part of a circus act.

Abuses of government funds were also committed by the NDP. One only has to look at the pathetic attempt of bailing out Skeena Cellulose at a time when market prices were very low.

Anonymous said...

Even in 2014 still think all of BC is getting railroaded.

Liberal BC business model- load up!public sector in key parts/positions with liberal friendly people to approve
Contracts of interest more easily,not necissarily in public interest.?Have some spouses of media work for province?
Look at Argentina today.

Nestaken Squire said...

Hello Anonymous 22:45 on 26/7/2014
Your comment is most welcome and true.Taxpayers in the province are being railroaded.In my personal life I am being shafted in the purchase of used vehicles. Prior to the HST baby, the tax was 7%. The baby rewarded us with 12%. Then we killed that baby and returned to the grandfather PST. For some reason the 12% remained.Why was that? Could it be to please the dealers who donate to the party.I am aware that my West Gorge girlfriend has been forced to pay that 12% on five vehicles in the last year. She is so upset that extra tax money of 5% goes to that harper and his band of merry women and men that stole from the poor and middle classes in order to reward their wealthy donors.

Anonymous said...

"Your comment is most welcome and true.Taxpayers in the province are being railroaded.In my personal life I am being shafted in the purchase of used vehicles."

Your choice. Nothing says you have to buy more than one vehicle.

Prior to the HST baby, the tax was 7%. The baby rewarded us with 12%. Then we killed that baby and returned to the grandfather PST. For some reason the 12% remained.Why was that? Could it be to please the dealers who donate to the party.

Nope. Way off. it is a legal transaction between two parties so it is subject to PST. No different than buying off the used car lot. What this does is even the playing field. Personally I would never buy from someone I don't know. Too risky. I've bought from second tier dealers (the quality ones one step below OEM dealerships), but never below that and never from a private sale.

"I am aware that my West Gorge girlfriend has been forced to pay that 12% on five vehicles in the last year. "

Five vehicles in the past five years? Holy Schmoly. Does she wear them out that fast? I bought a 10 year old vehicle well maintained and it lasted me 14 years because I kept it in very good condition as I always had it dealer serviced twice a year. Something definately wrong. There's also hidden costs with buying that many vehicles in just one year. What is she some kind of low end curber?

"She is so upset that extra tax money of 5% goes to that harper and his band of merry women and men that stole from the poor and middle classes in order to reward their wealthy donors."

PST does not go to Harper, it ends up in Victoria. By the way, that same PST was in effect when the NDP was in power so at that time, the PST when to Harcourt and Glen Clark, the people that stole from the middle class in order to reward the poor and more often than not, reward their supporters and union donors. So it's amazing that doesn't bother anyone, but yet that same tax structure bothers you and others when it goes to the BC Liberals.