Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Gun registry and a trip down memory lane-cavalier with the way taxpayers' funds were treated -aberration or systemic? Some politicians should be

walking around with a bag over their head.

Let's not forget that the Sponsorship program was only 2 % of PWGS. If the Auditor- General,for instance, looked into more transactions at PWGS ,including appraisals and sales and purchases , one wonders if there might be more surprises .

To understand the evidence presented to the Commission and my
analysis of it, the Fact Finding Report must be consulted. It is those
facts that allow me to draw the following conclusions:

The Commission of Inquiry Found:

• clear evidence of political involvement in the administration of
the Sponsorship Program;
• insufficient oversight at the very senior levels of the public service
which allowed program managers to circumvent proper contracting
procedures and reporting lines;
• a veil of secrecy surrounding the administration of the Sponsorship
Program and an absence of transparency in the contracting process;
• reluctance, for fear of reprisal, by virtually all public servants to
go against the will of a manager who was circumventing established
policies and who had access to senior political officials;
• gross overcharging by communication agencies for hours worked
and goods and services provided;
• inflated commissions, production costs and other expenses charged
by communication agencies and their subcontractors, many of which
were related businesses;
• the use of the Sponsorship Program for purposes other than
national unity or federal visibility because of a lack of objectives,
criteria and guidelines for the Program;
• deliberate actions to avoid compliance with federal legislation and
policies, including the Canada Elections Act, Lobbyists Registration Act,
the Access to Information Act and Financial Administration Act, as well
as federal contracting policy and the Treasury Board Transfer
Payments Policy;
• a complex web of financial transactions among Public Works and
Government Services Canada (PWGSC), Crown Corporations and
communication agencies, involving kickbacks and illegal
contributions to a political party in the context of the Sponsorship
• five agencies that received large sponsorship contracts regularly
channelling money, via legitimate donations or unrecorded cash
gifts, to political fundraising activities in Quebec, with the
expectation of receiving lucrative government contracts;
6 Who Is Responsible? Summary
• certain agencies carrying on their payrolls individuals who were,
in effect, working on Liberal Party matters;
• the existence of a “culture of entitlement” among political
officials and bureaucrats involved with the Sponsorship Program,
including the receipt of monetary and non-monetary benefits;
• a pattern of activity whereby a public servant in retirement did
extensive business with former recipients of Sponsorship Program
contracts; and
• the refusal of Ministers, senior officials in the Prime Minister’s
Office and public servants to acknowledge their responsibility for
the problems of mismanagment that occurred.
Major Findings 7

Gomery transcript page 15365 March 29 2005
And did Mr. Guité –- you used the expression, “the 10
Minister didn’t want there to be any paper trail”, if I’m 11
quoting what you said in your testimony correctly? 12
MR. COURNOYER: And what does that mean in practical 14
terms? Did Mr. Guité tell you specifically what should be done, 15
in practical terms, to comply with the Minister’s request? 16
MS. TREMBLAY: I remember that there wasn’t to be 17
anything in our files. Therefore, the event didn’t appear in our 18
sponsorship lists at the time because, as you know, we had all 19
that on computer records, I believe, in ’98-’99. Consequently, 20
this sponsorship wouldn’t be in our records. 21
The order was sent to Gosselin, and they took care of 22
billing and making the payment. Nothing came to us at Public 23
Works. 24


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