Monday, October 17, 2005

Yet more tales of trough raiding

Occam's Carbuncle is back. Today's topic: free lunches. From the Ottawa Sun:

A NEWLY released audit of travel expenses at the federal Fisheries Department has uncovered some horror stories -- just as the Liberals try to shake off spending scandals at the Royal Canadian Mint and elsewhere.

The internal review of the department's $42-million annual bill for travel and hospitality found:

- Some employees attending foreign conferences stayed abroad after meetings ended, claiming expenses without any evidence they were actually doing government business.

- Staff at some meetings claimed meal allowances, even though meals were provided.

- Other employees used exorbitant exchange rates to make claims for foreign travel, even though the rate they actually paid was lower.

- One staff member in a remote posting claimed $6,000 for hotel, meals and incidentals for 27 straight days so he could be with his spouse for the birth of a child. There was no evidence anyone had authorized the expenses in advance.

- One office habitually booked pricey flights, costing an average $5,400 more than the lowest-priced flight available.

[..] Investigators also found several cases where travel was not pre-authorized as required, expense claims were missing receipts, and Treasury Board policies were being ignored or subverted.
Alan sums the situation up nicely, so I will refrain from commenting here and simply reproduce Alan's assessment of Liberal gluttony:
The problem here goes beyond the LPC. It's the country. Many who are not corrupt themselves turn a sophisticate's blind eye to corruption. Many who would never carry a weapon into a corner store and clear the register are quite comfortable padding expenses and generally living large at the cost of their neighbour.

Why is a country that prides itself on nebulous and dubious virtues like tolerance and diversity not able to nail the really basic ones like honesty, integrity and loyalty? What kind of a country is this anyway? Why has not one of the major parties even attempted to put together a comprehensive plan to restore honour to government and public service? Where's the White Paper on Virtue? Where is our Cato? Am I wrong? is there a substantial, cogent plan to clean up the political culture that I've missed? Or is everybody just waiting for their turn at the trough?

1 Comment:

Little Tobacco said...

i'm having a little trouble figuring out what fishery it is that DFO regulates. It is all but shut down in Atlantic Canada and BC has a limited fishery. Still, everytime you turn around DFO is getting larger rather than smaller.