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News Release

Deloitte did not fully audit Integrity Commissioner’s past cases – full audit still needed to ensure clean up of every problem case

Conservatives could have avoided more than $500,000 payoff to former Integrity Commissioner if they had waited for Auditor General's report and Deloitte report

None of the main federal parties have promised to strengthen whistleblower protection, nor to get the $500,000 back

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

OTTAWA -- Today an alliance of more than 30 accountability organizations called for more effort to repair the damage done by disgraced former Integrity Commissioner Christiane Ouimet.

In December 2010, Auditor General Sheila Fraser issued a scathing report on Ouimet’s conduct in office, including her failure to process cases properly.  Deloitte was commissioned to conduct an independent study and found dozens of defects affecting almost one-third of the files.

David Hutton, Executive Director of FAIR observed, “This report dramatically confirms Sheila Fraser’s conclusion that Ouimet was not doing her job.  But Deloitte’s mandate was only to conduct a paper review: they could not fully audit every investigation.  OSPIC must undertake a much more in-depth audit to establish how many more cases were mishandled.”

Deloitte states in its report that it was "not requested by OPSIC to review and assess the specifics of the case analysis work performed and the appropriateness, adequacy and completeness of the investigative steps undertaken by OPSIC personnel."  Even so, they found 70 cases out of 220 had problems.  When a full audit is completed, many more problem cases will likely be found.

Hutton also notes that ”Some of these cases are now four to six years old. It’s obscene that whistleblowers suffering daily reprisals, often losing their jobs and their livelihoods, should have to wait so long for justice. This government owes it to these honest employees who were betrayed on its watch to finally bring them justice. The question is, will the Conservatives ensure a full audit of all the past cases, or ignore the fact that the full extent of OPSIC's record has not yet been audited?”

Duff Conacher, Coordinator of Democracy Watch and Chairperson of the Government Ethics Coalition, called on Auditor General Sheila Fraser to comment on whether the Deloitte study is adequate as the kind of independent review that she called for.

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For more information, contact:
Duff Conacher, Coordinator of Democracy Watch and Chairperson of the Government Ethics Coalition
Tel: (613) 241-5179

David Hutton, Executive Director, FAIR (Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform)
Tel: (613) 567-1511

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