Auditor General Sets Sights on Integrity Office – Commissioner Resigns by Richard Komorowski – Cornwall Ontario – October 23, 2010

Cornwall ON – Three years ago, the Harper government appointed Christiane Ouimet to be Canada’s first public sector integrity commissioner. As a part of Harper’s “Transparency in Government” pledge, the public integrity office, sometimes referred to as the “Whistleblower” office, handles complaints from civil servants and the general public about possible wrongdoing in federal government departments.

Yesterday, Ouimet announced her retirement, retroactive to Monday, 18 October. She is resigning 4 years ahead of her official term of office. The announcement came immediately after Sheila Fraser, the federal Auditor General, revealed that her department is investigating the Commissioner and her office.

During the last three years, the Commissioner of Public Sector Integrity office has handled some 170 complaints, but has found none of them actually justified. Her own staff have been complaining about their working conditions and a lack of proactive investigations – during one 12-month period, according to one employee talking to Radio Canada, 18 out of 22 employees quit.

“She was not asking for advice, she had no bilateral talks. She spoke, we listened.”
Several other former employees, who spoke to Radio Canada anonymously because they still hold federal positions, complained about their conditions and the bad work climate.

Part of the office’s mandate was to allow such employees to speak out without fear of intimidation about these sorts of practices.

According to a statement from the Auditor General’s office, they are now conducting an investigation on the Commissioner of Public Sector Integrity.

At this point, they are not providing any specific details.

According to a statement from the Auditor General’s office, there were “complaints against the “Commissioner of Public Sector Integrity and we are conducting an audit. However, we are not providing any further details about this.”

What do you think Canada?  You can post your comments below.

14 Responses to "Auditor General Sets Sights on Integrity Office – Commissioner Resigns by Richard Komorowski – Cornwall Ontario – October 23, 2010"

  1. Stan   October 24, 2010 at 7:32 AM

    God Bless Sheila Fraser! She will shake-up those who need shaking-up! In government, as in business, there are employee’s who are not doing things right. They need to be weeded out and fired. Christiane Ouimet saved herself the trouble of being fired by quitting ahead of Sheila’s audit. That will keep her pension (if any) intact. Don’t you just love it? Money. money, money!

  2. Reg   October 24, 2010 at 8:19 AM

    It’s just another example of Mr. Harper’s hand meddling in government services. Even in one that he created he had to make it flawed so that it was destined for failure. How much more of this can the Canadian public stand? The RCMP, Stats Canada, the long gun registry, medicare, CBC and democracy in general have all been attacked in one way or another by the current Conservative government. What’s next, Environment Canada because they don’t agree with the PMO’s office on climate change…….our pension plan because it’s costing the government money? The American Republican party have floated the idea of privatizing their Social Security programs and we have all seen how Harper lovers to copy anything Republican.

    It’s time to stop the madness. The opposition parties should pull the plug at the first opportunity and force an election to get rid of this destroyer of Canadian tradition and governance.

  3. Stan   October 24, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    Yes they should Reg. Then you’d have to live through four years of hell.

  4. Reg   October 24, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    Yes Stan, if by some strange trick of fate or apathy the Conservatives manage to maintain power it would be 4 years of hell.

  5. Grimalot   October 25, 2010 at 5:50 PM

    I say this is the ADSCAM of the cons! Glad I pointed this out when there was just a little snippet of this put in other papers.. I believe I heard this department gets paid 18 million a year, for what may I ask? Now they go running at the sight of the AG.. In fact they lost so many people over the years its been active, and the reason why? Because this dept is in Harper’s pocket.. no wonder they never found anything against Harper and his government… Keep in mind folks, this was the department that was put into place to show just how much integrity and transparency the Harpercons apparently have, which as we call can see, we have about the most secretive government we’ve ever had with this lot at the helm…

    I hope the AG finds something, and that this brings the dirty dealings of these harpercons out in the limelight!!

  6. PJR   October 26, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    “the ADSCAM of the cons”, Grimalot: taking abuse, evasion, deceit and deficits to new levels in Canadian politics. If decency, honesty, and fairness mean anything to Canadians, they have to get rid of the Harperites once and for all.

  7. Stan   October 26, 2010 at 8:36 PM

    The has been only one ADSCAM and it was the Liberals under Jean Chretien that were guilty. After all, the Liberals are entitled to their entitlements!

  8. Grimalot   October 26, 2010 at 8:47 PM

    This is the same department that I’ve talked about in other forums as well, and no one seemed to take heed that I somehow predicted this would happen.. not exactly in this scenario where the AG goes in sending them running, but this department has literally done nothing except side for the PM in all complaints submitted to it, talk about being in someone’s pocket? I think that’s way over the top, and all those other 18 employees basically quit because rumor is they didn’t get along with the head commissioners views.. multiply the money this department received by the number of years they’ve been active and always found for the PM, and then realize that makes the true portion of what was unaccounted in ADSCAM pale in comparison to what they’ve done.. As I said before, same rip off government, just a different way of hiding it.. and this is direct government departments doing it on top of it all I might add! We definitely need to get these people out of power!

  9. rodney vander veer   October 27, 2010 at 6:49 AM

    It’s not an issue of who’s in power. All parties are crooked, and will steal from us any way they can. There is no such thing as honest government, this is why no one votes. The fact that it was the transparency council itself that lacks transparency is even more hilarious and frustrating…what can we do? To quote McWatt from “Catch 22″….”Oh well, what the hell” (stated with a sense of hopelessness and despair).

  10. Reg   October 27, 2010 at 8:11 AM

    There has been only one ADSCAM just like there was only one Avro Arrow, only one GST, only one Free Trade Agreement, only one G20 summit in Toronto complete with a fake lake, only one sole sourced helicopter deal, only one integrity commission without integrity. How much did adscam cost us verses the others? ADSCAM was more about Quebec corruption. What the conservatives are doing and have done in the past is about all of Canada.

  11. PJR   October 27, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    Right on, Reg.

  12. Grimalot   October 27, 2010 at 2:03 PM

    Well that’s what I also meant in my statement, ADSCAM was not all necessarily government figures, there were those outside of specific government that were caught to be doing the most. In this case, this is a direct government office using taxpayer funded money to show how apparently “transparent and full of integrity” the harper government is.. which obviously it isn’t if they go running at the sight of the AG. Now figure out that this money, basically if it was used, without actually any research done for it, research into the complaints that were submitted that is, and if they always returned a clean bill of health, then if that is not the case, that money was then stolen instead of used for what it was supposed to be used for.. and that is deplorable if that is the case!

  13. Eric   October 27, 2010 at 2:35 PM

    Optics, political definition – What can we do so the public thinks we are doing something about a current issue, or better yet, have something kept at arms length to deal with it.

    This agency is an example, as are several McGuinty start ups, E-health & Local Health Networks! I would imagine the NDP would also do something of this sort if they got in. Us Taxpayers are so gullible…..

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