B.C. legislature Clerk Craig James (left) retired after accusations by Speaker Darryl Plecas. (The Canadian Press)

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

Work is underway to tighten up spending policies at the B.C. legislature, as Auditor General Carol Bellringer completes the first of a series of reports on financial controls in the operation of the provincial government.

Travel, clothing and gift purchases need clearer policies, Bellringer says in a report released Thursday. It detailed that former legislature clerk Craig James charged $108,656 in travel costs for 14 out-of-province trips between April 2016 and December 2018.

“None of the clerk’s out-of-province travel had prior approval documented in the expense claims,” the report states.

Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz, who continues on paid leave as police and special prosecutors investigate, had prior approval for two of 15 out-of-province trips, with $59,269 in expenses.

RELATED: B.C. legislature clerk retires after misconduct found

RELATED: Thousands spent on booze, magazines, wood splitter

Bellringer’s probe did not look at misconduct, which was addressed in a report by former Supreme Court of Canada chief justice Beverley McLachlin in May. She cleared Lenz of misconduct, but found James to have improperly claimed benefits and used legislature property for personal reasons.

James reached a “non-financial” settlement and retired with his public service pension and additional retirement allowance that was questioned by Plecas.

The committee of MLAs responsible for the $70 million budget of the B.C. legislature and constituency offices has already made changes, including travel, clothing and gift approval procedures.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Elk Valley Furniture Studio celebrates grand opening

Elk Valley Furniture Studio is inviting the community to shop selection, shop… Continue reading

Local art on display at annual Hearth studio sale

Residents of and visitors to Fernie lined up outside Sarah Pike’s home… Continue reading

New location, new energy for The Good Earth

The Good Earth celebrated their grand opening in a new space on… Continue reading

Fernie Arts Co-op celebrates upgraded space with sale

The Fernie Arts Co-op was a busy place on Saturday, as they… Continue reading

Holiday Artisan Fair at The Arts Station showcases local talent

The Arts Station was bustling and alive with artisans, shoppers and live… Continue reading

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

B.C. VIEWS: Hunger does not end with the season

Despite innovations in food distribution, the need is still there in B.C. communities

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Most Read