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

The Surrey Hospice Society’s Toolbox thrift store reopens in Cloverdale

Before she fell ill, Janet Child revamped second-hand tool store

Two Surrey men wanted on human trafficking-related charges in Ontario

London Police Service say the men should be considered armed and dangerous

‘Moving month’ for streaking White Rock Whalers

Junior ‘B’ hockey team has wins in seven of last 11 PJHL games

Northern California man charged with aiding fugitive Brandon Teixeira

Sam Koh, 40, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to harbouring Teixeira

South Surrey couple donates $1M to hospital’s children’s centre campaign

Donation brings hospital foundation’s fundraising goal within $1 million

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

Snowfall warning issued for Coquihalla Highway

Up to 25 cm of snow is expected to fall in the region by Thursday

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by pellet gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

B.C. guide fined $2K in first conviction under new federal whale protection laws

Scott Babcock found guilty of approaching a North Pacific humpback whale at less than 100 metres

Feds urge Air Canada to fix booking problems as travel season approaches

The airline introduced the new reservation system more than three weeks ago

Most Read