Saturday, January 29, 2011

Putting two and two together

Last week, this blogger broke stories on how the Vancouver Olympic committee cancelled its final instalment of bonuses for certain workers and that the Department of Canadian Heritage found discrepancies in the use of federal taxpayers' funds by VANOC.

Canadian Heritage was the ministry that oversaw federal involvement with and funding of the Olympics. The October 2010-dated audit document was itself dated Dec. 8, 2010. It appeared on the Canadian Heritage website's audits and evaluation section very quietly, after Christmas... after the Dec. 17, 2010 VANOC post-Games financial report and after the Dec. 23, 2010 Government-wide Canada's Games report. The latter report did not answer a key question: how much did the feds spend?

Canadian Heritage didn't find any improprieties and made no recommendations to VANOC. But the auditors who went over VANOC books last May and June and found $10 million in accounting discrepancies that needed adjusting. They were unable to look at how ceremonies producer David Atkins used almost $500,000 because the files were in Australia.

Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore was "not available" according to his press secretary. VANOC chief financial officer John McLaughlin did not respond directly to my queries about the cancelled bonuses or the Canadian Heritage audit. But if VANOC had to rejig its books after the audit, it may be reasonable that the first place it turned was the trust fund that contained those bonuses.

A trust fund that was reported quarterly in 2008 and 2009, but mysteriously not in the only report issued in 2010.

Here is the Canadian Heritage audit.

Canadian Heritage VANOC audit, October 2010

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