All posts tagged government oversight agencies

U.N. head of Office of Internal Oversight Services under investigation

This is an interesting story, coming so soon after Christiane Ouimet, Canada’s former federal Public Sector Integrity Commissioner, resigned from her job in disgrace following findings of ineffectiveness and abusiveness by the Auditor General of Canada. This phenomenon of corrupt oversight agency bosses is also familiar to Americans. In 2008, Scott J. Bloch, the former head of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, was charged for the same kind of things that Ouimet did. He pled guilty in 2010.

All this serves to support author and whistleblowing expert Brian Martin’s argument that such offices are generally created not to protect whistleblowers, but to provide a mechanism to protect management – and often to make reprisals against the very people it is supposed to protect.


U.N. investigations chief under investigation
USA Today, January 21, 2011
Summary: The acting chief of the U.N. division that investigates wrongdoing in the world body is currently under investigation himself for allegedly retaliating against two whistle-blowers, according to a U.N. document.… Read the rest

Media Update for December 29, 2010

News Summary and Comment:

There’s a range of accountability and transparency stories today – a smorgasbord, if you will. I won’t be commenting today as it’s the holidays.

See you next Wednesday, and Happy New Year!


Most Federal Government Watchdogs not Working

Oilsands Environmental Monitoring Criticized

Court Overturns Decision that Cleared Tories of Campaign Financing Offences

Veteran’s Class Action Lawsuit against Government Reinstated

MP Wants Testimony to Shed Light on RCMP In-fighting

Quebec Corruption Scandals

Ontario Privacy Law


Most Federal Government Watchdogs not Working

Public servants take more concerns to bosses than to integrity commissioner: Study
Vancouver Sun, December 27, 2010
Summary: Canada’s public servants took more cases of suspected wrongdoing to senior officials in their own departments last year than they reported to the office of disgraced Public Sector Integrity Commissioner Christiane Ouimet.

Tory-appointed watchdogs reluctant to probe wrongdoing, critics charge
Globe and Mail, December 27, 2010
Summary: The three independent federal watchdogs created by the Conservative government operate largely behind the closed doors of their own offices and, after one was exposed this fall for having done little in three years, critics are asking questions about the effectiveness of the other two.


Oilsands Environmental Monitoring Criticized

Tories to fix flawed oilsands monitoring
Ottawa Citizen, December 22, 2010
Summary: The Harper government has pledged to propose a fix within 90 days to correct “significant” flaws in the monitoring system for water pollution from the Alberta oilsands sector that were highlighted in a new report released on Tuesday.… Read the rest

Media Update for November 15, 2010

The Quebec construction industry corruption scandal continues to batter Jean Charest and his government in Quebec. Opposition parties are being very vocal about wanting a public inquiry, with Charest steadfastly refusing. This is being interpreted by the public as him having something to hide. Others note, however, that a public inquiry would get in the way of a police investigation. They compare it to the investigation that brought in “Mom” Boucher, head of the Hells Angels in Quebec, and argue that it would have failed had a public inquiry interfered. I can understand the reasoning, but the problem is that this involves public money and potential corruption by public officials. There are indicators that the problem is deeply rooted, too. A public inquiry is really the only way I can see to restore public confidence. Perhaps if Charest promised one as soon as the police were finished, and then gave them a reasonable deadline?

There’s also two articles about how federal government oversight agencies are failing to do their jobs, or don’t have the power to do them properly. For example, did you know that Elections Canada, which is supposed to ensure that political parties follow the law with regard to spending, can’t ask for receipts when said parties ask for refunds from the government?… Read the rest