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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 12:30 pm
 


<strong>Written By:</strong> Rural
<strong>Date:</strong> 2006-12-06 11:30:25
<a href="/article/6302413-public-workers-charge-millions">Article Link</a>

Staff at Hydro One, the massive transmission utility, purchased $127 million worth of goods and services using corporate charge cards, but McCarter found few credit card slips or paperwork to justify those charges.

One senior executive at Hydro One had his secretary charge $50,000 to her card - even though most of the items purchased were for his use - then signed off on the charges himself. Other staff wrote cheques on their charge card accounts totalling $41.2 million, McCarter found.

Staff at Ontario Power Generation failed to produce any receipts at all to support $6.5 million in expenditures, but a spokesman said just because there were no receipts doesn't mean they were improper expenditures.

Managers at OPG also spent $300,000 for gifts, and $120,000 on gift certificates, for employees. The gifts included 40 leather jackets at $500 each, which were given out in recognition of five-year safety records.

"Contrary to corporate policy, none of these gifts were reported as taxable benefits," McCarter noted.

<a href="http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=9ba3dc46-a060-4f8c-aeab-246cec2535c5&k=23080">http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=9ba3dc46-a060-4f8c-aeab-246cec2535c5&k=23080</a>









[Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on December 7, 2006]



When you are up to your ass in alligators it is difficult to remember that the initial objective was to drain the swamp


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 6:34 pm
 


Well, it's Toronto for goodness' sakes, where they can do no wrong.............

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 12:09 pm
 


You give people a virtually no-limit credit card, and expect them ALL to use it properly for it's intended purposes without accountability or oversight at all?

Who's the mental giant who came up with THIS grand idea?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 12:32 pm
 


Whilst there is talk of asking the head of OPG to resign there is no mention of charging these folk with theft / fraud or asking for repayment or even reviewing their past tax returns and making all these items at the very least taxable benefits. In other words they have for the most part got away with it now and in the past, so there is little incentive to change. Those of us self employed or running a small business know that the slightest doubt as to any expenses being legitimate and Revenue Canada would be right on our doorstep and not only want their share but with interest. We also know that we are required to keep ALL receipts and account for our expenditures. One wonders why it is any different for a crown corporation. The larger private corporations use “Creative Accounting” to hide a lot of stuff but they sure know where every nickel has been spent, and expense accounts and charge cards are generally given a pretty thorough look, what kind of accountants and managers have these public organizations hired? Incompetent and / or crooked ones it would seem.

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When you are up to your ass in alligators it is difficult to remember that the initial objective was to drain the swamp



When you are up to your ass in alligators it is difficult to remember that the initial objective was to drain the swamp


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 1:47 pm
 


It works quite well in the Public sector. If I put a tank of gas in my personal vehicle for personal use, and use my company credit card - and I can't expense it - I'm fired.

Let alone a vacation! I'd be up on theft charges! Like all of these leeches to the public trough should be.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 8:47 pm
 


<blockquote> Revenue Canada would be right on our doorstep and not only want their share but with interest. </blockquote> This employee theft would be a 100% sure thing for the good folks at Revenoo Canada (eh?), and would simply involve a little chasing of the papertrail. So naturally, they will leave it alone. Instead, they will go after some poor self-employed shnook, and spend $100's of thousands in time and wages, to collect a few thousand bucks. If necessary, they will ruin this person's life, and make it impossible to continue business (thereby making it impossible to address what he's being accused of), possibly forcing him into insolvancy, and some investigator will just chaulk it up on his CV.<p>---<br>"No kingdom could be ruled without lies - - for lies are the things we use to build our reputations."........<br />
King Arthur <br />



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 2:15 pm
 


In my Vancouver days I've worked hundreds of hours beside company employees doing personal work for the CEOs, or owners of the businesses, and was forced to bill companies for personal items, all booked and accounted as "taxfree business expenses". No cheating, no job, so we had to do it.

I'd bet that today, here in BC, at least $1. million worth of work is being done for individuals, then invoiced as business expenses, not to mention company employees doing private work.

The only difference is that there are possible checks on government employees, but none on private, as it would be impossible to detect, unless somebody is caught red handed.

The bigger the organization, the bigger the opportunity for fraud.

Ed Deak.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 7:25 am
 


So now the Hydro One CEO has resigned after just 3 years of receiving his one million plus salary with a two million plus severance package, the last CEO that got fired got more than double that. Does the government think that’s progress!!? Someone needs to clean house from top to bottom in these crown corporations, if it takes a million to hire a crook what does it take to hire honest men, much less I think. Power and money corrupts, absolute power & money corrupts absolutely.

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When you are up to your ass in alligators it is difficult to remember that the initial objective was to drain the swamp



When you are up to your ass in alligators it is difficult to remember that the initial objective was to drain the swamp


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 8:42 am
 


Both the blogosphere and Internet Radios are starting to put the spotlight on these people. Quebec City has had its share of abuses by public officials and initiatives like Radio-Pirate and Radio-Crosseur are hitting back.

What are the new media whistleblower mechanisms available in Ottawa, TO, Edmonton and Victoria?

Don't think Vive can be used to bring up corrupted public official names???

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 10:09 am
 


I love how the title says it is public "workers" that are spending the money - i.e. those lazy union bastards. Yet in the text it shows that its really management spending the money improperly.

So after a five year accident free safety record and employee receiving a leather jacket is considered to be chowing down at the public trough? How does this relate to improper spending at all? $500 is nothing compared to the cost of a single worker's compensation claim/lost work.

As a municiple employee, our perks aren't quite so nice but they still exist. My department is broken up into 5 teams of three. The team(s) with the least amount of sick time after three months get a free 1 hour lunch at a restaraunt with the boss. If you had also earned lunch the previous quarter, you got a $10 starbucks coffee card as well.

This same boss was half-heartedly lamenting the loss of "perks" from suppliers that he used to enjoy in the private sector. One of our suppliers had given him a free three day fishing trip on Vancouver Island. He said that when he was in the private sector there would have been NO question of whether or not to take the trip - he's be there in a shot. Now that he's public, he had to turn it down.

These privatize at all cost propaganda pieces are so self serving its insane. They point at public employee transgressions and scream foul yet never seem to acknowledge that what is foul in the public sector is business as usual in the private sector.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 12:35 pm
 


I am so sorry Pat that your “perks” aren’t as good as those in higher levels of government, perhaps you should go and work at McDonalds or as a cashier at your local grocery store and see how many perks you get. That an employee has to be bribed to not take sick leave says it all. If you are truly sick you have no choice to not go to work, if not get on with it! As a tradesman for over 40 years both employed by others and self employed I have NEVER received sick pay and the best incentive to go to work was getting paid at the end of the week, no work, no pay. That is not to say that this benifit should not be avalable, just that like any other "perk" it must not be abused. Hydro workers out all night in a blizzard getting our power back on would probably have a darn good reason to be unfit for work the next day but I suspect most of them are right back on the job as soon as they are rested.
Most government jobs have far more benefits than us regular folks can ever expect to receive, sure there are those in the private sector getting good benefits and some perks but that is their employers business. You don’t seem to realize that we (the public) are your employer, indirectly yes, but non the less we pay your wage and that of your managers and bosses who although not part of the unionized public workers are non the less still public workers.
Non of us here in this thread are saying these public utilities and services should be privatized, we are saying that (as in the private sector) there must be a proper accounting for ALL spending and that public workers both lower echelon and management must follow the rules. It may be viewed unfair but I believe that those who are paid out of the public purse must maintain a higher standard of accountability that perhaps is the norm in private company’s. It appears that most of the abuse found by the auditor is indeed management individuals, in that a lot of it is on corporate credit cards, I think we all are smart enough to figure that out, methinks you protest to much!
That a supplier can “bribe” a individual with the purchasing power to use his particular service or product is unfortunately how many companies work. That does not make it right or acceptable in either private or public life.


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When you are up to your ass in alligators it is difficult to remember that the initial objective was to drain the swamp



When you are up to your ass in alligators it is difficult to remember that the initial objective was to drain the swamp


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:33 pm
 


We don't have to be bribed not to take sick leave - that was never said nor implied. In fact, when this new boss took over the first thing he did was compare our sick rates to the rest of the industry (public and private) and found we were already in the lowest 20%. This same boss has personally sent our refrigeration mechanic home when he saw him coughing and stuffed up while working. He said "You're sick, thats what sick leave is for - go home".

What you and the other mass of "public sector sucks" crowd don't seem to get is that the sick leave "perk" is about more than simply bribing people to not take sick leave. Its about showing the employees that they DO matter. Of course, since its lunch with the boss, its also his chance at the old "team building" pep talks.

Management is about more than just cracking the whip. Its about getting employees to like working for you (or at least, not hate it). If doling out $10-$15 bucks per employee every 12 weaks or $500 every five years helps get you there, its a very small price to pay for the extra productivity.

Of course, everything would be so much simpler if everyone were illegal immigrants that you could pay $2 a day and not have to worry about workers comp, vacation, family time, or sick leave. Dime a dozen - if one misses a day of work, there's 10 more to take the job and be glad of it! Works great in Canada's agriculteral and sex-trade sectors.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 3:10 pm
 


Pat ….”What you and the other mass of "public sector sucks" crowd don't seem to get”
As I tried to indicate I am NOT anti public sector, I do admit that that I have the perception that in general government employees have a more secure job at above average wage and with above average benefits and therefore I DO get upset when MY public dollar is misused. I have a great deal of respect particularly for municipal employees in smaller towns and villages that wear multiple hats to get the job done. As in any other job there are good and bad employees and bosses. Please don’t think for a moment that because I (we) come down on the spending habits of some public sector corporations and some of their management that ALL public sector employees are included. I point of fact there are probably (hopefully) hundreds of lower echelon employees in these companies who are appalled by the waste but feel powerless to do anything about it.

Having been on both sides of the fence and now entirely responsible for all aspects of my little business I agree that “Management is about more than just cracking the whip. Its about getting employees to like working for you (or at least, not hate it).” If as a supervisor, or now as an owner I feel that someone has earned a little reward they will get it, and it will be entered in the books as such and the proper paper work will accompany it. That is what this is all about.

You will note that both in private and government sectors there is an ever increasing move to use “contract” employees in order to avoid the high cost of benefits (and all the government paper work required for an employee) . We had better all get used to providing our own coverage and get used to the realities of self employment.




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When you are up to your ass in alligators it is difficult to remember that the initial objective was to drain the swamp



When you are up to your ass in alligators it is difficult to remember that the initial objective was to drain the swamp


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