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.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Three active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

Since July 24, Central island has had five new cases, North one, South none

Victoria police seize replica handgun and bullets

Unrelated call leads police to functional replica

Flaming object thrown through Victoria restaurant window

Police looking for any witnesses to early-morning incident

Colwood construction site break-in leads police to narcotics, prohibited weapons

33-year-old man charged with break and enter, weapons offences and possession of a controlled substance

Mysterious Brazilian honey barrel appears at Saanich intersection

Barrel spotted on West Saanich Road part of intersection construction project, district says

Lawsuit launched after Florida child handcuffed, booked and briefly jailed

Suit alleges “deliberate indifference” to what should have been handled as a behavioural issue

Russia approves vaccine, Putin hopes to begin mass production

Critic calls decision to proceed without thorough testing ‘dangerous and grossly immoral’

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

Doctor slain in Alberta medical clinic was devoted father, husband

Red Deer doctors on edge after attack on colleague who had two young daughters

Feds offer ‘life preserver’ funds to BC Ferries as pandemic sinks revenue

For every dollar the province spends the federal government will match

Bad behaviour at B.C. restaurants ignites campaign calling for respect

“If you can’t follow the rules, then stay home,” says BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association

Addition pending to Cape Scott Provincial Park?

BC Parks will wait before announcing plans for nearly $1 million old growth land purchase

Over half of Americans oppose Trump tariff on Canadian aluminum: survey

The survey was conducted Aug. 7 to 9 among 1,513 Canadians and 1,003 Americans

Most Read