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Audit Reveals Misspending At OLG

Published: June 1, 2010 3:37 pm ET

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The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has announced that it is making changes in light of findings by Ontario Auditor General Jim McCarter which have found that prudent spending practices were frequently not being followed by the OLG over the past few years.

The Ontario Government initiated the audit last year after the firing of OLG President and CEO Kelly McDougald last August. McDougald subsequently reached a $750,000 settlement with the province after filing suit in regard to the dismissal.

McCarter's report said OLG's expense policy was reasonably sound and "for the most part, there was general compliance" with the policy. Although, a report by the QMI Agency last week explained that the OLG spent $3.6 million over three years on hospitality -- including thousands on corporate boxes at the Air Canada Centre and The Palace of Auburn Hills and DTE Energy Music Centre in Michigan.

An article today by Canoe News explains that in 2008-09 alone, the OLG spent $2 million wining and dining its own employees at staff and corporate meetings, often without proper receipts.

McCarter's audit also revealed an executive car allowances which are worth more than deputy ministers are given, and lucrative reward programs intended to be a reward for excellence, but which were routinely given to all employees.

The Canoe News article concludes with quotes from new OLG CEO Paul Godfrey commenting on the situation via statement.

“The office of the Auditor General has produced a fair and balanced report with findings that are accurate and appropriate,” Godfrey said. “It contains valuable recommendations giving me and my colleagues on the new board clear direction on work that remains to be done.

“This new board is clear in its expectation this agency will adhere to government practices in terms of prudent use of taxpayer dollars. It’s clear to me, even from my short time at OLG, there is a strong desire from the staff to meet that expectation fully.”

To read the Canoe News article, click here.

(With files from Canoe News)

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