Former eHealth CEO challenges auditor's findings
Sarah Kramer, the former CEO at the centre of the eHealth Ontario spending controversy, issued a statement on Wednesday defending her position.
Kramer said she disagrees with Ontario Auditor General Jim McCarter's criticism of her awarding of untendered contracts and accused him of refusing to acknowledge her successes.
Kramer said she faced "tremendous challenges" when she became CEO of the agency in charge of digitizing Ontario's health records in November 2008 and felt "a strong sense of urgency to rapidly turn around" eHealth.
Although McCarter lauded the strategic plan Kramer put in place within four months of becoming CEO, he did not recognize that she was following the procurement rules as they then existed, Kramer said.
The auditor accused Kramer of ignoring normal procurement procedures and said that at one point eHealth's program branch had "fewer than 30 full-time employees but was engaging more than 300 consultants."
McCarter's report, released Wednesday, accused the agency of letting spending on outside consultants get out of control and having few safeguards in place to keep track of taxpayer money. The auditor said eHealth wasted millions on underused computer systems and untendered contracts but failed to fulfil its mandate of setting up an electronic records system.
Kramer resigned from her $380,000-a-year job in June over the awarding of untendered contracts.
She was given a $317,000 severance package and received a $114,000 bonus after just 10 months on the job.
Kramer said she will be sending a more detailed response to the auditor general.