Inside Politics

Ex-CIDA exec's actions amounted to 'gross mismanagement'

Hot off the public service integrity commissioner's presses, the main findings from Mario Dion's "case report" on allegations of wrongdoing by a still unnamed former director general at the Canadian International Development Agency: 


The investigation found that:   

The DG misused public assets by:
          • Instructing administrative staff to complete tasks related to his private business activities; and
          • Using CIDA's network and property, including the printer, scanner, fax, telephone and email to conduct private business activities.
 
The DG breached the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service by:
          • Placing himself in conflict of interest situations on numerous occasions by engaging in private business activities, and at times, accepting private business contracts with an organization that also deals with the government;
          • Failing to disclose the private business activities to the appropriate supervisor by means of a Confidential Report or any other mechanism;
          • Using government property for non-official government use; and
          • Demonstrating wilful disregard for obligations as a public servant, thereby violating the "ethical values" of the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service.   
The DG's actions constitute gross mismanagement in the public sector by:  
          • The repetitive and persistent nature of his use of CIDA assets, time and personnel to conduct private business activities; and
          • The wilful and deliberate nature of his behaviour.


The report, however, takes care to point out that "does not suggest any systemic 
issues of wrongdoing at CIDA, nor does it reveal any shortcomings or contributing factors on the part of the organization." 

In fact, it notes that "policies were in place and known by the DG who chose not to comply with any such procedures or requirements" -- which is a line that CIDA Minister Julian Fantino will likely find himself using if and when the issue comes up in the House. 
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