Dude, where's my district? (II)
Thursday, October 4, 2007 | 09:39 AM ET
Remember Auditor General John Noseworthy's report from last month on constituency allowances? Rightly or wrongly, the revelations in that report - including, notoriously, expenditures on wine, luxury goods, art and odds and ends like lottery tickets - have faded away on the campaign trail. After all, no particular party was specifically fingered in the report, and the blame was spread across party lines, and then some.
I'm still curious about some of the details in that report, including this chestnut (page 61, if you want to look it up) about an unnamed district that was, truly, on the go:
"One member initially claimed mileage from St. John's to their District as 700 km, then, in 2004-05 increased this to 800 km and claimed 54 trips, and in 2005-06 increased this to 900 km and claimed 43 trips. The member continued to claim monthly mileage amounts for intra-district travel."
That was followed by the member whose travelling distance changed from 650 km to 900 km - a distance that an unnamed politician claimed to have travelled 262 times in the 1996-97 year. Why the difference? From the report:
"The Member explained that he was advised by officials of the House of Assembly establishment that he could claim the mid-point of his District which was in the ocean and therefore could only be reached by boat. As a result, he claimed an amount equivalent to the cost of a boat charter to that point in the ocean."