British Columbia

Audit of B.C. RCMP remains sealed

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association is pushing for the release of a provincial audit of the B.C. RCMP force, but provincial officials say the draft report cannot be released to the public.

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association is pushing for the release of a provincial audit of the B.C. RCMP force, but provincial officials say the draft report cannot be released to the public.

The service agreement between the RCMP and the province runs out in 2012 and negotiations are underway for a new 20 year contract.

Last November then-solicitor general Rich Coleman said the audit would eventually be released, but not until negotiations are over because releasing it would compromise bargaining B.C.'s position.

But BCCLA policy director Michael Vonn says the public has a right to know what the audit says about how the RCMP is performing before the new contract is approved.

After the group applied to have the audit released under the Freedom of Information Act, it was told by Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner that the report is still in draft format and it could not be publicly released because it has not been reviewed by the provincial Cabinet or the Treasury Board.

"We knew of the existence of this audit back last fall, and so to be told in August of 2011 that in fact the audit is merely draft and no one has received it, seems curious to say the least, especially because we know that the negotiations are currently underway," said Vonn.

"How is it that B.C.'s Cabinet and Treasury Board have not yet received a copy of it, given that they're on the verge of signing a single-source, multi-billion-dollar, 20-year contract with the RCMP?" said Vonn.

"This audit needs to get to Cabinet and Treasury Board urgently, and before B.C.'s signature goes on the dotted line. Once the contract is signed, it's too late to read the audit and realize what should have been included in the contract," said Vonn.

 

BCCLA executive director David Eby has speculated the report was not released to Cabinet or the Treasury Board so that it would not be subject to release under the province's access to information law.