British Columbia

Bad management, but no fraud in Walls affair: report

An independent auditor's report indicates there is no evidence of fraud or misappropriation of funds in the Ministry of Children and Family Development's dealings with Doug Walls.

An independent auditor's report indicates there is no evidence of fraud or misappropriation of funds in the Ministry of Children and Family Development's dealings with Doug Walls.


Doug Walls (File photo)

The report also states there was no undue influence or inappropriate relationship with elected officials.

However, the PriceWaterhouseCoopers report is critical of the ministry's procedures in awarding contracts.

It notes the ministry wrote off almost $1.128 million in debt to CareNet, a society controlled by Walls – who was the CEO of the ministry's Community Living B.C.

It also notes that $300,000 in contracts were awarded to Walls or companies controlled by him – and those contracts were not awarded according to government procedures.


Christy Clark

Children and Family Development Minister Christy Clark admits things should have been done differently in the minstry's dealings with Walls – and says things will change.

"We have a new deputy minister, we have a new chief financial officer, we have an executive that is almost entirely new," she says. "We have very clear accounting contract practices."

The PriceWaterhouseCoopers report also criticizes Walls' involvement in the interim authority for Community Living B.C.

And it says Walls attempted to "insinuate" himself into an influential position in the ministry.

The investigation involving Walls cast a shadow over the ministry – forcing Gordon Hogg to resign as minister in January and his deputy Chris Haynes was fired.

Haynes had very close ties to Walls, with the report stating that Walls tried to "insinuate" himself into an influential circle of people within the ministry.

Haynes has now been given a severance package of $288,000, which Hogg calls "exorbitant."

Hogg says he feels vindicated by the report, that he is not targeted in the findings – that the problem was with senior officials in his ministry.

NDP leader Carole James says the audit leaves many questions unanswered. – including how Walls moved up through the ranks of government and got control of a large budget.