Senior reporter, Parliamentary Bureau
Dean Beeby is a CBC journalist, author and specialist in freedom-of-information laws. Follow him on Twitter: @DeanBeeby
Latest from Dean Beeby
New U.S. moon-landing timetable throws Canada's Lunar Gateway role into question
"Canada is going to the moon," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Feb. 28. But now NASA is tearing up its Lunar Gateway schedule to pivot to a new target ordered by the Trump administration.
Canada Revenue Agency writes off $133M owed by one taxpayer
CRA commissioner Bob Hamilton last fall approved the writeoff of a huge tax debt of $133 million owed by one taxpayer, though the agency won't say whether it was an individual or firm. A spokesperson acknowledges writeoffs of that magnitude "are not common."
PBO launches new service to cost out party platforms, despite the political risks
The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) is gearing up for a new experiment in democracy. Beginning June 23, it will be providing an independent costing service to political parties that want to attach a reliable price tag to their election promises - but the exercise comes with considerable political risks.
Federal call centres dropped more than 3 million calls last year
The auditor general of Canada has slammed the Canada Revenue Agency's call centres for shoddy service. A CBC News investigation has found similarly poor results at Service Canada's network of 10 call centres, where agents do not respond to about half the calls made by people needing information about Employment Insurance.
Parks Canada battles Arctic ice to explore crumbling wreck
Parks Canada may be in a race against time to research the HMS Erebus as bad weather damages the wreck lying in shallow Arctic waters. Meanwhile, poor ice conditions are preventing divers from exploring, mapping and retrieving precious artifacts from explorer John Franklin's ship.
Fixing federal payroll IT system could almost double its cost, says memo
The Liberal government is dealing with another payroll headache. An 'imaging' system used to store pay documents needs a fix, six years after it was designed quickly and cheaply. The upgrades will effectively double the cost of the system, which feeds into the dysfunctional Phoenix payroll program.
The budget and you: What Morneau's spending plan means to households' bottom lines
The Trudeau government’s new budget targets the first-time homebuyer who wants an electric car in the driveway, some job-training and a subscription to a digital news website.
Another costly federal IT glitch gets resolved — 10 years later
The computer system that manages CPP payments was upgraded in 2009 — with one major flaw. An IT glitch prevented the government from chasing down people who owed $66 million in overpaid benefits. The problem has been fixed — a decade later — and some 15,000 people are again on the hook.
Federal agency looking at fitness trackers for public sector workers
A little-known research group inside the prime minister's own department has been looking at whether public servants should be offered electronic fitness-tracking devices to help reduce their health insurance premiums.
Consultants say 40% of Parks Canada real estate in poor condition
About 40 per cent of Parks Canada's buildings, forts, bridges and other items of real estate are unsafe or unusable, or require billions of dollars in major repairs, says a new report.
File your taxes, or your nails? Revenue Canada lets cosmetics firm share its branding
National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier has again allowed a private company to use a brand name - known as an official mark - that was developed by the Canada Revenue Agency. A Burlington, Ont., firm has been given the green light to use TIPS, which the tax agency uses to refer to its Tax Information Phone Service.
Border agency breaches privacy of refugee claimant
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) lost a refugee claimant's personal information that was on a USB key, a portable memory device. The information was encrypted, but a CBSA officer had written the password on a Post-it note wrapped around the device. The incident highlights past criticisms of CBSA's commitment to safeguarding personal data.
Ottawa drops appeal in political activity case, ending charities' 7-year audit nightmare
Last summer, an Ontario judge ruled Canada's charity law restricted freedom of expression by imposing a limit on charities' political activities. The Liberal government launched an appeal of the ruling even as it amended the Income Tax Act to conform with it - saying it had to oppose an error in law. On Thursday, it dropped the appeal, saying nothing would be gained.
The Liberal government wants to pin more medals on bureaucrats
The Liberal government says public servants are being shortchanged in Canada's awards and honours system, and so has started a quota system to ensure federal departments nominate more of their bureaucrats - at least five per department each year. It's not clear whether the initiative is having any impact yet.
Launch delayed again for showcase Canadian satellite system
There's been another delay for the troubled Radarsat Constellation Mission program, a $1-billion showcase project for the Canadian Space Agency. This sixth delay is the result of a faulty Falcon 9 first-stage booster built by SpaceX that failed to land properly in Florida. Officials say there's no new date scheduled yet.