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N.S. auditor general to file police complaint against provincial Liberal Party

N.S. auditor general to file police complaint against provincial Liberal Party
N.S. auditor general to file police complaint against provincial Liberal Party

اخبار العرب-كندا 24: الثلاثاء 27 فبراير 2024 11:09 صباحاً

Nova Scotia Auditor General Kim Adair detailed months of apparent foot dragging by the provincial Liberal Party in her report into thousands of dollars of

Nova Scotia Auditor General Kim Adair detailed months of apparent foot dragging by the provincial Liberal Party in her report into thousands of dollars of

Nova Scotia's Auditor General Kim Adair is planning to file a formal complaint with the RCMP over what she suspects was an attempt by the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia to hide or delay the disclosure of the misuse of party funds.

"During the later stages of readying this report in 2024, our office became aware of concerning information pertaining to the association's handling of the misuse of funds," noted Adair in her latest report.

"The information reveals an indication the association sought to conceal and delay disclosing the misuse of funds until after the 2021 provincial election.

"As a result of this, and based on the information available to us at this time, our office will be filing a formal RCMP complaint on what appears to be concealment of the misuse."

In her report into thousands of dollars of "questionable transactions" made by a former Liberal party employee, Adair also detailed months of apparent foot dragging by the party to supply her office with the results of an audit and the agreement it reached with the employee it fired for misusing the funds.

By the end of 2021, the employee had reimbursed the party a total of $170,000, representing $112,238 in funds withdrawn without authorization and $62,762 for investigative and legal costs associated with the misuse.

Request should have been fulfilled, report says

According to the AG's report, the party repeatedly refused to provide the information she wanted because of a confidentiality agreement it had with the employee, and its view that the audit report and its findings were "privileged" information.

Adair made it clear the Liberal Party should have complied with her request for the information when she first requested it on July 6, 2022.

"We question why the association made an easy-to-fulfill information request a costly endeavour for our office," she wrote.

Story continues

"Considerable time and resources were spent dealing with this lack of compliance to our access provisions granted under the Auditor General Act and delayed our ability to report on this matter to the House of Assembly."

Adair also took issue with the way the Liberal Party first reported the matter in its 2022 financial statement, suggesting the party was less than forthright, implying there had been a "forensic audit" when, according to Adair, a "forensic audit was not conducted."

Association was aware of misuse of funds: AG

In addition, she criticized the party's claim that "the investigation continued subsequent to release of the 2020 financial statements, and it was discovered that there were more unauthorized disbursements for years prior to 2020."

"This sentence implies the association was not aware that unauthorized disbursements went back further than 2020 before the release of the 2020 financial statements at the end of April 2021," wrote Adair.

"However, before the release of the 2020 financial statements, the association was aware the misuse of funds was significant and occurred over several years."

Although the report noted the RCMP had contacted the party over the unauthorized disbursements and been told "it was an internal matter that had been resolved and no police action was required," and that police had subsequently decided against proceeding with an investigation in 2023, Adair plans to file a formal RCMP complaint and is recommending the party follow suit.

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