Minister Appoints Investigators To Examine TCDSB's Finances
McGuinty Government Ensuring Accountability And Transparency
The Ontario government has appointed investigators to lead the review of the ongoing finance and management practices at the Toronto Catholic District School Board.
Lead investigator Pierre Filiatrault, will work with a ministry auditor, beginning May 26. Their work is expected to take approximately one week. The investigators will report to the Minister on the status of the board's progress on reforming its trustee expenses policies and practices and developing a balanced financial position for 2008-09. The investigators will also provide recommendations on next steps, including the possibility of sending in a supervisor.
The appointment of the investigators follows:
- The board's lack of control over current trustee expenses and practices
- The board's lack of a clear plan to implement all of the recommendations in Norbert Hartmann's report, "Enhancing Public Trust and Confidence" released on May 7.
- The board's failure to meet budget targets set in the balanced budget plan.
Education Minister Kathleen Wynne appointed Hartmann to review trustee expense policies and practices at the board, and make recommendations that support better accountability and more transparency. His recommendations included:
- Implementing a process to prevent double-billing of expense claims
- Requiring the purchasing department of the board to approve any contract for the purchase of goods or services over $500.
- The minister has the authority to appoint an investigator if she has concerns about the board's ability to meet its financial obligations or about the board's compliance with the law regarding trustee expenses.
- Pierre Filiatrault is a former school board senior business official and has assisted the ministry in reviewing boards with financial challenges.
“Given the seriousness of the problems facing this board, I need to see more than good intentions. Significant change is needed, and it's needed now. Every dollar we invest must be spent responsibly to provide a high-quality education for our students.”