Report On TCDSB Trustee Expenses Released
McGuinty Government Taking Action to Strengthen Expense Accountability
The Ministry of Education has received the report by Ernst & Young LLP on the Toronto Catholic District School Board's (TCDSB) trustee expenses.
The services of Ernst & Young LLP were retained to work directly with current board trustees to review expenses between 2003 and 2008. This engagement followed the work done by provincial advisor Norbert Hartmann and released in his May 2008 report, Enhancing Public Trust and Confidence.
The audit found most of the expenses claimed were consistent with the board's policy. The audit also confirmed a number of issues, including double billing and ineligible expenses claimed by board trustees. Auditors successfully recovered ineligible expenses from every trustee totalling almost $10,000. Other questions concerning some expenses remain unanswered, and the audit will be shared with the Toronto Police Services for its assessment.
Following Hartmann's report, new stringent trustee expense policies have been implemented at the board. The McGuinty government is also working with trustee associations to develop a new trustee expense policy for all boards and clarifying the role of trustees and staff to provide greater oversight on expense issues.
- Ernst & Young LLP reviewed 5,000 receipts and documents totalling $943,784
- 96.8% of expenses were deemed eligible under then existing trustee expense policies
- 91.1% of ineligible expenses were repaid by trustees
- The new trustee expense policies implemented at the TCDSB in September will save about $370,000 annually from previous spending. Trustee expense budgets have been temporarily reduced another $260,000 and these restrictions will continue as long as the board remains under supervision.
“Our government, and trustees around this province, will not tolerate anything that undermines trust and confidence in our publicly funded education system. We have already taken action to make changes to help ensure this does not happen in the future – either at the Toronto Catholic District School Board or at any other board in Ontario.”