B.C. legislature Clerk Craig James (left) retired after accusations by Speaker Darryl Plecas. (The Canadian Press)

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

Work is underway to tighten up spending policies at the B.C. legislature, as Auditor General Carol Bellringer completes the first of a series of reports on financial controls in the operation of the provincial government.

Travel, clothing and gift purchases need clearer policies, Bellringer says in a report released Thursday. It detailed that former legislature clerk Craig James charged $108,656 in travel costs for 14 out-of-province trips between April 2016 and December 2018.

“None of the clerk’s out-of-province travel had prior approval documented in the expense claims,” the report states.

Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz, who continues on paid leave as police and special prosecutors investigate, had prior approval for two of 15 out-of-province trips, with $59,269 in expenses.

RELATED: B.C. legislature clerk retires after misconduct found

RELATED: Thousands spent on booze, magazines, wood splitter

Bellringer’s probe did not look at misconduct, which was addressed in a report by former Supreme Court of Canada chief justice Beverley McLachlin in May. She cleared Lenz of misconduct, but found James to have improperly claimed benefits and used legislature property for personal reasons.

James reached a “non-financial” settlement and retired with his public service pension and additional retirement allowance that was questioned by Plecas.

The committee of MLAs responsible for the $70 million budget of the B.C. legislature and constituency offices has already made changes, including travel, clothing and gift approval procedures.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Just Posted

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

The secret life of tadpoles

Vancouver Island photographer Maxwel Hohn’s documentary traces the ‘big little migration’ of western toad tadpoles

Nanaimo country singer releases new music video

‘Adrenaline’ is the second single from Joel Lee’s upcoming debut EP

From Nanoose Bay to the bookshelf, Howard the Gnome now a children’s book

Vancouver Island author explores Howard’s move down-Island

Exploring the mystery of a scooter-free YYJ

Victoria should be a ‘no brainer’ for e-scooter program, say company executives

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Water supplies declared safe in wake of major tire fire near Ladysmith

Concerns about water quality arose after Sept. 10 scrap yard fire at Schnitzer near Nanaimo Airport

Hundreds march against location of Duncan safe injection site

A Voice for Our Children opposes centre being near schools, recreation sites

Suspect robs store, stabs clerk in Courtenay

Comox Valley RCMP are looking for suspect in Ryan Road incident

Metchosin inmate sentenced to 12 months in jail for escaping custody

Sentence to be served concurrent to a life sentence he was already serving

Accused in Makayla Chang’s murder sees next court date in October

Steven Michael Bacon faces first-degree murder charge in killing of Nanaimo teen

Conservation officers free fawn stuck in fence in Nanaimo

Fawn was uninjured after getting caught in fence in Hammond Bay area Wednesday

Nanaimo senior defrauded out of $14,000 in ‘grandson scam’

80-year-old victim was told her grandson was out-of-province and in legal trouble

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Most Read