Probe finds 'gross mismanagement' by ex-CIDA bureaucrat

Public Sector Integrity Commissioner Mario Dion



OTTAWA - A high-level bureaucrat ran his own consulting business using government staff, tools and time, a new investigation by the federal integrity watchdog found.

Public Sector Integrity Commissioner Mario Dion slammed the unnamed director general at the Canadian International Development Agency - responsible for helping the world's poorest people - for "gross mismanagement" for furthering his own business interests on the taxpayer dime.

Dion said Tuesday: "The gentleman was not making millions on the side" but "was engaged very frequently on personal business activities during work hours over a prolonged period of time."

The report tabled in Parliament cited the bureaucrat's "repetitive and persistent" use of CIDA resources and the "willful and deliberate nature of his behaviour."

The investigation found the executive -- working as a consultant in the same field as his agency work -- also accepted private contracts with organizations working with the federal government.

The bureaucrat left government while the investigation was ongoing.

"This is a case of an individual trying to personally profit from his government position," International Co-operation Minister Julian Fantino said in a statement. "Further steps have been taken."

CIDA noted the bureaucrat's actions on his employment file, making it difficult for him to find future work with the feds.

In his report, Dion recommends CIDA ensure its employees are regularly reminded of code of conduct obligations and that CIDA put in place a system to track the abuse of government resources.

In the report, CIDA president Margaret Biggs said she's "deeply concerned" by the former employe's actions.

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