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can the comptroller or maybe the auditor general dene the dierence between what is fraud and inappro- priate expenditures?

S. Newton: i think fraud has an intention to deceive attached to it. ere is an ability to misrepresent. i think the line is blurred between the two.

G. Gentner: So if i have a corporate card and buy some jeans for my personal use, that's fraud?

S. Newton: i would consider it that, and we would be reviewing to determine how we're going to deal with that.

G. Gentner: okay. So what are the card usage proto- cols amongst the ministries? are there some universal standards here, or does each ministry have their own?

S. Newton: no, there are central standards for the use of a purchase card. individual purchase card hold- ers sign agreements that state that they won't use them for personal purposes. ey are required to review their purchase card transactions for problems that they identify.

  • ere is a series of review steps above the purchase

card holder to review their transactions to be able to en- sure that they're appropriate. e continuous controls monitoring group within the oce of the comptroller general also reviews the transactions and provides feed- back to the ministries and the individuals around what they're seeing as far as problem transactions.

[1340] if they're not getting good resolution from that, they do provide information to either my oce or directly to internal audit and advisory services that has done follow-up work on those payments to determine whether they were indeed appropriate or inappropriate payments and provide that information back to the ministry to allow them to take the appropriate action.

G. Gentner: i think, mr. newton, you said that some ministries have compliance and enforcement groups. Which ministries don't?

S. Newton: i don't have a complete list. compliance enforcement would be…. We've got it in the forestry sec- tor in relation to forest practices. We've got mSP audit in health in relation to medical Services Plan payments.

  • ere was a group — i don't know the current name

in housing and Social development that had auditors that were reviewing income assistance payments. We've got tax auditors that are reviewing for issues in relation to appropriate remittance of tax. in the education sector i think there is a group in relation to loans and student loans and following up on those.


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G. Gentner: e auditor general suggests a central- ized approach to fraud management is needed. So not all the ministries are involved with compliance and en- forcement. how soon will we have a centralized agency, or when will all ministries have this type of strategy in place?

S. Newton: i don't believe it would be appropriate for every ministry to have a specic fraud group. We've got fraud groups that are set up to deal with a specic key risk that's been identied by the ministry.

if we're talking general fraud across the board, that's the broader program that we're trying to put in place.

  • ere are ministries that don't have…. o the top of my

head, i don't have a specic list. ey don't necessarily have to have a fraud group or a compliance and enforce- ment group within the ministry.

We do have, centrally, the continuous controls mon- itoring branch to review that. We also have to set up, as part of our fraud policy, clearer roles and responsibilities in relation to what ministries stahave in their respon- sibility to deal with fraud.

it wouldn't necessarily be that they would have to have a group there, but in clarifying their responsibilities and centralizing the information that we get in relation to the problems that we're having, that gets us to a place where we are more centralized and strategic in monitor- ing what's occurring with fraud. So i wouldn't set one up in each ministry.

G. Gentner: obviously, the comptroller general's oce has complete faith in human behaviour in all min- istries. e risk management branch has no mandate for monitoring or evaluating fraud risks in ministries, so how much fraud is actually occurring? do you monitor it? do you have an idea?

S. Newton: We have an idea in relation to the payment review work that we do. We have an idea in relation to the issues that we deal with in the internal audit and ad- visory services group. as far as the other groups, being mSP audit or tax audit, no, that's the coordination piece that needs to occur to be able to get to a centralized view of how much fraud is occurring in government.

  • G.

    Gentner: can i continue?

  • b.

    Ralston (Chair): Well, it is relevant. i'm just won-

dering if there are any other questioners, because i don't want to…. i think these questions are relevant

  • they're on the report — but i don't want you to mon-

opolize the questions if there are other people that have questions.

okay, we'll let you continue, then. mr. doyle, do you want to respond at this stage?

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