February 12, 2014
During a regular review of benefits at the end of June 2013, the Corporation’s Human Resources group discovered an error in the way expenses for the President and CEO have been reimbursed for work in Ottawa. As part of its ongoing commitment to transparency, CBC/Radio-Canada and its President and CEO are sharing the details of the error and the action taken to address it.
An appendix to the Corporation’s bylaws states that the President and CEO should not be reimbursed for expenses incurred while travelling to Ottawa, the headquarters of the Corporation. Neither the President’s office nor the people who process expense claims were aware of the appendix to the bylaws .The total amount of Ottawa-related expenses dating back to November 2007 was $29, 678.11. The President and CEO claimed these expenses in accordance with the practice in effect when he came in. Upon learning of the appendix and the error, the President immediately expressed his intention to repay the full amount. This has been done.
Here are the actions taken:
- The President and CEO voluntarily reimbursed the full amount of the error to the Corporation.
- The Chair of the CBC/Radio-Canada Board of Directors, and the Chair of the Board’s Human Resources and governance Committee and the Chair of the Audit Committee, were informed.
- At the request of CBC/Radio-Canada, the Corporation’s internal auditors (Deloitte) conducted a review of all material, including all expense claims for the President in Ottawa, since his initial appointment in November 2007.
- The Office of the Auditor General of Canada was informed of the situation, and the actions taken, as was the Government of Canada.
- We have made changes to ensure that the senior executive team and the people who process expense claims are aware of all relevant rules governing the Corporation and that those rules are communicated to the entire senior executive team on a regular basis.
As the national public broadcaster, CBC/Radio-Canada takes very seriously its obligation to be transparent and accountable to Canadians. The President’s expenses are proactively posted on our website after they are approved by the Chair of the Board of Directors; they are also reviewed by the internal auditors on a quarterly basis. We want to be transparent so that taxpayers continue to have confidence that their investment is well managed.