A new report into lax spending controls at the troubled Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation reveals a gravy train of expense account meals for staff, lavish car allowances for executives and $500 personal computer subsidies for staff.
The report by Auditor General James McCarter was ordered last year by Finance Minister Dwight Duncan after concerns about loose spending at the Crown corporation came to light.
McCarter confirmed suspicions that employee expense claims were “routinely approved” without “required documentation” such as detailed receipts or written explanations for everything from meals to taxis, tolls and parking.
“More than 20 per cent of the claims we examined for such meals had no itemized receipts and 10 per cent had no list of attendees as required by OLG’s policy,” McCarter wrote in the 18-page report.
In 2001, the corporation began offering staff up to $500 every three years toward the purchase of a new computer for personal use.
McCarter said he “questioned the need” for that benefit and noted the car allowances for 26 senior employees were “vastly different” from the levels in government ministries, where only deputy ministers are provided with vehicles.
The allowable cost for executive, non-hybrid vehicles at OLG ranged from $41,519 to $57,512, which the report noted is “significantly higher” than the maximum of $30,000 set by the province for deputy ministers.
In addition, the company’s lottery division was routinely spending $100,000 a year on season’s tickets and corporate boxes at sporting events – not including the cost of food and drink, which often exceeded $100 per guest.