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A look at two provincial Metis audits

OTTAWA - Two newly released audits raised questions about the management and finances of the Metis Nation Saskatchewan and the Metis Nation British Columbia. Here are some of the audits' findings:

— The Saskatchewan executive was paid 34 per cent more than required under the province's labour standards;

— The former Saskatchewan treasurer received a $14,000 contract for the period of June 25 to Sept. 24, 2010. The statement of work "was not well defined," the audit says. The treasurer also received $6,363 for the period of Sept. 25 to Oct. 31, 2010, for which there was no contract;

— Saskatchewan executives "rarely" took the most cost-effective means of travel, the audit says and consistently failed to document their reasons for travel. Metis Nation Saskatchewan president Robert Doucette says the executives did not always travel together out of concern there would be no one to fill in should something happen to all of them;

— Saskatchewan executives claimed meal costs when they were already receiving per diems;

— In B.C., children of four of the seven co-ordinators of an aboriginal job-training program applied for, and received, funding. One co-ordinator had her assistant sign the approval documents, while the other three signed the paperwork themselves;

— The B.C. group claimed for travel costs that didn't fall under their funding agreements, donations to organizations it wanted to support, and goods and services for which there was no proof that they had been provided.

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Source: March 2012 Audit of the Metis Nation Saskatchewan by Hallux Consulting; August 2012 Audit of the Metis Nation British Columbia by Hallux Consulting. Both audits obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.

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