26 September 2023

CANADA: Report reveals PS credit card fraud

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An investigation has revealed that Public Servants employed by a Provincial Canadian Government have been using used their taxpayer-funded credit cards to make personal purchases since 2015.

In her report on the investigation, Auditor General of the Newfoundland and Labrador Government, Denise Hanrahan said the “potentially fraudulent incidents” included falsely representing credentials, personal use of corporate credit cards, and inappropriate use of Government resources.

“In some cases, employees were terminated as a result of investigations conducted,” Ms Hanrahan (pictured) said.

“Generally, these incidents were not reported to the police but handled internally through disciplinary processes.”

She did not specify the amount of money involved, but said the money had been largely repaid and the Province did not suffer any losses.

A briefing note prepared for the Province’s Executive Council and obtained by journalists under freedom-of-information legislation, raised questions about how the suspected fraud was able to take place — and what had been done to stop it from happening again.

Government officials stressed that swift action had been taken to stop employees from committing fraud in the future.

The briefing note revealed most Departments had reported cases of employees improperly using corporate cards for personal means, with amounts typically ranging in the hundreds or thousands of dollars.

In the majority of cases, the money was repaid; some people had their wages garnished to settle their debts.

The briefing note cited only one instance where an employee was fired.

St John’s, 21 April 2022

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