Auditor General Sheila Fraser's report on the federal government's sponsorship program concludes that millions of dollars of public funds were mishandled under the program.
Fraser's damning indictment of the sponsorship program, released Tuesday, found there were often no contracts within the program, no guidelines and systemic disregard for the rules. As well, half the contracts Fraser looked at never reported a post-mortem on what the money achieved.
"This is just such a blatant misuse of public funds. It is shocking. ... Words escape me," Fraser told a news conference.
"This wasn't just a matter of missing documentation or bending the rules," Fraser said. "These methods were apparently designed to pay commissions to communications agencies while hiding the source of the funds."
The sponsorship and advertising program, created in the wake of the 1995 Quebec referendum, was intended to boost the profile of the federal government at sports and cultural shows, mostly within Quebec. Source.