The Board of Directors of the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) has been dismissed after an examination into senior executives’ expense and procurement practices.
An examination, spurred by an anonymous tip, uncovered problems with senior executives’ expenses and the corporation’s procurement practices.
“The report’s findings point to a culture of entitlement in the last administration that Albertans firmly rejected in the election, a culture of entitlement that will not be tolerated by this government.”
The examination, conducted by Alberta’s Chief Internal Auditor, concluded that Board oversight of senior executive expenses, procurement activities and the AFSC code of conduct must be strengthened. For example:
- some expenses related to travel, meals and hospitality were not necessary for AFSC’s business, and expenses were generally not properly authorized;
- senior executives accepted gifts, such as event tickets, meals and golf from vendors, and vendors covered costs related to AFSC corporate events;
- for more than half of the vendors examined, AFSC’s requirements for fair, open, competitive or transparent procurement processes were not met
The Auditor also recommended that a further human resource investigation be conducted to consider appropriate disciplinary action against the implicated senior executives.
The Board has been replaced with an interim Board comprised of senior Government of Alberta employees who will implement the recommendations and strengthen the governance of the corporation.
Recruitment of a new Board will commence immediately.
The interim Board of Directors has met and relieved from active duty three senior executive members and appointed Ed Knash as interim Chief Executive Officer. The examination report has been handed over to law enforcement for review to determine if additional actions are required.