Situation normal, all fouled up

In August, Public Eye reported Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society executive director Stan Paranteu had resigned amidst rumours of financial mismanagement, taking the organization's board of directors with him. At the time, children and family development communications director Deborah Bowman acknowledged the existence of what she called an internal operational review into the society, adding that government wouldn't be making the document public. But, following a freedom of information request by Public Eye, it seems the administration has had a change of heart. Because, late last month, the review (which was actually an audit conducted by the comptroller general's office), quietly found its way onto the province's Website.

The report makes for interesting reading. According to internal audit and advisory services, the society's board of directors didn't "properly fulfill its governance role to oversee senior management's control of operations." In fact, "instead (the board) tried assuming senior management control without the demonstrated knowledge, skills, abilities and prudence to do so." As a result, the audit alleges conflict of interest guidelines were ignored, inappropriate and unsupported decisions were taken, taxpayer dollars were wasted and the society's financial existence threatened - a littany of abuses which, unfortunately, seems to have become all too common at the children and family development.

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