Giving something to nothing?

Earlier, Public Eye and Strategic Thoughts reported on the direct awarding of $407,800 worth of information technology contracts to four companies. Three of those companies were among the primary contractors for the controversial and now bankrupt CareNet Technology Society. And now Public Eye has learned at least one of those companies, ACB Consulting, may no longer exist in the eyes of the provincial government's corporate registry. A registry search has revealed that, as of July 13, a firm named ACB Consulting Group Inc. was dissolved for not having filed an annual report since May 2000. And another of the contracted companies, Health Information Canada Incorporated (HII), may also soon be in the same fix. A company listed on the registry as HII Health Information Canada Inc. is in the process of being dissolved, having filed its last annual report in July 2002.

According to ministry of finance public affairs officer Tara Wilson, there is no direct fine if an incorporate company continues to operate after being dissolved. But those companies will "quickly run into problems with other agencies that require them to be incorporated." For example, Revenue Canada requires businesses filing taxes as incorporated companies to actually be incorporated.

Repeated calls placed to ACB president and secretary Alan Baumbrough's home inquiring about this issue have not yet been returned. Nor has HII vice-president Brian Berglund responded to a Public Eye interview request made through Community Living. Mr. Berglund's home number is unlisted and HII secretary Joyce McDonald's listed home number is no longer in service. Neither company has a listing in Telus's phone directory. It is possible both companies are now operating as non-incorporated entities or under different names. A version of this article was originally published in today's edition of 24 hours.

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