The 2010 Winter Olympics may be all about going for the gold but those running the provincial government's Olympic Games secretariat seem to be having trouble just reaching the finishing line. According to employee surveys obtained exclusively by Public Eye via a freedom of information request, the secretariat has the worst-rated executives in government. Those surveys asked employees if their top bosses:
* communicate decisions in a timely manner;
* clearly communicate strategic changes and/or changes in priorities; and
* provide clear direction for the future
At the secretariat, which oversees the province's financial commitment to the Games, just, 31 percent of respondents agreed with the first question, 33 percent with the second and 44 percent with the third.
That meant its executives got the lowest marks in government - even beating out those at the troubled ministry of children and family development, who came in second to last.
A spokesperson explained the survey was conducted at a time when the secretariat "was still in the middle of reorganizing its management structure for the final countdown to the Games."
Since then "the leadership team is now well established and concrete steps have been taken to address issues raised in the work environment survey."
Among those issues: the secretariat was also rated as having the worst staffing practices in government.
According to the survey - which was administered between April 6 to 29 - just 32 percent of respondents agreed the selection of staff is based on merit and only 38 percent agreed that selection process is fair.
"This is consistent with a lot of really troubling stories that we've heard about the Olympics and the management of the Olympics and the planning and execution of the Olympics," commented New Democrat critic Kathy Corrigan.
Nevertheless, the secretariat spokesperson expressed confidence his "organization is well positioned to deliver very successful Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games."
The survey results, which were released to bureaucrats in May, are the latest controversy to hit the secretariat.
Earlier this year, its top bureaucrat got a severance agreement worth more than $300,000 when she left the civil service by "mutual consent."
Annette Antoniak departed the secretariat three months before the survey was administered.