Visiting "never, ever" land

Provincial gaming minister Rich Coleman has said the province's anti-illegal gaming team was shutdown, in part, because it "never, ever" prepared a "business plan." But, after a week of searching, his ministry has been unable to find the date that plan was requested by the team's consultative board. Nor do censored copies of the board's meeting minutes record any such request being made. Although they do show its members asked for and received a "business case" from the team before it was disbanded.

According to the minutes, on November 26, 2007, the board agreed a "business case needs to be developed to justify IIGET's continued existence."

A government official attending the meeting mentioned unit commander Fred Pinnock had already prepared a business case "outlining the reasons IIGET should be expanded."

And, by the time the board met again on May 22, 2008, a new business case had been prepared, along with an "action plan" developed by public policy consultant Cathy Tait.

The board then agreed to extend the team's existence for another year.

But, in estimates debate last month, Minister Coleman said the board asked the team to "come up with a comprehensive business plan on what you think IIGET should be doing, how that should be accomplished and what analysis you would do.' They never, ever provided a business plan."

His ministry has been unable to find the date of that request.

And the meeting minutes for May 22 don't mention the board asking for such a plan - although portions of that document were blanked out by government before being released in response to Public Eye's freedom of information request.

Another meeting was scheduled for November 27, 2008. But no minutes apparently exist for that meeting, which may not have even taken place.

As for why Minister Coleman said the board "never, ever" received a "business plan" even though two "business cases" were prepared, a ministry spokesperson said in an email there's a difference between those two types of documents.

"While business cases may have been prepared, the board did not receive a comprehensive business plan. A business case explains why a particular program is needed and is often prepared before a program is developed. A business plan details how a program will be managed over the long term."

1 Comment

Was that ministry spokesperson named Humphrey Appleby?

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