The case of the business case

The province's gaming minister has said an RCMP team targeting illegal gaming was axed, in part, because it "never, ever" prepared a "business plan" - a document describing how it would be managed over the long-term. But records obtained via access to information requests show the team did prepare a pair of "business cases" arguing for its expansion in 2007 - with the more detailed of the two including a three-year budget plan. By January 2009, it had also completed the research needed to write a "five-year strategic plan," as well as a "final business case" that would have included short and long-term objectives and performance measures for the team. Three months later, though, the provincially-funded unit's doors were closed - with a government spokesperson later stating a business case isn't a business plan because it only explains why a particular program is needed.

In an action plan written during the early months of 2008, Wayne Holland - the officer who was then in charge of the team - acknowledged the more detailed, 19-page business case he had prepared for his RCMP superiors was "somewhat lacking in content."

The reason: according to the inspector, the team hadn't yet prepared a threat assessment on the "scope and extent of illegal gaming" in British Columbia.

But once that happened, Insp. Holland promised the team would be able to paint a more comprehensive picture of the team's future - including "timeframes for the recruitment and training of additional staff and the infrastructure required to support them."

That threat assessment - which warned Asian and Italian organized crime figures, as well as Hells Angels, were likely involved in illegal gaming - was ready by January 29, 2009.

Three months later the team's doors were closed with no record of any further business cases - or plans - being written.

The gaming minister, Rich Coleman, has also stated the team was shuttered because it was inefficient, had a high staff turnover rate and was redundant.

The following is a complete copy of the aforementioned action plan.

Integrated illegal gaming enforcement team action plan

3 Comments

Nice work, Sean. Where the hell are the other media outlets on this?

The RCMP task force fully justified it's expansion plans. The Liberal government however does want anyone investing the recent BC Lotteries internet troubles.

It certainly raises the index of suspicion when the government shuts down an investigation/enforcement team such as this. The recent on-line gaming site debacle appears to support the fact that the government has a whole lot to hide.

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