The New Democrats' energy, mines and petroleum resources critic John Horgan wants to know why the province concluded it was okay for the former head of its oil and gas division Gordon Goodman to take a position with EOG Resources Canada Inc. - which is developing natural gas reserves in northeastern British Columbia. Civil service guidelines state senior bureaucrats must wait a year before they can be hired by a company they had "substantial involvement" with during the "year immediately preceding" the end of their employment. The government concluded Mr. Goodman's new job, which involves registering to lobby the province, didn't conflict with those guidelines. But a citizens' services ministry spokesperson declined to tell Public Eye why it reached that conclusion. So Mr. Horgan has written to Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Bill Bennett asking for an answer.
As the head of the oil and gas division, Mr. Goodman was responsible for administering programs that can, in certain circumstances, reduce the amount of money companies must pay the province when extracting oil and gas resources.
According to records obtained by Public Eye via a freedom of information request, two applications approved by Mr. Goodman in 2009 for such royalty reductions came from EOG Resources Canada Inc.
An energy, mines and petroleum resources ministry spokesperson stressed those applications, which had been reviewed and recommended by government staff, were among hundreds he gave the green light to.
Neither Mr. Goodman - who left the civil service on April 16, 2010 - nor EOG Resources Canada vice-president and general manager Billy Helms have responded to repeated requests for comment. The following is a complete copy of Mr. Horgan's letter.