Western Quebec School Board’s practices encourage cynicism

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In the midst of the corruption and     collusion scandals that have been brought to light by the Charbonneau Commission, one can be tempted to think that this    mischief only occurs in larger cities, such as Montreal, or within vast organizations, such as provincial or federal parties.

In the midst of the corruption and     collusion scandals that have been brought to light by the Charbonneau Commission, one can be tempted to think that this    mischief only occurs in larger cities, such as Montreal, or within vast organizations, such as provincial or federal parties. Thanks to investigations by Radio-Canada and the Pontiac Journal’s report, “Audit Firm Stuns Western Quebec School Board” (April 9), it seems a similar type of fraud may have been happening in our own backyard at the Western Quebec School Board (WQSB).
I will not reiterate the numerous flaws identified by the audit firm, as the article provides a very accurate description of the many deficiencies in the Board’s procurement process. As a taxpayer who sends increasing amounts of money each year to the WQSB, it is very alarming to see that many procurement fundamentals have been neglected by the Board throughout the years. When I glance through the list of problems highlighted by the audit firm and notice the sharp increases in the values of cleaning contracts awarded from one year to the next, I am far from confident that the WQSB is managing taxpayers’ money in a sound way.
What is even more alarming is the   closing statement of the Board’s Director General: "Now we are looking ahead, not back." Is he basically saying "We’ve now swept this under the rug, and citizens will not recoup any of the funds lost due to our mismanagement of       contracts"? You be the judge.
I encourage everyone to read or even reread the report, as these kinds of        matters have a much deeper impact on our lives (or more specifically, our wallets) than what is being discussed during the recent provincial election.
Martin Pelchat
Aylmer