Thursday, March 15, 2012

March 15th, the Ides of March for the Honourable Harry Bloy and then RossK has to write this: "Budget?"

Christy Clark To People....

"Budget? Me Don't Need No Stinkin' (Office) Budget!"

I just came back from reading RossK's Post and started jotting down these words to track down in Open Information.   Government Communications and Public Engagement (GCPE)

and then my Vancouver Sun email news alert pops on the screen to let me know all about Harry, Harry Bloy's resignation, which to my mind, is a minor detail, not even honourable should be mentioned when the topic at hand is still on Travel Expenses for The Trade Mission to China and India.

When you consider that this kind of data has been made available on Open Information using these three simple keywords:

   (gcpe) travel expense     

Government Communications & Public Engagement

Results in Nine hits in all

First one is paydirt, and please keep in mind here just how penny pinching the BC Liberal Government is.

They claim they know where every taxpayers' dollars are being spent, problem though, their Budget for the Premier's Mission to China and India was out by.......  you'll have to read the document contained within "Questions and Answers" below which was created on March 1, 2012,  32 pages all told.

Right off the bat, Open Information is asking if I meant something else.

Did you mean: (gcps) travel expense     NO, don't try and put words in my search criteria!

[application/pdf] Questions and Answers
... You must be travelling on government business to be ... AJcml1dr"c5i&ta- Travel
Coordinator IGovernment Communications & ... Bata, Alex I GCPE:EX ...
When the pages are questions being asked by someone(s) before the Trade Mission happens, in October 2011, of course they should have this along the bottom:

Strictly Confidential Page 1 of 6
j:\operations\foi\foi requests 2011\2011 requests\gcp 2011-00114\jti responsive record (1) - gcp-2011-00114.docx: 
But there are 32 Pages:

Q 3. How much is the trade mission costing taxpayers?
• The trip is still in the planning stages. We will have an accurate
assessment of cost after the trip is over, and in the interest of
transparency, we will make those costs public. (TBC)
• The estimated budget is $250,000.
• Certainly, the cost of the trip will be more than balanced off by the
anticipated investments that will arise from the relationships being built
with senior government officials and business leaders in China and India.

Further on down the document is this:

 Q: How much did your trade mission wind‐up costing? A couple of weeks ago you said it
would cost around $250,000?
• I do not have a final figure at this time. We’re still tallying the final numbers and will
make it public when available.
• We know that international travel and accommodations come at a cost but I can
assure you we fully respected the use of tax dollars, while trying to build the
necessary relationships and achieve the desired outcomes.
Taxpayers did not pay for the travel and accommodation costs for any of 350
representatives from the companies or organizations who participated on the trade

On page 30:   .......350 on top of the Government guys??????
Here's the link for the Travel Authorization form
And if YOU click on this Iink...#l1 Out of Province Travel,and then go down to #11.5 Foreign Travel, you'll find all kinds of
good information about what you can claim etc.
http;// opera tions/TraveI/Travel Expenses.stm#ll.l%2OApprbvaI%20Reguirements

From: Thomas, Vivian P GCPE:EX
Sent: Wednesday, October 12, 201110:41 AM
To: Bata, Alex I GCPE:EX
Subject: China/Japan
Hi! I'm going to China/Japan with Ministers Bell and Thomson. Like last time, FII is paying, and Kelly has approved my going; but I think I still need to fill out an out-of-country travel approval form - don't I? If so, can you send me the link?

The cost for the Premier's Trade Mission?
$514,895= Christy Clark share


de Jong

Like last time, FII, is paying?  Is this FII  which I covered in an earlier Post:

Forestry Innovation Investment’s (FII) mandate is to support an environmentally sustainable and prosperous forest economy in British Columbia.

Has anyone had time to check out the Budget for FII and if they have been picking up the tab for trips overseas for all of our Ministers and supporting cast?  Is that why the Travel Expenses for the Ministers don't match with the hidden costs of Trade Missions to China, India and Duabai!

1 comment:

RossK said...

Glad to have been of inadvertent help NVG.

And thanks for doing the digging on this one.