News British Columbia

B.C. government hiring practices ‘poor’ if claims true: auditor general 0

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

B.C. Auditor General Russ Jones. Ex-auditor general John Doyle has filed suit against Victoria, claiming terms of his “verbal agreement” were not fully met. (FILE PHOTO)

B.C. Auditor General Russ Jones. Ex-auditor general John Doyle has filed suit against Victoria, claiming terms of his “verbal agreement” were not fully met. (FILE PHOTO)

Sitting B.C. Auditor General Russ Jones says the provincial government is demonstrating “poor” hiring practices if his predecessor’s claims in a lawsuit filed against Victoria are true.

In a civil claim filed Thursday, former auditor general John Doyle alleged that terms of his pay were determined by nothing other than a “verbal agreement” when he was hired in 2007.

Doyle, who is now working as the auditor general for the State of Victoria in Australia, claims the B.C. government breached those terms and owes him money for vacation pay, retirement entitlement, travel and relocation expenses, and additional pension entitlement.

None of his claims have been proven in court.

Jones told 24 hours Doyle’s claims are in stark contrast with his hiring, where everything was properly documented and signed.

“I did sign an agreement … everything should be documented. Without having a contract, that’s a poor way of hiring,” he said. “I would imagine, going forward, that government will ensure there is a contract signed for all independent offices.”

Jones said his contract includes allowances for travel, salary equal to that of the chief judge and a car. He also receives eight weeks of vacation.

Unlike Doyle, he didn’t have any relocation expenses as he lives in Victoria, B.C. Doyle is also claiming 1.5 years of pension for every year of service to B.C., while Jones said the Auditor General Act only allows for one year of pension per year of service.

Doyle, known in his role for a tough stance on wasteful government spending, claimed in his lawsuit he eventually managed to get everything he wanted into writing around early 2012.

The next year, however, he was told his six-year post wouldn’t be renewed and was instead offered a two-year extension to 2015.

He declined the offer and returned to Australia.

According to the claim, there are rumblings of a police investigation, though this couldn’t be confirmed.

Premier Christy Clark’s office said it didn’t, and wouldn’t, order such an investigation as that was not its duty.

Jones said he wasn’t asked by the legislature to conduct an investigation. In addition,

the RCMP couldn’t “confirm or deny” an investigation without charges being laid.

Doyle’s lawyer, Greg Anctil, said police hadn’t directly contacted his client.

 

 

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