Alberta says it
will soon appoint eight directors who will work under new oversight rules for the
agency that handles crop insurance, disaster aid and farm loans. It’s somewhat
like AgriCorp in Ontario.
Minister Oneil Carlier appointed professional agrologist Jennifer Wood to chair
the new board of the Agriculture Financial Services Corp.
the old six-member board about a year ago and suspended three top executives.
confidence in the last board after an investigation of staff expenses left me
seriously concerned that there was a culture of entitlement at AFSC,"
Carlier said Thursday.
An audit found
the executives engaged in questionable purchasing practices and racked up
lavish expenses for trips, dinners and limousine rides. The executives were
suspended with pay.
two of the executives have retired while the former president, Brad Klak, did
not have his contract renewed.
Carlier says a
police investigation continues, and says the new board will now hire a
has 600 employees spread over 46 offices with a head office in Lacombe.
audit, delivered to Carlier a year ago, focused on the preceding four years and
found numerous irregularities.
Many of the
problems surrounded the broker hired by the corporation.
forbidding gifts from vendors, the report says the three executives received
"meals, alcohol, paid entertainment (including theatre and concert tickets
and sporting event admissions), rounds of golf and gifts on a frequent basis
over four years from the broker.''
The report said
executives racked up unjustified expenses including a return trip limousine
ride from Lacombe to Edmonton for the president to attend the company Christmas
$5,108 for a dinner for the executives in Tokyo and $19,144 paid to a
consultant in return for a share of a luxury suite at Edmonton Oilers hockey
The audit also
found procurement rules weren't followed and that the broker was paid almost
$300,000 more than the official agreed-upon price.
But the truth is that the NDP government was anxious to sack the Tory hacks.