This morning NDP Leader Ryan Meili called on Premier Moe to bring clarity to last week’s confusion over the government’s handling of vendor-sponsored travel for public employees.
“Public employees responsible for awarding public contracts should not be accepting gifts from the companies vying for those contracts — period”, said Meili. “We have no clarity on whether contracts were improperly awarded because of them.”
Meili drew attention to concerns raised in April by then-interim eHealth CEO Kevin Wilson, who requested a review of existing eHealth contracts. Wilson indicated in that correspondence that the focus of this investigation should be, quote, “following the money.”
The government has not yet indicated whether such a review of contracts has been undertaken and has so far refused to make public the HR investigation that led to the firing of three employees.
Meili rose in the house today requesting:
- that the investigation into code of conduct violations by eHealth employees be made public;
- that Premier Moe indicate whether a further ‘follow-the-money’ review of existing contracts at eHealth has been conducted, as requested by then-acting eHealth CEO;
- if such a review was conducted, that it be made public;
- that such an investigation be conducted more widely, not just for eHealth but for all ministry, agency and Crown contracts awarded to vendors that sponsored employee travel;
- that the full list of all vendor-sponsored travel within government ministries, agencies and Crown Corporations over the past ten years be made public;
- and that the total value of contracts awarded to vendors who sponsored travel for Crown, ministry, or agency employees be made public.
“If we’re to ensure that public dollars are being spent in the public interest, we quite simply need answers to these questions,” said Meili.