This story has been well known in military circles for some years: “The Trudeau government has ordered National Defence to reimburse the federal Treasury Board for over $147 million in unauthorized expenses incurred by members of the military over nearly a dozen years.“
The Global News story goes on to explain that:
“The practice [improper spending] went on between April 1999 and January 2011, but was then halted following an independent analysis.
At the time, the military said the mistake involved “tens of millions of dollars” over five years and it would try to get the Treasury Board to cover the expenses, which included, among other things, the visits of families of the fallen to Kandahar during the Afghan war.
They also involved travel fee reimbursement for troops deployed in different parts of Canada, bonuses for overseas postings and allowances for soldiers assigned away from families.“
A few years back internal audits picked up the errors in approving improperly funded travel expenses and it was (correctly, in my opinion) decided that individual travel claims, including those of grieving next-of-kin travelling to visit there place where a loved one was killed in action in Afghanistan, should not be ‘recovered,’ but, rather, such claims would no longer be allowed and the government (Treasury Board) would be asked to “write off” the expenses.
It was sloppy management on DND’s part, but it did not rise to anything like the level of misappropriation of government funds that we saw with, say, these guys …
… who filtered (fewer) millions into their own pockets in the Sponsorship Scandal of the 1990s.
Anyway, Treasury Board, now faced with having turned the $4 Billion Conservative surplus into a $29 Billion Liberal deficit, wants the money returned … presumably because Prime Minister Trudeau just yesterday “pledged a new unbudgeted $785 million boost to Canada’s contribution to the global fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.“
Maybe DND aren’t the only folks who should be saying “Ooops.“