Police Report Concludes There Was No Million Dollar Slush Fund Scandal in Brampton

At the beginning of June, an audit report was released that implied a secret bonus program had taken place among senior staff at the City of Brampton for five years, from 2009 to 2014, wherein approximately $1.25 million was paid out, unmonitored or tracked, as bonuses to staff. Police were called in to investigate, and they’ve found that no criminal offences were actually committed by City of Brampton employees.

After Brampton City Council unianimously approved a motion that Peel Regional Police step in to investigate the alleged $1.25 million slush fund granted to non-union employees between January 1, 2009 and May 14, 2014, three months since the allegations were taken to police on June 21, 2017, the police report has found that there was no criminal activity, and in fact, the reported $1.25 million in salary expenses was inaccurate.

Salary expenditures came from Council approved budgets. There was never a so-called slush fund,” said the report.

Here’s what the report found:

* No criminal offences have been committed by City of Brampton employees.

* The reported $1.25 million in salary expenditures is not accurate. The actual amount of salary expenditures paid to 167 employees over the five-and-a-half year period was $614,155.99.

* No senior managers benefited from the “Outside Policy Request (OPR)” program. The OPRs were used for legitimate reasons to reward those employees either entitled to or deemed to be deserving of a salary increase.

* Given the widespread use of the OPR program by senior management, supervisors, and Human Resources across all departments within the organization, it points to a systemic issue with the program, not illegal activity.”

The OPR program and salary increases were brought to the table back in June, when the "Human Resources Salary Administration Audit Report" was brought to the City's Audit Committee by the Internal Auditor.

The objective of this audit was to assess the accuracy and completeness of the salary administration process, and review compliance with policies and procedures,” said the city in a statement.

According to the city, Internal Audit said that internal controls do need to undergo improvement to ensure that non-union salary changes are “administered accurately and timely.”

"City management agrees with Internal Audit's assessment, and acknowledges the historical lack of consistency between Council-approved policies and organizational practices," said Harry Schlange, Chief Administrative Officer. "Open, transparent government administration is a foundational priority for us. The updated salary administration policy is supported by clear procedures to ensure accountability, internal controls and reporting mechanisms are in place through policy-compliant salary administration decisions."

It seems that the case of the non-existent slush fund comes back to a need for more cohesive administrative efforts on the city’s part.

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