B.C. auditor general says no government interference in paying Basi, Virk bills - InfoNews

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B.C. auditor general says no government interference in paying Basi, Virk bills

December 18, 2013 - 11:00 AM

VICTORIA - British Columbia's auditor general says he found no political interference in the government's decision to pay $6 million in legal bills for former ministerial aides David Basi and Bobby Virk, who pleaded guilty to fraud-related charges.

Russ Jones says the government acted legally in doling out $11 million in legal costs to government employees facing criminal or civil proceedings, including Basi and Virk who were charged in connection with the sale of BC Rail a decade ago.

Jones says his audit examines 26 indemnity agreements between 1996 and 2011 involving 100 individuals.

He says special indemnities are agreements under which the government pays a person's private legal costs for circumstances not covered under the terms and conditions of employment.

Jones makes 10 recommendations including improving how the indemnity reports are administered by the government and reported publicly.

He also says solicitor-client privilege provisions prevent him from auditing the legal bills associated with government-funded defence costs of criminal cases that include serial killer Willie Pickton and the current Surrey Six murder trial.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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