BURLINGTON - An investigation by the HCDSB NEWS regarding the salary of Paula Dawson, Director of Education for the Halton Catholic District School Board published on March 29, 2015 has prompted the Director to repay thousands in over payments after the fact.
The overpayment occurred despite the fact the Director herself had, on at least two (2) separate occasions and as part of her duties, (and prior to the HCDSB NEWS report of March 29) personally checked, reviewed and signed the following documents that were specifically about the amount of her own pay;
Sunshine List Report of Salaries - To be signed by Director and submitted by March 6, 2015
Ministry of Education Report on Directors Salary - To be signed by Director and submitted by March 6, 2015
As stated in Board Policy III-14 Employee Code of Conduct;
Maintaining an unimpeachable standard of integrity in all their business relationships, both inside and outside the Board that is consistent with the Board’s Governing Values
Every employee is responsible and accountable for exercising good judgement and avoiding situations that would present a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest and where a conflict of interest exists each employee has an affirmative duty to disclose such a conflict when it becomes apparent.
Employees must not participate in any decision or recommendation in which they or a relative, friend or business associate may have a direct or indirect financial, commercial or business interest
As stated in Board Policy I-24 Fraud Management;
Fraud and the material misstatement of financial information can have a significant adverse effect on the Board’s public image, reputation and its ability to achieve its strategic objectives.
The Board will make every reasonable effort to protect itself against fraud, and will establish and maintain a system of internal control to ensure, to the fullest extent possible, the prevention and detection of fraud.
If any other employee had for months been over payed, asked to sign and submit documents regarding the accuracy of their own salary and then only after an independent investigation admitted they were over payed, they would, by Board policy, be facing anything from dismissal to a reprimand. We are about to discover if rules apply to all employees or if special rules apply to the privileged.
At the very least the trustees and the Director need to give a public explanation as to how this mismanagement of public funds happened despite financial audits and numerous levels of administrative oversight.
Who's job is it to watch the boss? The nine trustees lead by Jane Michael. Legally they get to hire, fire and evaluate one employee, the Director. You'd think nine people could do a better job of watching one person when it comes to your money instead of tweeting about the weather and food like the Chair of the Board is fond of doing.
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As always the HCDSB NEWS invites your corrections, comments and criticisms and any replies received from people or institutions mentioned in any article will be published.