CANADA - Former Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli should be denounced for his lack of leadership in investigations into the force's pension fund scandal, according to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee.
In 2003, allegations arose within the RCMP of fraud and abuse during the outsourcing of the administration of the force's pension and insurance plans.
An earlier report into the scandal found some CAN$3.4m (US$3.36m) in improper expenses, along with another CAN$1.3m, were charged to the plan to cover, among others, payments to friends and family as temporary staff.
Some excessive fees brought no value to the fund and some competition controls were not adhered to.
This led to a number of investigations, including an internal audit, a criminal investigation, and disciplinary proceedings.
In its latest report, the Public Accounts Committee, which held a series of hearings on the issue, said when people saw reprisals meted out against those who disclosed wrongdoing, they were less inclined to disclose problems themselves.
It said: "This contributes to an unhealthy culture of fear and mistrust, gives strength to wrongdoers, and encourages others to emulate their inappropriate behaviour.
"It is not unreasonable to conclude that the leadership style of Commissioner Zaccardelli contributed to a culture that allowed the wrongdoing to occur.
"In order to prevent this type of problem from happening again, the RCMP must change its internal culture and practices with respect to the disclosure of wrongdoing."
The committee released a total of 31 recommendations, which included calling on the RCMP to review all transactions charged against the pension plan in the fiscal years 2000-2001 and 2003-2004, and reimburse any amounts that should have more appropriately been charged elsewhere.
It also said the government should investigate whether monies could be recovered from contractors or individuals who received inappropriate benefits.
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