VICTORIA — The line between working for the British Columbia government and the provincial Liberal party was clearly crossed in a government effort to win ethnic votes in the upcoming May provincial election, said a report released Thursday.
The review conducted by Premier Christy Clark's deputy minister found "serious" misuse of government resources.
The damning report by John Dyble comes on the final day of the legislative session and two months before the provincial election.
It found that former Liberal government communications official Brian Bonney worked for both the government caucus and the Liberal party while he was being paid as a government employee.
Dyble said at least half of Bonney's time was spent doing work for the Liberal party on the ethnic outreach strategy.
"Brian Bonney did not create a clear distinction between his volunteer role with the B.C. Liberal Party and his role in the government," said the report. "Based on evidence, it would appear to a reasonable person that he may have spent up to half of his time on partisan activities. This ... amounts to a serious breach of the standards of conduct."
Bonney no longer works for the government, but finance ministry officials said he was paid $124,000 during the period from October 2011 to Feb. 21, 2013.
Clark met with the media after the report's release and said the B.C. Liberal Party has written a $70,000 cheque to the government to repay some of the work Bonney did on government time.
The Liberal plan to win the ethnic vote in this May's election was leaked earlier this month and has already forced the premier to apologize several times.
Dyble report's recommends Clark's Chief of Staff Dan Doyle take appropriate disciplinary and corrective actions against those involved in hatching the plan.
Clark's deputy chief of staff Kim Haakstad and her multiculturalism minister John Yap have both already resigned over the scandal.
Clark said one other person has resigned from government following the release of the report, but she wouldn't name the individual.
"People are not perfect, but it is my firm belief that leadership demands responsibility. This document isn't easy reading for any of us in government," she said.
On Thursday, Clark said Yap wouldn't be returning to cabinet.
When Yap resigned last week he said he had never seen the report, but Dyble's report said the minister had some involvement in meetings about the outreach plan.
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Here are the results of the report into the B.C. government's ethnic outreach program, as issued by the premier's office late Thursday morning.
VICTORIA - The B.C. government has released its report into the draft Multicultural Strategic Outreach Plan. The report identifies that partisan activity among some officials breached the public service standards of conduct and some government resources were misused.
Premier Christy Clark ordered the review into the circumstances around the development of and activities flowing from the multicultural outreach plan to determine whether government resources were misused or standards of conduct were violated.
The report shows:
* Some officials did not draw a boundary between their partisan and government roles.
* Inappropriate activity occurred around the procurement of community liaison contractors.
* Community liaison contractors were given work before contracts were approved and signed, resulting in payment for work done when the contract process was cancelled.
* Confidential information-such as contact lists from government events-was inappropriately sent to personal email accounts.
* There were two serious instances of government resources being misused.
The four deputy ministers conducted the review in 14 days. They conducted 27 interviews, gathered approximately 10,000 pages of documents for cataloguing and analysis, and directed a forensic analysis of electronic data from government systems.
The report recommendations include:
* Consider the involvement and culpability of each of the political staff involved in the events discussed in the report and take appropriate disciplinary and corrective action.
* Ensure that senior staff set expectations among political staff that all existing financial and administrative policies on procurement and supervision of contract staff be followed without exception.
* Give direction particularly to political and communications staff to ensure they understand their obligations with respect to the use of government email and the appropriate use of personal computers for government purposes, as outlined in Government Core Policy.
* Direct Legal Services Branch to secure any government records in the possession of former employees named in this report and seek an undertaking these records have not been used for inappropriate purposes.
* Improve the standards of conduct for political staff.
* Direct the Comptroller General to determine if any recovery of expenditure or payment is necessary.
All of the review team's requests for interviews were granted, including from those outside the public service and those no longer employed with government. The review team experienced no obstacles to obtaining the information required to prepare a thorough and complete report.
The review team comprised the most senior public servants who have the full authority over all government financial transactions, public service conduct and government resources and records policy.
With the completion of this review, the review team has directed the approximately 10,000 pages of records be prepared for public release consistent with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act within 60 working days from release of this report, to post them on the Open Information website.
Apart from the employees specifically named in the analysis and the conclusion section of the report, the review team found that the other employees identified acted with integrity and in an exemplary manner in all aspects of their work and their involvement with the issues discussed in this report.
* All persons and organizations covered by the Public Service Act are required to comply with the Standards of Conduct as a condition of employment: www.bcpublicserviceagency.gov.bc.ca/policy/HR_policy/09_Standards_Conduct.htm
* Appropriate use of government resources including information technology is covered under section 12.3.1 of government's Core Policy: www.fin.gov.bc.ca/ocg/fmb/manuals/CPM/12_Info_Mgmt_and_Info_Tech.htm#1231