French comments on election expenses compliance audit
Letter to the Springwater News from Bill French
My Audited Election expenses were reviewed by Grant Thornton LLP, a major firm with experience in Election Expenses.
They made note of 5 items that were non-compliant that totalled $925 plus HST as compared to the Audited Financial Statements that were filed. I do not agree with some notes, but overall the report made some valid observations which will be helpful in future filings. The important matter is that my eligible election expenditures were still well under the spending limits by more than $5,000 or about 25%.
In my view, many of the applicant’s issues, which was the basis of his application for the audit, did not receive comment as they were unsubstantiated or outside the election expenses criteria.
The Compliance Audit Committee will reconvene on October 23 to consider the matter and the Clerk has informed me they have two matters to consider.
In accordance with Section 81(14), the Compliance Audit Committee is scheduled to meet on October 23, 2015 and may consider the following:
(a) if the report concludes that the candidate appears to have contravened a provision of this Act relating to election campaign finances, commence a legal proceeding against the candidate for the apparent contravention;
(b) if the report concludes that the candidate does not appear to have contravened a provision of this Act relating to election campaign finances, make a finding as to whether there were reasonable grounds for the application. 2009, c. 33, Sched. 21, s. 8 (44).
I will make further comments on the audit, once the process is complete. I also look forward to concluding this matter.