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Wallin still owes over $80,000 on travel expenses: Deloitte

An independent report has found that Senator Pamela Wallin still owes over $82,000 in improperly claimed travel expenses, and may have to pay still more. In releasing the report, the Senate internal economy subcommittee said today that the matter is being referred to "the proper authorities" -- the RCMP.

In its report, the subcommittee of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration summarized key points from the Deloitte Report and made several recommendations to the full committee. The subcommittee recommended that Senator Wallin "reimburse additional amounts as identified by Deloitte in its Report, and that the senate do order the reimbursement of interest on said amounts at prime rate plus one percent;" and that further amounts, if justified by review, be reimbursed by the senator as well.

While Senator Wallin made total travel claims of $532,508 between Jan. 1, 2009 and Sept. 30, 2012, Deloitte found 73 per cent of them to be for valid Senate business. That means $121,348 should be returned; since Senator Wallin has already repaid $38,369, she still owes $82,979. In addition, the subcommittee agreed with Deloitte that another $20,978 in travel claims require further review by the Steering Committee of the Internal Economy Committee. The subcommittee also suggested some clear limitations of "Senator Wallin's right to the use of Senate resources for travel in the following manner:"

• only direct or immediately connecting flights between Saskatchewan and Ottawa to attend Senate business are authorized;

• all other itineraries must be preapproved by the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure (Steering); and

• travel claims submitted for reimbursement by Senator Wallin will continue to be monitored from the date of the adoption of this Report for a period of not less than one year

The subcommittee also recommended the unusual step of referring the Deloitte report to the RCMP:

Notwithstanding usual Senate practice, that the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration request that the proper authorities examine the matters dealt with in the Deloitte Report and related information, and that the Committee refer such documents, as it considers appropriate, to the proper authorities for the purposes of the investigation ...

Senator Wallin's own website had no immediate response to the report and recommendations. No new material has yet appeared on her Wikipedia page either.

On Twitter, #Wallin has been active, while Pamela Wallin was trending in Vancouver.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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