In a separate report, the Auditor-General looked at the overall financial management of the G8 and G20 summits, stating Parliament was ill-informed as it approved $1.1-billion in funding. The Auditor-General said that final expenses came in at nearly half of the amount, or $664-million."Ill-informed" is a terrible wording to use. Maybe "unprepared" or "MPs did not sufficiently review" are better ways to describe it.
“Because of the short time frame to prepare for the summits, departments had to prepare budgets quickly, often with limited information,” Mr. Wiersema said. “As a result, the funding requests significantly overestimated the amounts needed.”(link)Now I've been pretty critical of the Tories on this issue. I don't believe there was enough review of the budget estimates by civil servants, the Tories, or the regular MPs who voted on it.
But you would think costs coming it at 1/2 estimate would be a good thing.
Quite frankly it was a foregone conclusion. What's baffled me is that I could do some simple google searches to verify that their estimate was pretty off. It baffles me that not a single MP, Tory, or civil servant did the same.
The fact that costs came in so low proves it. But really, the costs at $664 million are still a multiplier off from the costs of previous summits.
I'm not a parliamentary procedure or budgeting expert. I'm sure there are plenty of details about this situation I don't understand. But I don't like my tax dollars being wasted. And I think it's fairly obvious that a lot of money went down the drain when it didn't need to.
Bad decisions were galore over this file. I don't believe that figures like Tony Clement or John Baird will go without learning lessons. I hope one of those lessons is to have more independent review and confirmations of spending estimates.
I hope another, is that rushing billions of dollars of spending estimates through any organization (especially parliament and the civil service) is a recipe for mistakes to be made - and big ones at that.