The Spenders of 2008-2009 — The Departments

30Jun09

Several of Canada’s federal departments claimed considerably higher amounts of travel and hospitality expenses than the vast majority of their counterparts. What I mean to say is: A few departments claimed much more than the rest. For the purposes of illustration, check out this chart:

Some of these departments spent more than the others, more than the others, more than the others...

Some of these departments spent more than the others,more than the others, more than the others...

I should note that these numbers are accurate to within about $10,000 across departments. I’m working out some weird sorting issues, but these approximately accurate numbers will do for now. As you can see, the Department of National Defence and Foreign Affairs Canada both claimed more by far than the rest of the public service. Each department’s top spender is listed below the departmental total.

National Defence: $2.93 million
Lieutenant-General Michel Gauthier: $182,707.93

Foreign Affairs: $2.89 million
Marc Lortie: $172,171.90

Privy Council Office: $1.2 million
(See below)

Keep in mind that these three departments in particular probably send more personnel on government aircraft — expenses that don’t tend to be disclosed — than most other departments. And PCO probably doesn’t disclose anywhere near the real total of “travel and hostpitality” expenses.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, for example, claimed $17,216.47. He obviously travelled more than that. The PCO staffer who claimed the highest travel expenses was senior media advance (specialist?) Yvon Long, who topped six digits — $100,903.25 — and did the bulk of her travel (~$75,000) in the first two quarters of the year.

Here is the rest of the Top 10, with each department’s top spender included immediately below:

4. Natural Resources Canada: $0.987 million
Stephen Lucas: $100,229.59

5. Fisheries and Oceans Canada: $0.985 million
David Bevan: $140,755.60

6. Agriculture Canada: $0.94 million
Steve Verheul: $136,930.95

7. Industry Canada: $0.88 million
Mary Carman: $77,849.60

8. Veterans Affairs Canada: $0.84 million
Suzanne Tining: $147,637.61

9. Royal Canadian Mounted Police: $0.83 million
Keith Clark: $95,653.01

10. Environment Canada: $0.81 million
David Grimes: $78.498.98

I want to keep emphasizing that these numbers aren’t intended to suggest that these departments and “top spenders” shouldn’t have claimed these expenses. These are just numbers.

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