Lavish living scrutinized

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A mass audit was conducted at the University of Calgary between January 1 to March 31, 2012 of all expenses made by executives and chairs, in which some discrepancies were discovered. The tax group Internal Audit found the irregularities.

Thousands of dollars of U of C funds were put into first-class business flights and five-star hotels by chair of the Board of Governors Doug Black. When the issue arose, Black reimbursed the university $5,343.86.

The audit was part of a quarterly review that occurs every year at the U of C examining expense claims for the executives, however, in March, president Elizabeth Cannon requested that the audit also examine the expenses for the BOG.

“In the interest of continuous improvement in governance and transparency, president Elizabeth Cannon asked Internal Audit to expand its quarterly review to include expense claims for the chair of the [BOG],” according to UToday on Sept. 5, 2012.

The error fell outside of the U of C’s hospitality and travel expense policy, which dictates expenses paid by U of C staff on business trips.

In July 2012, the U of C received a request by the Freedom of Information and Privacy act to release expense records made by the 
U of C since 2007. This uncovered a second error made by the chair, a total of just over $50, according to UToday.

“The president’s initial request for an expanded audit, and the subsequent resolution of the identified error, demonstrate the university’s continuing focus on improving financial controls.”