Auditor General report shows feds failed taxpayers on ArriveCAN

Author: Franco Terrazzano 2024/02/12

OTTAWA, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation demands accountability for the executives working on ArriveCAN following today’s scathing Auditor General report. 

“From spiralling costs to poor management, sketchy contracting decisions and missing documentation, the auditor general makes clear the feds failed taxpayers every step of the way,” said Franco Terrazzano, CTF Federal Director. “When the Auditor General can’t figure out exactly how much money ArriveCAN actually wasted, the government should at least cancel bonuses for executives in the bureaucracy who mismanaged this mess.”

The report found ArriveCAN cost taxpayers an estimated $60 million, but the exact cost can’t be determined because “documentation, financial records, and controls were so poor.” The app initially launched in April 2020 for $80,000.

“We concluded the public service did not ensure Canada received best value for money,” Auditor General Karen Hogan testified to a parliamentary committee today. “I would tell you that we paid too much for this application.” 

The project displayed “glaring disregard” for basic management and contracting practices, according to the report. 

Public Health Agency of Canada executives working on ArriveCAN received $342,929 in bonuses for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 fiscal years, according to records obtained by the CTF. 

The Canada Border and Services Agency and Public Services and Procurement Canada have refused to disclose bonus figures for its executives working on the app. 

“As an immediate first step, the government must disclose how much executives overseeing ArriveCAN took in bonuses,” Terrazzano said. “Taxpayers deserve accountability and there needs to be consequences for executives in the bureaucracy who wasted our money.”

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