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RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6563
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Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:05 pm    Post subject: eHealth scandal requires inquiry, says Hudak Reply with quote

Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak speaks to reporters from Queen's Park, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2009.
eHealth scandal requires inquiry, says Hudak
Updated: Tue Oct. 13 2009 12:48:42 PM

ctvtoronto.ca

The leader of the official opposition is calling for an independent public inquiry into Ontario's eHealth scandal after a recent report found about $1 billion in taxpayer funds were questionably spent on the provincial initiative with little result.

Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak said a public inquiry would resolve many of the unanswered questions surrouding the eHealth controversy.

In a news release Tuesday, Hudak said the auditor general noted in his report that government officials obstructed his probe in a few instances and that such a "potentially massive abuse of power" demands an independent probe.

"The Ontario PC Caucus has concluded that only an independent, impartial public inquiry wilth a full mandate to subpoena testimony and documents will provide the answers the people of Ontario deserve to see," Hudak's statement said.

The auditor general does not have the mandate or the resources to answer questions about how the Liberal government was able to hire Liberal-friendly consulants through untendered contracts, said the opposition leader.

While the report concluded that it found no evidence of fraud or criminal wrongdoing, Hudak said he's not sure he's ready to come to the same conclusion.

"A close read of the auditor general's report strongly suggests that there may hae been deliberate price fixing and bid rigging at eHealth," he told a news conference at Queen's Park on Tuesday. "Bid rigging is criminal behaviour. If a law was broken, the people of Ontario deserve to know and what's going to be done about it."

He said an inquiry would take a close look at former Liberal health minister George Smitherman and the role he played while overlooking the initiative that eventually formed the eHealth Ontario agency.

eHealth is the result of a merger between the Ontario ministry of health's electronic program and the Smart Systems for Health Agency. eHealth was created with a mandate to create an online database of health records for all Ontario patients by 2015.

Smitherman currently serves in cabinet as deputy premier and minister of energy and infrastructure. David Caplan took over the role of health minister in 2008, the same year eHealth was created.

Caplan resigned from his post in the wake of a report by the province's auditor general which found a lack of government oversight for the problems plaguing eHealth.


http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/.....ntoNewHome
Mac





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 5500
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Location: John Baird's riding...

PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a little better but I still think they should be calling for a police investigation...

-Mac
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6563
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Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Preem rejects eHealth inquiry
McGuinty brushes off PC calls for closer look into 'price fixing, bid rigging'

By ANTONELLA ARTUSO, QUEEN'S PARK BUREAU CHIEF

Last Updated: 14th October 2009, 3:45am

Premier Dalton McGuinty has rejected a call for a public inquiry into the eHealth Ontario scandal.

While accepting criticism that his government was "lax" in overseeing the billion-dollar initiative to generate electronic health records, McGuinty said new accountability measures will prevent a repeat of the fiscal fiasco.

"We have the rules in place now, there's no more sole-sourced contracts for consultants, for example," McGuinty said yesterday during a visit to Mohawk College in Hamilton.

But PC Leader Tim Hudak said only a full public inquiry will answer serious questions raised by Auditor General Jim McCarter's special report on eHealth last week.

"A close read of the auditor general's report strongly suggests that there may have been deliberate price fixing and bid rigging at eHealth -- bid rigging is criminal behaviour," Hudak said. "If the law was broken, the people of Ontario deserve to know ... what's going to be done about it."

McCarter's auditors found that favoured firms were able to secure contracts easily, even if at times their bids were higher than the competition.

The auditor warned of the dangers in overusing the same consultants, but found no evidence party politics or personal benefit played any role in the awarding of contracts.

It was clear that Liberal-friendly firms had an inside track at eHealth and the health ministry, but the auditor's role and resources did not extend to examining those political links, Hudak said.

"I think one person's favouritism is another person's political ties," he said.

McGuinty suggested it was typical opposition politics that was driving Hudak's call for a public inquiry.

The independent expert -- the auditor general -- has made several recommendations in his eHealth report that the government intends to fully implement, the premier said.

Former health minister David Caplan resigned on the day McCarter delivered his report.

The eHealth issue goes well beyond Caplan, to former health minister George Smitherman and Premier Dalton McGuinty -- and both those men still have their jobs, Hudak said.

The auditor also identified difficulties and delays he encountered while wading through an apparently recalcitrant bureaucracy in his audit of electronic health records, and it's still unclear why that happened, Hudak noted.

"We know this government will not give up its dirty secrets willingly," he said. "Only a full public inquiry will provide the answers that the people of Ontario deserve to see."

McCarter's report concluded that Ontario's nine-year, $1-billion effort to digitize health records spent too much on consultants and produced too little for taxpayers.

http://www.ottawasun.com/news/.....1-sun.html


( our wondeful premier has allready rejected an inquiry , not exactly a surprising move . wonder is there any way we can force the provincial government to hold one ? mcguinty may also regret not just having one now as by doing this he keeps the issue alive for the next eelction when the opposition parties will most certainly be calling for one if one's not held by then )
Edmund Onward James





Joined: 04 Jun 2009
Posts: 1317
Reputation: 55
votes: 2

PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eHealth has already investigated by McCarter and he said it's a mess. The assistant deputy minister is at fault, and so are the major bureaucrats, including some consultants.

What should be done is a check & balance system that allows for fines, and if possible retrieving funds by taking over assets etc. Why are the politicians and others treated better than the corporate world and all of us who have to follow the rules?

This has gone on far too long.

And, Squinty McGuinty said they will make sure this doesn't happen again -- and they are fixing things.

Well... there you go.
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eHealth scandal requires inquiry, says Hudak

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