31 August 2007

No charges for Barrett

Liberal member of the House of Assembly Percy Barrett won't be facing criminal charges over allegations made last year by the province's auditor general, John Noseworthy.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary said today that after an investigation, there was insufficient evidence to lay a charge.

Noseworthy claimed that Barrett had improperly received over $117,000, although Barrett own efforts reduced the amount of alleged overpayments by approximately $30,000. For those doing the math, that's an error on Noseworthy's part of 25%. The actual discrepancy may be significantly higher, suggesting that there are other problems with Noseworthy's audit of the legislature.

Bond Papers has already noted that Noseworthy's review missed entirely substantive discrepancies between budgeted amounts and actual spending in the province's legislature for the period from 1998 to 2006. In the illustration above, the red line represents the actual discrepancy between budget and actual, while the yellow represents the amounts reported by Noseworthy. The numbers used in the red line were confirmed by the Green report.

While directed by cabinet last summer to complete a detailed audit of the period from 1998 to 2004, Noseworthy has reported on other matters instead , including a detailed examination of spending by individual members dating back to 1989. That report is due before October 9.

So far, no word on the detailed audit of the legislature.