Aug 13, 2013

By Michael Kramer

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A  Senate committee has referred the independent audit of Senator Pamela Wallin’s expenses to the RCMP.

The Internal Economy Committee is also imposing restrictions on Wallin’s travel and asking her to repay more of her expenses.

Six recommendations have been made by the committee  in response to the Deloitte audit it received on  Monday.

They’re contained in a report that says Wallin had an “unusual pattern” of stopping in Toronto, where she owns a condo, on her way from Ottawa to Saskatchewan, the province she was appointed by the Harper government to represent in 2009.

The expense claims were deemed appropriate if Wallin arranged her  itinerary to avoid a late arrival in Saskatchewan or if there was evidence of Senate business. But the auditors found some of those stopovers were unrelated to Senate business and shouldn’t have been claimed. The total amount they said should be reimbursed is $121,348.

Wallin has already paid $38,369 of that amount. That leaves more than $82,00 for her to pay back, with interest, and the Senate committee is going to review a further $20,978 in claims to determine if any of them should also be reimbursed.

Liberal Senator George Furey said the audit was sent to the RCMP “because of matters we found troubling.”

Wallin’s explanation for changes she made to her electronic calendar during an independent audit of her expenses “makes no sense whatsoever,” according to Senator David Tkachuk.

Tkachuk is the former chair of the Senate committee that ordered the audit of Wallin.

Wallin told reporters monday that she was advised to include only relevant information in her calendar when handing it over to Deloitte auditors, and so she omitted some items.

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