Liberals file request for report by former AG

James McLeod
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Minister denies having bent the rules in hiring former Tory candidate as a consultant

John Noseworthy — Telegram file photo

Liberal MHA Andrew Parsons  filed an access to information request Thursday for a copy of the report written by former auditor general and failed Tory candidate John Noseworthy.

The report has been a source of controversy this week, since The Telegram first reported that Noseworthy delivered it in late December at a total cost of $148,960.

He was paid $98/hour to do the work.

Parsons wrote a letter to Advanced Education and Skills Minister Joan Shea, formally making a request for the document.


Parsons pointedly reminded the government it is obligated under legislation to “make every reasonable effort to respond to a request in writing within 30 days after receiving it.”

The letter and the access to information form were hand-delivered by a Liberal staffer to the Department of Advanced Education and Skills Thursday.

In the letter, Parsons also reminded Shea that in 2003, the Progressive Conservative party, led by Danny Williams, promised to “release to the public every government-commissioned report within 30 days of receiving it.”

Parsons said he’s frustrated because the government has had the report since the week before Christmas. It is still technically in “draft” form, because Shea was tied up that week with the Muskrat Falls filibuster in the House of Assembly, and hasn’t had a chance to receive the formal presentation from Noseworthy that accompanies the report.

Noseworthy was the auditor general from 2002 until the summer of 2011, when he resigned and ran for the PC party as a candidate in the fall general election.

Five months after he failed to win the district of Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi, he was picked by Shea to do a “business development project” — to examine the workings of the newly formed Department of Advanced Education and Skills in order to make it run more smoothly and cohesively.

Contrary to the Treasury Board guidelines for hiring external consultants, the government did not make a public request for proposals, nor did it invite competent consultants to submit competing proposals.

The Department of Advanced Education and Skills did not violate the Treasury Board guidelines; under a different section of the document, it says, “if any proposed consulting work does not meet these requirements, it is to be referred to Treasury Board for consideration.”

Noseworthy’s contract was referred to the Treasury Board and was approved, so the government is not in violation of the policy, even though it did not follow the accepted process laid out in the  guidelines.

Shea seemed to take umbrage with The Telegram’s characterization in Thursday’s paper that her department “bent the rules” to hire Noseworthy.

Shea sent out a news release accusing The Telegram of printing “misinformation.”

Shea said in the news release, “As a former auditor general, John Noseworthy is a uniquely qualified individual and any assertion that the rules and processes concerning his hiring as a consultant were not followed is completely wrong.”

The Telegram requested a followup interview with Shea to clarify her comments, but was refused.

Twitter: TelegramJames

Organizations: The Telegram, Department of Advanced Education and Skills Thursday.In, Treasury Board Tory

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Recent comments

  • Eli
    February 08, 2013 - 10:22

    You described the subject perfectly.

  • Scott Free
    February 08, 2013 - 10:22

    Geez! cut him some slack; next thing you know, he'll decline a board or senate appointment in embarrassment and shame; it's happened before you know; remember Da Princess. The Tories can take it too far sometimes. Ya gotta be careful with these plums, best not to announce them til it gets out. The old Liberal way was right up front and in the open; you gotta dig around a little with the Con Party to find the dirt.

  • A Paradox
    February 08, 2013 - 10:13

    Looks can be deceiving; but, as sly as a fox, with a stern look and a jellyfish spine and all the integrity of a worm.

  • Miss Joannie
    February 08, 2013 - 10:08

    Just so you know James, a purple file has been cut with your name on it.

  • Lilly White
    February 08, 2013 - 09:54

    You can't get much for $98.00/hr. these days; you might buy the services of a brown-nosing, unsuccessful politician wannabee, that's prepared to sell his credibility to write what you want in a useless report. Better talent get higher plum appointments.

  • Sharon Huntington Ellis
    February 08, 2013 - 09:46

    I've voted Conservative for the very last time; I've had it with these indefensible board appointments, contracts to friends and patronage plums. This behaviour was shunned upon with the Grits were doing it in their hayday; but, it's gotten out of hand with the Tories in the past few years.

  • picky
    February 08, 2013 - 09:41

    The only consolation is that there is an election coming up !!!!

  • Little Man Dan
    February 08, 2013 - 09:37

    We got our money's worth on every single patronage appointment we made. Not only were they all the best and only people capable of doing the job, we were familiar with them, their work and their commitment and blind faith to our cause. They were selected solely on their allegiance to the Con Party of NL and we wouldn't have it any other way. This is the way it was, it is, and it will be; and I said so. If anyone has an opposing view, you're wrong; and I'll sue you.

  • The NL Treasury
    February 08, 2013 - 09:09

    Brent is how the money comes in Bent is how the money goes out

  • Gullible Tory
    February 08, 2013 - 08:49

    Here's what information will be released to the Liberals... The blank, blank, blank, was blank, blank, blank. And furthermore, he was the best and only person qualified to write the report.

  • Tory in hard times
    February 08, 2013 - 08:15

    Holy cow! That report is almost as much as ed martian of Nalcor got for is VACATION Pay. Or At Least in the RANGE of IT! Was that report on patronage positions. We now know what duderdale and her gang thinks of spending the peoples money. This must be a relase of belt tightening. Old habits atre tough to quit, but the taxpayers can handle it...i spose.

  • What?
    February 08, 2013 - 07:59

    I wonder what the current AG thinks of this. Will it make his report next year?

  • Cold Future
    February 08, 2013 - 07:29

    Does anyone ever remember when a uniquely qualified individual or appointment turned out to be a supporter of any other party than PC since the PC's took the reins of the provincial government in 2003? If such exists then that would be truly a unique situation.