Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Mr. Dingwall's Severance Pay: $2,846.38

The Price-Waterhouse audit of David Dingwall's expenses is finally out.

Mr. Dingwall says the audit "completely exonerates him."

Not so fast. A few things have to be mentioned here.

First, the audit divided Mr. Dingwall's expenses into 3 categories: supportable (supported by documentation and/or justified as a typical expense), reimbursable (not supported by documentation or other written justification), and recoverable (made in error).

Of the $1.3 million in salary and benefits charged during Mr. Dingwall's tenure, $4,198 is deemed recoverable. And of the $400,000 in expenses charged, $2,571 is described as reimbursable.

Chump change? A low percentage? Perhaps. But $6,700 is still a fairly hefty chunk not to be accounted for.

There is also something in the report that's a good example of when the explanation is worse than the actual incident. Remember that receipt for chewing gum? Here's the Price Waterhouse explanation:

41. You have asked us to comment on an expense claim allegedly made by Mr. Dingwall relating to a package of chewing gum.

42. We identified an expense claim in connection with Mr. Dingwall’s January 23, 2005
visit to Winnipeg for the Annual Employee Meeting. Included in the expense claim
package is a receipt from a “Relay” outlet in the Ottawa Airport. The receipt indicates the purchase of chewing gum and a bottle of water. While the receipt was included in the expense claim package, it was removed from the calculation of reimbursable expenses by the individual responsible for verifying expense claims. The reason for the removal was because Mr. Dingwall was authorized to claim an incidental allowance of $20/day to cover such items. Accordingly, Mr. Dingwall was paid the incidental allowance for the day, but was not specifically reimbursed for the package of chewing gum. As noted earlier, the incidental per diem allowance was reinstated in January 2005.

We know that Mr. Dingwall likes to believe that he's entitled to his entitlements, but this sort of nitpickingness is absolutely ridiculous.

Now, of course, the Price Waterhouse report does help us in one respect. We know, thanks to the Hill Times, that Mr. Dingwall is entitled to $9,615.38 in severance. There are $6,769 in recoverable and reimbursable expenses in the audit. Deduct those expenses from the minimum severance, and the result is $2,846.38.

A little under three thousand dollars Canadian. If Mr. Dingwall insists on getting severance, that amount strikes me as being fair enough.

UPDATE (18h48): I've amended the link so that it connects to the actual Price Waterhouse document. It's a PDF file; you'll need Acrobat Reader to read it.