The foreign affairs committee of the House of Commons was set to meet behind closed doors on Thursday afternoon to discuss a confidential audit into embattled federal agency Rights & Democracy.
The fact the meeting - which has since been cancelled - was to be held in-camera and that the media would be blocked from hearing witnesses is unusual. In addition, it also rare for a bilingual document to be presented to a committee without it being released at the same time to the public.
The committee was scheduled to hear from Gérard Latulippe, the president of the Montreal-based agency, and board chairman Aurel Braun. Through a spokesman, Mr. Latulippe said that at the committee hearing he would "recommend to the Committee that a redacted version of the report be made public in the days following the hearing."
In that context, and in the spirit of transparency, The Globe and Mail has obtained a full copy of the Deloitte audit of Rights & Democracy, and is posting it in its entirety for all to see.
The audit was launched earlier this year after the new leadership of Rights & Democracy expressed concerns over the financial management of the previous president, Rémy Beauregard, who had recently died. In particular, auditors looked into the use of a discretionary fund at Rights and Democracy and transfers between its offices in Montreal and Geneva.
However, the audit did not come to damning conclusions regarding the agency's financial management. The biggest issues identified by Deloitte & Touche relate to matters of governance, pointing to "several conflicts between certain members of the Board of Directors and certain management personnel."
As a result, auditors called on the Board to clearly define "restrictions concerning the activities, projects and/or partnerships, or geographic areas with which Rights & Democracy should not be associated or to which it should not provide financial assistance."