Junior Canadian cabinet minister Bev Oda (the US equivalent would be a Secretary of State dealing with international cooperation) has been under scrutiny for her testimony going back to late 2009 on a decision that it in due course turned out was documented on a robo-signed form with an undated alteration that reversed the sense of the decision.
Bureaucracies live and die by the paper trail. Last time Doom visited this story we made fun of the minister’s inscrutable handling of a staff recommendation. An office just can’t go altering an official document after the fact. That way lies madness, as we’ve all learned to our cost in the course of foreclosure-gate. Late edits of official documents must be initialed and dated. It’s just common sense.
Now the Speaker of the House of Commons has brought that scrutiny to the next level:
CBC (3/9/11): “Torys slapped by 2 rulings”
“At the very least, it can be said that (Oda’s statements) caused confusion,” [Speaker] Milliken said. “The confusion persists.”
The main confusion being that we still don’t know when the document alteration occurred or who did the deed. (Oda eventually took ownership of the authorization without asserting times or whether the times were the same for the signature and the alteration.) Neither has the operator of the robo-signer been established, although the robo-signature was at least date-stamped. Over a year of questioning and investigation has failed to confirm simple facts about the decision process the like of which must be completely transparent for the process to have the necessary level of integrity.