Slap on wrist for legislature staff doesn’t cut it


(Victoria, 19 November 2012) – A slap on the wrist for legislature staff who developed the B.C. Liberal party’s Can’tAffordDix attack website last year is an insult to British Columbians, according to IntegrityBC.

IntegrityBC was reacting to a report in today’s Province that revealed the website had been “conceived, planned and executed by legislature staff in Victoria, who used the taxpayer-financed government computer network to do the Liberal party’s political dirty work.”

This despite the fact that the website is clearly marked: “Authorized by Jim Pipe, financial agent, B.C. Liberal Party,” as required by the B.C. Election Act.

IntegrityBC called on the B.C. Liberal party to reimburse the government for the costs of legislature staff who worked on this and any other comparable projects, to donate an equivalent amount to charity, and to place letters of reprimand in each of the employee’s personnel files.

It’s not rocket science,” said IntegrityBC executive director Dermod Travis. “There must always be an impenetrable wall between partisan political staff who are paid for by a political party and staff who serve elected officials and are paid for by the public purse.”

IntegrityBC noted that while legislature staff may work and support a political party or candidate, they must not do so during their working hours or using government resources, including using government premises, office equipment or e-mail addresses.

Legislature staff who worked on the website, included then Liberal government caucus communications officer Thomas Marshall, caucus researchers Blair Phelps and Katy Randall, and then senior issues management co-ordinator with the Premier’s Office Spencer Sproule.

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For more information:

Dermod Travis, Executive Director