Tuesday, July 22, 2008

 

... a vital link in baring the ICBC scandal - Part 1 and Part 2, with more from Palmer and from Hansard



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Special thanks to North Van's Grumps for spotting this item. For a long time, as you know, I have believed the media to be negligent in their public service duty to seek out and publish without manipulation the information a democratic society needs to know. The public can't be blamed for apathy if they've never heard of the issues.

The aim of this web-site from Day #1 has been to bring as much information as we can find, to the attention of a population we know to be deeply concerned about what's happening to British Columbia. To run this blog, I've resisted partisan rhetoric wherever it arises and as a result, the commentors have been trustful, coming forth with invaluable contributions. I've never asked and don't much care who they vote for; what I care about is my home province and the need to defend it against the rape and pillage which is robbing B.C. of its independence.

So it's none of my business if you love Gordon Campbell and feel he's doing a good job. My self-imposed task is to make sure you'll be able to benefit from reading The Legislature Raids without being offended. Just the facts, and the significance of the facts, are put forward here. But let me tell you, it's increasingly difficult to avoid pointing the finger of blame. When mainstream headlines begin to speak of "The stink of corruption around the Campbell government", do we continue to sit quietly with bags over our heads, saying sweet nothing?

Who, after all, is responsible for the ship if not the captain? That's why I am finding it increasingly difficult ... let's say ludicrous ... trying to avoid saying that Campbell is the micro-manager who decides on what's done to British Columbia. We know he decides not only what's done but when it's done, and who will do it. That includes BC Rail as well as what's befallen I.C.B.C. which served the public well in the distant past.

My position is that we're all in this together; that what happens to B.C. affects us all. Just like the rain, remember, which falleth upon the just and the unjust alike. Partisan politics has come to mean ripping, tearing, wounding each other, achieving nothing. Less than nothing, if we've taken our eyes off the real issues.

The truth as I see it at this time, is that we dare not kid ourselves that Premier Goddam Campbell is actually "open and transparent" any more than we should've believed him when he said he wasn't going to sell BCRail.

So I'm not talking politics here -- politics? when Goddam has made even the historic "Liberal Party" mean anything from Reform to Alliance to Socred to "Get Wilson" or "Get rid of BCRail" or Anything Goddam says it means. Partisan politics? -- when BC's Loyal Opposition has made the historic CCF/NDP stand for nothing at all and the best we can say of them is that they do nothing criminally corrupt. What a boast! And what a time this is, for fact-finding and citizenship.


So as I see it, the following columns by Vaughn Palmer are Exhibit A and Exhibit B in "How things get undone in B.C." Next, I will post Captain Goddam's
quid pro quo approval for the four Airport taser RCMP. And I really need your comments. OK?

- BC Mary.

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HOW A PORSCHE BOXSTER BECAME A VITAL LINK IN BARING THE ICBC SCANDAL (PART I)



Vaughn Palmer
Vancouver Sun - Tuesday, July 22, 2008

VICTORIA - The most revealing episode in the scandal at the Insurance Corp. of B.C. is the case of the 1998 Porsche Boxster.

The pricey sports car was damaged in an accident and declared a writeoff by ICBC's claims division.

But it gained a second lease on life after being turned over to the corporation's material damage, research and training facility.

The now-infamous in-house "chop shop" went to work on restoring the supposed writeoff. For the outlay of almost $9,000 in parts and a considerable amount of free labour, it was returned to full roadworthiness.

The refurbished Porsche was then turned over to a dealer and sold via wholesale auction.

The vehicle transfer documents neglected to disclose the extent of the work done on the car, consequently the new owner had no way of knowing his Boxster was previously damaged goods.

But at some point in 2006, the buyer discovered the truth and took it to the seller, who referred the case up the line to the motor dealers' association.

Armed with evidence of what might loosely be called fraud had you or I had done it, the association in January 2007 went directly to ICBC's special investigations unit.

The unit is the in-house crime fighting force at the government-owned insurance corporation. Over the years it has busted many an auto theft ring, exposed many a staged accident. Staffers know a chop shop when they see one.

Though the focus is catching outside wrongdoers, the unit also helps with insider investigations, making it the ICBC equivalent of the internal affairs department at the police force.

It was the obvious place to go with the evidence regarding the Porsche. And the complaint brought forward by the motor dealers did spark an internal review at the insurance corporation.

The review also bore fruit. Five other vehicles were significantly rebuilt by the repair facility in 2006 and then resold, without the full extent of the work being recorded as required on the vehicle transfer documents.

The review also found that three of the five were sold to ICBC employees, suggesting a pattern of insider involvement that surely invited further investigation.

Plus the review turned up evidence of "poor internal cost accounting . . . internal labour costs were not included in calculating the cost of the repair."

Hmmm . . . now what's that all about?

It likely related to a significant change of policy at ICBC not long after the B.C. Liberals came to power.

The repair facility has been around for 20 years, and the main purpose was and is, as the full name suggests, research and training.

ICBC employees and industry personnel are trained in best practices for repairing vehicles. The facility also conducts research into vehicle safety, more efficient repair techniques and other matters.

But in 2002-2004, ICBC embarked on a led-from-the-top drive to increase revenues and improve the corporate bottom line.

In the case of the repair facility, this meant new performance targets specifically aimed at enhancing revenues from recovery and repair of vehicles.

Up to that point, these salvage operations were incidental to the main business of the repair centre.

Staff would appropriate a vehicle that had been broadsided in an accident to experiment with new ways to straighten the frame

If the technique proved to be successful, the restored vehicle would be put out for auction. The revenue would be dutifully recorded on the books along with the cost of any parts that went into fixing it.

But now that the repair facility was becoming a revenue centre, these transactions assumed a new importance in terms of the corporate accounts.

Salvage Operations Analysis and Review (SOAR) was the name of the revenue program and the number of vehicles acquired, rebuilt and sold for purposes other than research did indeed soar.

The facility was expected to show a profit on each transaction. One way to do that was to record the proceeds from the sale but not all the costs that went into restoring the vehicle to roadworthiness.

In the case of our friend the Porsche Boxster, they charged only the cost of the parts, none of the labour or overhead. Had they done so, that initial review found, the transaction may have been a money-loser.

To recap, the review arising out of the case of the surreptitiously rebuilt Boxster turned up three elements of what proved to be a full-blown racket involving the repair facility -- misleading paperwork, compromised employees and cooked books.

This, mind, was January 2007. It would take a full year and another round of whistleblowing before ICBC would finally shut down the racket.

The reasons for that delay constitute one of the most disgraceful aspects of this scandal, as I will explain in a subsequent column.

vpalmer@direct.ca

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/columnists/story.html?id=c03a805f-4736-4836-a3aa-2a00e72b25a0

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A tip o'the tuque to Vaughn Palmer and also to The Vancouver Sun for this report. I apologize for posting it in its entirety but therein lies the compliment: there wasn't a line which could be "Snipped" without losing something significant. Well done! Many thanks. - BC Mary.

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HOW THE BAD GUYS KEPT THE LID ON THE CAR-REPAIR RACKET AT ICBC (Part 2)

Vaughn Palmer
Vancouver Sun - July 23, 2008

VICTORIA - The Insurance Corp. of B.C. uncovered serious concerns about its Burnaby-based repair and research facility more than a year ago. {Snip} ...

More than enough ... to warrant a full investigation of the material damage, research and training facility (MDR&T), to give that now-disgraced operation its proper name.

But it would be another year -- February 2008 -- before ICBC, responding to a new complaint from its own employees, would suspend operations at the facility and call in the forensic accountants.

Why did the government-owned auto insurance corporation take so long to shut down this racket? The answer is arguably the most disturbing of the many findings in the report on the ICBC scandal by the accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

For this was not a case of a few wayward employees gaming the system.

This was an entire rogue operation, countenanced by senior managers. They also took steps to protect it, by ignoring, squelching or otherwise derailing complaints.

Not everyone knew every aspect of the scam. But together, through action and inaction, they prevented the truth from coming out a lot sooner.

Twice in 2006 ICBC employees tried to blow the whistle, taking their concerns directly to the corporation's special investigations unit. Neither complaint went anywhere and the PricewaterhouseCoopers report provides the explanation.

"Issues were escalated to senior managers in the operations division who condoned the practices of employees purchasing MDR&T-repaired vehicles and/or having their vehicles serviced or repaired at the MDR&T facility."

Those senior managers made sure that not a word was passed along to higher-ups at ICBC: "Concerns were not escalated outside of the operations division."

They also tried to stifle the corporate gumshoes.

"The special investigation unit was discouraged by some senior managers at the operations division from investigating MDR&T."

As for that internal review mentioned at the outset, it went nowhere because . . . well, here's the relevant passage from the report:

"The review was overseen and conducted by employees who had purchased repaired vehicles and/or had their vehicle worked on at the MDR&T facility."

Yes. The folks who conducted the review were themselves up to their necks in the racket. At this point, the story begins to feel like something out of the movies.

The police procedural where it turns out that the cop is the perp. Or that moment in the spy film where you realize that the guy they sent to catch the mole is himself a double agent.

But unlike in the movies, there's no unmasking of the bad guys in this edge-of-your-car-seat thriller.

Before releasing the PricewaterhouseCoopers report last week, ICBC went through and expunged every name of everyone involved in this incredible scam and subsequent coverup.

Five individuals fielded the first whistle-blower complaint. Four handled the second. Five were well aware of the third, the one involving the Boxster.

At least one person was up to speed on all three instances, according to the report.

There's an indication, too, that one senior manager was receiving "incentive payments" in connection with his role in this shabby affair.

The accounts at the repair facility were being inflated to show a profit on the salvage business. Positive returns from the salvage business were one of a number of factors that went into calculating the annual bonus for this particular manager.

Thanks to ICBC's thorough use of the whiteout, we're left guessing at names and titles in all of the above instances. Nor can we say for sure whether anyone else was involved.

Those responsible "are no longer with the company," we're assured.

Yet the corporate brass refuse to say how many are gone, in what circumstances, and whether one was paid off.

"Legal reasons," they say. But it also means the coverup continues.

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=35995ee2-83f8-40f7-9e7a-295948deb89e

vpalmer@direct.ca

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Special thanks to "Lynx" who found the Opposition's battle-talk in Hansard:

28 February 2008
Oral Questions

CALL FOR INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION INTO ICBC VEHICLE SALES

C. James, Leader of the Opposition: On February 13, ICBC launched an internal investigation into the sale of repaired write-offs. The concern is that ICBC knowingly repaired write-offs and sold them without disclosing that they were rebuilt. ICBC has temporarily shut down the facility in question while the investigation is underway.

But the minister in charge is the Solicitor General. British Columbians know all too well that he has no ability to deliver an independent investigation. So my question is to the Solicitor General. Given his record of flip-flops, his record of failures, will he launch an independent investigation…

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Members.

C. James: …into ICBC's alleged chop shop?

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Members.

[1400]

Hon. J. Les, Solicitor General until forced to resign: That's an interesting assertion coming from the member opposite, who hasn't had a consistent position on anything for months in this House.

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Members.

Hon. J. Les: This matter at the facility that the member has referenced is actively under investigation. As usual, what I think is important here is to ensure

[ Page 10077 ]

that we allow that investigation to proceed, and we will deal with the conclusions.

Mr. Speaker: Member has a supplemental.

C. James: "As usual" is the key phrase from the Solicitor General, because as usual, nothing happens with this Solicitor General.

Let's actually take a look at his record. The Solicitor General told British Columbians that everything was fine with child death reviews. We discovered that hundreds and hundreds of files were missing and lost. He denied any problems with the B.C. Lottery Corporation until the Ombudsman delivered a scathing report.

His response to gang violence was to actually attack the West Vancouver police chief. Then he flip-flopped around amalgamation. This Solicitor General said no to a public inquiry into Robert Dziekanski's Taser death until he was actually contradicted by his own Premier.

Now we know that ICBC has been caught allegedly selling repaired write-offs without disclosure. Again to the Solicitor General…. His assurances mean absolutely nothing to the public. He has no credibility left. Will he launch an independent investigation into this issue?

Hon. J. Les: I can assure the member and all members of this House that this matter, which was surfaced by ICBC recently, will be properly and independently investigated and that we will deal with the conclusions properly.

If the opposition leader wants to look at our record, I'm pleased to review our record in terms of policing — for example, the $60 million a year that is being made available to municipalities from traffic fine revenue; the $66 million a year that is being made available for integrated police services, mostly in the lower mainland of British Columbia; the $40 million that we have invested in a state-of-the-art information management system for police in British Columbia. I could go on for quite some time to list our accomplishments.

Mr. Speaker: The Leader of the Opposition has a further supplemental.

C. James: It's incredible. How can the Solicitor General stand here and say it's an independent investigation when ICBC is investigating itself? That's the problem with this Solicitor General. He doesn't understand "independent investigation." That's what's critical.

This is a very serious matter. As many as 174 write-offs were repaired and were sold to unsuspecting buyers. The CEO of ICBC, Paul Taylor, said that it's just an issue of documentation and disclosure. Well, it's much more than that. It's about safety, and it's about the public being ripped off.

Again to the Solicitor General: will he admit that this is a much bigger problem than simply documentation, and will he today commit to launch an independent investigation from ICBC?

Hon. J. Les: As always, the Leader of the Opposition's idea of a review is to jump to conclusions before an investigation is complete.

Interjection.

Mr. Speaker: Member.

Hon. J. Les: Anyone who has purchased a vehicle that came out of this program is being contacted — in fact, at this point, will already have been contacted — by ICBC. We think it's important to protect public safety. We are doing that, and we are going to deal properly with any recommendations that come out of the investigation.

[1405]

H. Lali: We know that we can't trust the Solicitor General. He was wrong about the child death review scandal that took place, and he was also wrong about the B.C. Lottery scandal that also took place. Now he wants us to actually believe that he can deliver an independent investigation into ICBC's alleged chop shop.

Under the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act, it is an offence for a supplier to "engage in a deceptive act or practice in respect of a consumer transaction." My question is to the Solicitor General or the Attorney General. Have they launched an investigation into whether ICBC has broken the law?

Hon. J. Les: The member opposite, we should all understand, is frequently confused. He was railing on a few weeks ago about the increases of ICBC rates and the cash grab, as he described it, only to know that his own constituents actually are seeing decreases in their premiums.

I have said and will say again that this matter will be properly investigated, and it will be properly followed up with the appropriate actions as necessary.

Mr. Speaker: The member has a supplemental.

H. Lali: You know the minister doesn't have an answer when he has to shift on to something totally unrelated to the question at hand. The legislation is clear.

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Members.

H. Lali: It is an offence to engage in an act of deception. But then again, these Liberals are no strangers to deception. That's the history of the last seven years.

ICBC….

Mr. Speaker: Member, be careful of your language, please.

H. Lali: ICBC has been caught allegedly selling written-off cars to unsuspecting consumers, and we're

[ Page 10078 ]

supposed to trust the Solicitor General that ICBC will investigate itself — whether they have broken the law. We know that whenever the Liberals try to investigate themselves, all we get is cover-up after cover-up.

Again to the Solicitor General: will he finally agree to launch an independent investigation that includes determining if ICBC broke the law or not?

Hon. J. Les: A question, again, full of innuendo and full of jumping to conclusions that are completely inappropriate at this point. I can assure the member opposite — and I'll try this one more time — that this is being properly, thoroughly investigated.

There are independent legal and forensic auditors working on this case. All vehicle owners, as I have already said, will be contacted, and their vehicles will be reinspected. We are going to make sure that everyone is protected and that any wrongdoing, if there was any, will be properly prosecuted.

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Members.

M. Farnworth: What we're trying to get from this minister is a commitment to independence, because the track record of this minister is plain for everyone to see. He more often than not has to be dragged kicking and screaming to doing the right thing. We saw it in lotteries. We saw it in Children and Families. We've seen it when it comes to policing on a host of issues.

The allegations around ICBC and chop shop allegations are very serious, and the public wants to have confidence. The minister, in his first answer, said that it would be independently investigated. Can the minister tell this House: who is the independent person who is doing the investigation?

Hon. J. Les: That is the same question that's been asked several times today, and the answer is exactly the same. There are independent legal and forensic auditors working on this particular case, and they will come to the appropriate conclusions. They will let ICBC and government know what has happened here, and we will deal properly with that information.

Mr. Speaker: The member has a supplemental.

[1410]

M. Farnworth: My question to the Solicitor General is this: will he table in this House who those independent individuals are, who those independent auditors are, and will he table their terms of reference in this House so that we can see whether they are outside of ICBC and independent or whether it is a case of ICBC investigating itself?

Hon. J. Les: It is my objective that this entire investigation be properly done, transparently done. I have no issue with making all of the information available to members opposite.

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Members.

S. Simpson: The questions to the Solicitor General are clear and straightforward. Will the Solicitor General commit to releasing the information on who is doing this investigation, who's paying for the investigation and that the reports will be public? Will he commit to that today, or is it going to be another sham?

Hon. J. Les: It would appear that members opposite are deaf. For any other questions like that, I would suggest that they refer themselves to Hansard and read the answer again.



From the Hansard Index: Insurance Corporation of BC:

• Investigation into sale of repaired write-off vehicles
• investigation (Bains) 10721, 10889 (Farnworth) 10078, 10721-2 (James) 10076-7, 10720-1 (Lali) 10077-8 (Les) 10076-8 (Simpson, B.) 10078 (van Dongen) 10720-2, 10787-90, 10889
• public disclosure of internal investigation results (Bains) 10788, 10965-6 (James) 10787-8 (van Dongen) 10966
• special prosecutor (Ralston) 10789
• terms of reference for external review (Fleming) 10789-90 (Gentner) 10789

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Vaughn Palmer isn't going to let this issue go ... not just yet. His column for July 24, 2008 is headed

POLICY CONSTRUED TO CREATE A CULTURE OF ENTITLEMENT AT ICBC

He writes, where he describes the Campbell government's efforts to blame the NDP for the troubles at ICBC, "... 54 of the 55 insider sales mentioned in the report occurred after the BC Liberals took office in June 2001. More than half were in the last 3 years.

"On that basis at least, it would seem that the ICBC culture of insider entitlement grew up during the BC Liberal time in office ..."

Full column at: http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=09cc33fb-68d0-4ddf-b170-7cf804bec7c1

Palmer's e.mail address is: vpalmer@direct.ca

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More on the corruption of ICBC: Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun, July 25, 2008:

... PICKING UP THE $2.5 MILLION TAB

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Comments:
Mary,

Our good friend Express Collision Shop should be pleased to see this Palmer article.

I wonder how many other govt or near- govt enterprises use the same little fiddle (misallocate or understate costs) to generate a 'book' profit? The Enronization of the province continues apace.

More and more I wonder about the reluctance of Campbell and Co to release that whole document dump to the public...let alone the usually somnolent 'investigative' reporters in our fair province, who may, at long last, have begun to get a wake up call.

Even that business of 'capital' vs 'operating' leases is beginning to smell a little overripe.
 
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Right on, G West. Just that look-see provided by a commentor about 2 weeks ago, told us that the whole "Revitalization" thingy with CN stands in jeopardy because First Nations weren't consulted about trackage which passes through Reserves.

There's the BCR land which CN gets for $1. if trains haven't been running for 5 years.

Let's see Captain Campbell standing at the door of the Legislature, prepared to show that great book of promises ... 1,500 pages, I believe?

.
 
Apparently there is quite a bit of money that is not appearing on the balance sheets.
http://www.strategicthoughts.com/index.html

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Footnote 25(d) on page 65 of the Public Accounts for fiscal year 2005-2006 first provided a table similar to the one found in the 2008 Accounts. It indicated that contracts over $50 million for multiple-year agreements for the delivery of services and the construction of assets totaled $27.586 billion. That note did not include the estimate of obligations for self-supported crown corporations, but the subsequent Public Accounts for 2006-2007 rectified that oversight in its note 25(d) which indicated $55.2 billion in such obligations. So there is no time series available on how commitments to P3s and other contractual obligations have grown to exceed the total provincial debt, but from what little information can be gleaned from the last few years of Public Accounts, we know that those obligations stayed roughly the same at around $55 billion for the last two years. Future governments will be as confined by those obligations as they will be by any burden of debt. The Public Accounts should be expanded to make far more information available on those obligations, and both the government and the Auditor should say more about a footnote that covers $55 billion in contingencies and contractual obligations.

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Thanks Anonymous 6:42,

Noted also in passing:

BC Public Accounts: Surprise, another surplus!

Posted by Marc Lee under BC, budgets.
July 18th, 2008


BC’s public accounts for 2007/08 were released yesterday, closing the fiscal year with a surplus of $2.886 billion. This marks BC’s fourth truly massive surplus in a row, after surpluses of $2.575 billion in 2004/05, $3.060 billion in 2005/06, and $4.056 billion in 2006/07. Like all of those budgets, the 2007/08 budget as tabled in February 2007 vastly understated the province’s true fiscal position, thereby trumping demands for increased social spending (last year’s comparison is here).

In this case, at the time of BC Budget 2007, the government tabled a projected surplus of $400 million, plus a forecast allowance of $750 million. This budget was billed as a “housing budget” but did little to address the crisis in affordable housing in BC, with much of the housing dollars being tax cuts.

The gross understatement of the surplus was pointed out by yours truly at the time:

Tax cuts aside, the fact of the matter is that provincial coffers are bursting with surplus cash. On top of $3 billion surpluses in each of the past two years, the 2007 budget will also close in the $2-3 billion range. The budget document only admits to an underlying surplus of more than $1 billion, but extremely conservative assumptions about revenues hide much more than that (this game was invented by Paul Martin but has been the main story of BC budgets for several years now). In fact, the government forecasts that revenues will decline in 2007/08 in spite of projections of solid economic growth.

And while I go on about how I told them so, here is what our estimates were in our 2007 BC Solutions Budget, published prior to the actual BC Budget and relying on estimates from the 2006/07 first and second quarterly financial reports, plus some assumptions about anticipated nominal economic growth:

Using a methodology that has consistently allowed the CCPA to forecast budget surpluses more accurately than either the federal or BC governments, we have re-calculated the provincial government’s budget numbers using a more realistic estimate of revenues, and project sizable surpluses of:

• $3.3 billion in 2006/07;
• $3.6 billion in 2007/08; and
• $4.5 billion in 2008/09.

Those estimates did not take into account the $343 million in tax cuts for 2007/08 announced in the 2007 budget. And Budget 2008 brought in the $100 per person Climate Action Dividend, which is estimated to cost $440 million, and is taken out of the 2007/08 budget surplus. Add those in to the audited surplus number above and we get $3.669 billion, which puts us pretty close in terms of fiscal forecasting.

One other important note buried in the audited statements is on page 72, called “Contractual Obligations”, is the approximate future cost of Public-Private Partnership ventures.

Looking forward from 2009 to the future, there is a total of $25 billion in future liabilities associated with P3s, and if we include all Crown corporations this number rises to $55 billion. For comparative purposes, the total revenues for BC in 2007/08 were just under $40 billion.

.
 
Group West Systems Ltd. to Provide Outsourcing Services to the Insurance Corporation of B.C

Group West Systems Ltd. (TSE:GPW), an Application Service Provider (ASP), is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement to provide outsourcing services to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC).

This agreement is for a two year period with an option to renew, and will provide outsourcing services for the hardware, operating system and application software comprising ICBM's Salvage Information Management System (SIMS).

In addition, Group West will implement a System Enhancement Strategy that will allow ICBC to take advantage of changes in technology, as well as changes to business processes. These services include on-going SIMS application maintenance and comprehensive operational support services. Enhancements to the system will be governed by a separate agreement.

Bill Ste Marie, stated, "Our efforts to position Group West in the mid-range outsourcing market are beginning to show results. We are very pleased that companies like ICBC have the confidence in our ability to manage their systems and keep them current with the latest technology. The growing trend towards outsourcing makes economic sense for ICBC as it does to many other companies we are currently helping."

The ICBC Salvage Information Management System was designed and developed to support the basic functions of tracking and disposing of salvage for ICBC. The system supports the operations of salvage yards located throughout British Columbia (BC). There are plans underway to introduce electronic remote bidding over the Internet or other wide area networks to allow a broader base of potential buyers to have access to the salvaged automobiles. Other plans to take advantage of e-commerce enhancements to the system are being considered.

Snip
 
We've all seen the UN Gang photo, well here's one that shows the ICBC "gang" at work.
 
Witch Hunt is all that is left to the public when it comes to how ICBC and the BC Liberals have handled SOAR participants.
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Vaughn Palmer on "How the bad guys kept the lid on the car-repair racket at ICBC"
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As in all excellently run scams there are always a double set of books kept by the bad guys, in this case its ICBC and the BC Liberal Government with the latter being just as guilty as the managers and employees.

Vaughn Palmer writes in his column, ".... we're left guessing at names and titles in all of the above instances."


"Legal reasons" is the only answer that ICBC brass can't hand over the name of those they fired to the public domain..........


Well I've got news for ICBC, if you don't reveal who acted criminally, with intent to defraud the public (which raised MY premiums) then you have destroyed your own employees credibility and their ability to look their customers in the face and say I'm not one of "them".

Til the day that an inquiry makes a ruling, Everyone, in my mind, who works for ICBC are crooks!!!!


SUGGESTION: As much as ICBC has thoroughly used whiteout to expunge the names and titles of those they fired, there are plenty of photos on the internet, much like the UN Gang's, that are there for the public to "guess" at as being part of the ICBC "culture of entitlement".

Photos abound that are not controlled by the ICBC, but by those entities that handed out awards for jobs well done by ICBC staff, crooks and all. Why must the public be left to look for the bad guys who are free as a bird to prey on others, again, without a makr against their names.
 
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To the Encyclopedic North Van's Grumps, thanks again! Now ... more questions.

As I re-re-read Vaughn Palmer's report this morning, these questions came to mind:

* Didn't this NDP Opposition keep a regular watch over the Insurance Corporation of B.C. (ICBC), their own brainchild, a virtual jewel in their crown of thorns?

* Did the Loyal Opposition simply stay silent about what they saw, knew, or suspected?

* Surely some of the "Good Guys" dropped a few hints to the Opposition about what was going down?

* Assuming "Yes" to these questions, did the NDP Opposition do nothing? Or was this just another one of those B.C. media failures, where the BC Opposition's opposition is invisible to the B.C. press?


In other words, is the whole damn Legislature bonded together in corruption??

We must ask that painful question.

I think the road-marker will be the
awful next question: there will certainly be anger about the ICBC situation; and it's a healthy anger caused by the abuse of a public good. But ... watch out.

The next step could be the manipulation of so much anger ... not against Capt. Goddam Campbell, but ... against ICBC itself.

Manipulated public outrage could create the ideal conditions for privatizating the Public Insurance Corporation ... for taking another public good out of public ownership and placing it in private hands. Or of simply trashing and dismantling ICBC, allowing private insurance to take over on their own terms.

ICBC, in the distant past, served the people of B.C. well.

ICBC shouldn't have been abused and botched this way.

But ICBC can be corrected and restored to serve the people again. It shouldn't be thrown away.
_________________________________


Thanks again, NVG, for bringing this topic back for further discussion.

PS: is it OK to post one of your old comments which you have headed "NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION yet"?

.
 
Oh, did I forget to mention this:

Its 2008 and these three companies are still on the books:

552513 British Columbia Ltd 1

577315 BC Ltd 2

580440 BC Ltd 3*


1 This company owns shares in Skeena Cellulose Inc.

2 The investments in Western Star Trucks Holdings Ltd. have been sold and the province no longer has any interest in that company.

3 This company provides funding to the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre Authority that, in turn, constructs the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre.

* Winding down or inactive

**************************

Just why does the Convention centre have to have a numbered account and be exempt from reporting its finances to the public? Or is it being done so that the final price tag stays at $800 million.
 
The Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre is being completed by BC Pavilion Corporation (PavCo). PavCo is a wholly-owned Crown Corporation of the Province of British Columbia that was formed by the April 1, 2008 amalgamation of BC Pavilion Corporation and Vancouver Convention Centre Expansion Project Ltd."


Not one peep about 580440 B.C. Ltd. (1999) created "to provide financing to the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre Authority for the expansion of the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre."
 
Fourth of series on ICBC by Vaughn Palmer.


I was so ticked off with yesterday's third column on the ICBC scandal that I sat down and wrote, an email to Vaughn and a comment to this blog. Vaughn received his, and replied, which mirrored almost exactly what I wrote for here and didn't post.

Then there's Vaughn Palmer's column today (Saturday), which I have created a link above.

The ICBC scandal topic is one that I feel that I can get in on the ground floor...... so I've created a blog called "Blog Borg Collective"
 
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