The rest of the article is here. Zaccardelli does not seem to have improved his skills at testifying after being coached and also resigning. You can't teach an old commissioner new tricks.
Zaccardelli show another blow to the public service
Susan Riley, CanWest News Service
Published: Thursday, April 19, 2007
Follow the rules. Keep notes. Trust no one. Good advice for any ambitious public servant -- especially someone contemplating a head-office career in the RCMP.
This week's electrifying testimony from former commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli, his ex-underlings and some ardent critics was more than top-notch drama.
It was a textbook model of how not to manage, a nightmarish example of Bad Boss Syndrome, a vivid illustration of an office atmosphere so volatile it exploded in full public view, splattering the reputation of a venerable institution.
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Font: ****The question of whether the mishandling of the RCMP pension fund -- using it to hire relatives, pay for executive golf games, underwrite contracts of dubious merit -- amounts to administrative carelessness or criminal pilfering is one issue. That should be determined in due course.
What a Commons committee heard, in the meantime, was an account of butt-covering, blame-shifting and death by e-mail in the wake of the embarrassing revelations. All seasoned bureaucrats will recognize the phenomenon.
The RCMP is a separate agency, but is subject to most of the same rules that govern all public servants. In theory. In reality, under Zaccardelli's rule, a whistle-blower was sent to another department to contemplate his sins -- oh, and to enhance his resume -- when he dared question the pension matter. (Zaccardelli's insistence that he never used transfers to punish people drew derisive laughter from Mounties in the audience.)
Nor were two senior managers at the centre of the scandal fired -- or immediately removed, as Zaccardelli suggested. They were put on administrative leave, or sick leave, until they were pensioned off.
Anyone who followed the Maher Arar inquiry will recognize this approach: Miscreant Mounties promoted, or protected, rather than punished. (We still don't know who decided to launch an income-trust probe in the middle of an election campaign, by the way.)
What is obvious is that many rank-and-file officers had no confidence in Zaccardelli -- understandably. His testimony on whether he cancelled a criminal probe into the pension affair was contradictory: He never cancelled an investigation because he never ordered one, he said.
"A lie," said the man sitting beside him, retired Staff Sgt. Ron Lewis, who insists he had Zaccardelli's permission to start a criminal inquiry. Another lie from the chief, he charged, and a lie under oath.
It made for riveting television -- someone is lying, concluded witnesses -- but as a recruiting tool for the public service, it wasn't helpful.
In fact, this fiasco is only the latest in a series of petty, colourful sideshows -- the billion-dollar boondoggle, Gomery, the Dingwall affair -- that have besmirched the reputation of public servants and politicians alike
In his latest report, Privy Council clerk Kevin Lynch frets that repeated scandals -- and the "web of rules" they have spawned -- threatens the functioning of government.
"A public culture focused heavily on wrongdoing and individual accountability," Lynch writes, risks creating "an environment in which public servants are more concerned with not being accused of doing the wrong thing, than with doing the right thing."
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