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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Accounting for Gomery: The Money Links Between the Federal Government, Political Parties and Private Interests

Digital Publication by Mark Mullins

This Digital Publication by Mark Mullins takes a new look at the Gomery inquiry and the deeper financial realities it revealed. To begin, Mullins states that the amounts of money and number of people involved in the sponsorship scandal are larger than previously known. Specifically, he cites 565 organizations and individuals this study found to be involved, compared to only 71 organizations originally cited in the 2003 Auditor General’s Report. Further, those identified as having benefited from the sponsorship program are politicians, bureaucrats, political party members and business people.

Of all the individuals cited in testimony at the Gomery inquiry, Mullins finds that most enjoyed explicit ties to the Liberal Party of Canada, in that they collectively contributed over 40 donations between 1993 and 2003. Mullins founds that his study varied with the results of the Gomery Inquiry, when looking at the total figures involved. The people he found to be involved privately donated $3.9 million collectively to the Liberal Party, in return receiving a total of $7.4 million in private contracts from the Liberal government during that same 10-year period. By contrast, the Gomery Inquiry found these select individuals donated a combined total of only $2.5 million directly to the Liberal Party.

Mullins explains that the Liberal government’s problems relating to sponsorship and advertising programs can be best understood through the lens of the economic theory of incentives and institutional structure. He contends the individuals implicated in the scandal were encouraged to continue their inappropriate behaviours and relationships because of the incentives they gained. Those within government saw larger salaries, more favourable staffing and budgeting, increased political influence, or increased access to public funding. Government outsiders were rewarded with sponsorship and advertising contracts which Mullins argues generated at least $190 million in private benefits. Mullins claims that the links he found through money trail are crucial to making sense of the underlying relationships that allowed the sponsorship scandal to happen.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Mark Mullins;
Publisher: Fraser Institute [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2005; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: National;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Public Administration / Ethics
Policy Articles / Public Administration / Accountability
Policy Articles / Public Administration / Elected Officials
Policy Articles / Public Administration / Accountability / 2005
Policy Articles / Public Administration / Elected Officials / 2005
Policy Articles / Public Administration / Ethics / 2005
Policy Articles / Public Administration


Keywords / Tags:

Canada; Gomery Inquiry; sponsorship scandal; bureaucrats; government outsiders; party donations; government insiders; monetary incentives; government relationships;