Federal government hunted for person who leaked Omar Khadr’s $10.5M settlement payment: internal report

Brian PlattBrian Platt

The Privy Council Office refuses to say whether it ever referred the probe to the RCMP, as it did with the leak investigation into Vice-Admiral Mark Norman

An internal report obtained by the National Post reveals details of how the federal government launched an investigation spanning six departments and agencies to hunt for who leaked information about a reported $10.5-million settlement with Omar Khadr in July 2017.

But the Privy Council Office is refusing to say whether it ever referred the probe to the RCMP, as it did with the leak investigation into Vice-Admiral Mark Norman.

The internal report, obtained through an access-to-information request, also shows that payment of the out-of-court settlement to Khadr was delayed by a day after public servants made a coding error that caused the transfer to be rejected by the Bank of Canada, through which the payment flowed to a bank account held by an unnamed third party. Public servants scrambled to fix the error and spent the next day monitoring the payment step-by-step until it properly transferred through the banks.

News of the settlement was reported on the evening of July 3, 2017, by The Globe and Mail, which identified its source only as a “federal insider.” As of September 2017 — two months after the news story — the Privy Council Office was still searching for who leaked to the media, the report says.

The Post asked the Privy Council Office if the internal investigation ever uncovered the source of the leak, if the matter was ever referred to the RCMP, and if anyone was ever disciplined or terminated over the leak. Stephane Shank, manager of media relations for the Privy Council Office, sent a statement that did not answer any of the questions.

“Any disclosure of confidential information is a breach of the Public Service’s Values and Ethics Code,” it said. “As Public Servants, we swear an oath to serve and are entrusted to protect information of a confidential nature. This disclosure, while a breach, did not constitute a risk to the Canadian public. We do not comment on personnel matters.”

The Post asked the Prime Minister’s Office if it was ever consulted on whether to refer the Khadr leak investigation to the RCMP. “No,” said the one-word response from spokeswoman Eleanore Catenaro.

full story at https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/federal-government-hunted-for-person-who-leaked-omar-khadrs-10-5m-settlement-payment-internal-report-reveals?video_autoplay=true

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