22 January 2010

BC Agencies Defraud Government, Don't Help Poor

If you live in BC, you may have followed the story of WCG International HR Solutions based in Tucson Arizona. The company ran the JobWave program which was intended to help people on welfare find regular employment and the Triumph employment program for people with disabilities.

The [Human and Social Development] office in Prince George raised questions about why WCG International HR Solution's office in the city had already billed the ministry for intake for clients it later described as "intake no-shows."


The investigators identified $2,800 in overbillings. Also, of the eight intakes they looked at from January and February last year, just one was done within the 21-days allowed under WCG's contract with the government.

The problems went beyond overbilling the government and they aren't restricted to WCG.

I’ve been with Triumph for five months and they have done the sum total of NOTHING. I get one phone call a month where I have to tell the girl I am number ____. It’s always somebody new. The office has always moved. She never knows what’s going on. And her biggest question is: “When’s good for you next month?

That's a quote from the story of Lucy (p76), from the 2005 book Policies of Exclusion, Poverty & Health: Stories from the front. If you click the link, you can listen to her story via podcast.

There are also major issues with Community Futures. When that federal community economic development agency was privatized, it morphed into FutureCorp, which is aptly named. The story of Anna is typical of the experience (p17f, in the book) of people seeking help who are consistently getting caught in a maze not of their own making.

These women were desperate to find work, desperate to forge a new future for themselves and their families. All they met was intransigence or indifference.

Unfortunately, Lucy's and Anna's stories can be duplicated countless times. These agencies that purportedly exist to help the poor seem more to be helping themselves to government money.

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