Federal COVID-19 vaccine, benefits rollout swift but wasteful: AG – CBC

Karen Hogan’s report says $4.6B went to ineligible individuals, 13.6 million doses expired before donation

Dec 06, 2022

The federal government succeeded in quickly securing and distributing COVID-19 vaccines and rolling out pandemic benefits to help people and backstop the economy, but wasted millions of doses and gave billions in benefits to ineligible recipients, the auditor general of Canada says.

Auditor General Karen Hogan’s fall audits, which were released Tuesday, give the government a mixed pandemic report card, saying that while benefit programs were swift and did what they were supposed to do, they were also wasteful and lacked proper verification.

“In 2020, the government decided to rely on information provided by applicants and limit pre-payment controls to expedite helping people and employers affected by the pandemic,” Hogan said in a statement. “In doing so, it recognized that there was a risk that some payments would go to ineligible recipients.”

The audit of benefits “found that overpayments of $4.6 billion were made to ineligible individuals, and we estimated that at least $27.4 billion of payments to individuals and employers should be investigated further,” she said.

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/auditor-general-pandemic-benefits-vaccines-1.6675729

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