The scandal at the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is capturing considerable attention in Canada, and The Centre for Corporate & Public Governance has a statement on its website responding to the report of the Ontario Ombudsman which details an astonishing litany of abuses and failures at the agency. But what the Ombudsman failed to ask was the basic question: Where was the board in all of this? Given the nature of the findings, and the fact that these shortcomings have been around for a long time, the board was hardly a hapless bystander to the scandal.
At his press conference, Ombudsman Andre Marin stated “This problem is deep within the bowels of the OLG.” It is difficult to believe something so widely known within the organization would not have made its way up to the boardroom as well. And, if it did not, that, too, says volumes about the corporate governance practices at this multi-billion dollar public agency.
Another question that neither the Ombudsman nor the government minister responsible addressed: Why are the three directors who were appointed in 2004 and presided over this disaster still on the board?