Canadians have yet another reason to mistrust the long hated Canada Revenue Agency.  QMI Agency has uncovered details in numerous documents obtained though access to information that dozens of CRA employees are sanctioned every year.


The infractions include browsing of porn websites, consulting colleagues’ and relatives’ tax files or transmitting confidential information.  The people entrusted with Canadians most private and personal information, QMI has revealed are abusing the power given them.  Most cases involve misuse of government property or access to confidential taxpayer information.


Over five years beginning in 2006, 927 misconduct cases were logged in CRA offices across the country. That works out to almost 200 cases per year.


This should make the average Canadian question those empowered with their personal information.  If such misconduct cases can happen in a highly monitored enviroment like the CRA one can only imagine the abuses of trust going on elsewhere.


During the 2006-2007 fiscal year documents revealed 136 cases of bureaucrats using CRA offices for non-government business.


In 34 cases staff were said to have looked at confidential tax records while others failed to report sources of income, were drunk on the job or solicited clients to help their personal companies.  One case involved a worker who had downloaded hundreds of sexy photos and surfed porn websites for more than two hours.


Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart said she is currently investigating the CRA situation.


In her annual report, Stoddart noted a “potential risk” with privacy violations potentially affecting “thousands of Canadians.”


The Canada Revenue Agency said it was taking “very seriously the protection of the Canadian tax system,” adding that offenders were punished if complaints against them were found to be legitimate.


“Incidents involving one employee or a small group of employees do not cast doubt on the honesty and professionalism of thousands of employees,” CRA spokesman Philippe Brideau said.

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