Minister of Education Peter Fassbender provided the following comments on the completed review of ministry procurement procedures prompted by questions about a research contract:
“I appreciate the questions about the Ministry of Education’s decision to support Ms. Anjali Vyas’ research project comparing teacher training programs in Finland and British Columbia.
“Particularly in a period of fiscal restraint, government must carefully manage and make best use of every available tax dollar.
“That is why I asked my deputy minister to review this matter. That review confirmed that the financial commitments were made in keeping with relevant policy. The review also makes recommendations to further strengthen ministry procedures, which will be implemented immediately.
“This was an unusual set of circumstances and the ministry’s intent was to support an existing research project that had been initiated by a talented and motivated young person. Teacher training is an important matter that does bear greater scrutiny and it is imperative that the ministry continue to seek out the perspectives of students and young people on how to improve our education system.
“However, in this case, I believe the ministry could have pursued these important objectives in a more cost effective manner. It is a reminder that we must remain prudent with tax dollars as we continue our efforts to improve the education system.
“On behalf of the Ministry of Education, I want to apologize to Ms. Vyas for the significant impact this matter has had on her and her family. Through no fault of her own, a very talented and dedicated young woman has been subjected to unfair allegations that her work was of no value or the manner in which she pursued it was inappropriate.”
To view the Ministry of Education Report on the Review of Procurement Procedures: http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/downloads/Report_on_the_Review_of_Procurement_Procedures.pdf
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education