Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia announces stringent staff security clearance measures

    Improvements made to hiring and internal controls enhance protection of
    client accounts

    VANCOUVER, June 1 /CNW/ - The Public Guardian and Trustee of British
Columbia announced today that it has significantly improved its internal
controls, policies and processes and implemented stronger security practices.
    The improvements were made following a rigorous and extensive examination
of the organization's internal systems and controls after the Public Guardian
and Trustee and twelve of its clients were defrauded by former temporary
employee Bryan Tickell in 2007. Tickell was sentenced today to a 6 year term
of imprisonment for employment fraud, forgery and theft.
    "We are grateful that the North Vancouver RCMP and Crown Counsel gave
this very serious matter considerable attention and worked so diligently to
bring some justice for those affected," said Jay Chalke, QC, Public Guardian
and Trustee. "Now that the criminal proceeding has reached this result, we are
moving forward and focusing our efforts on serving the British Columbians who
have entrusted us with the management of their personal and financial
    Many systems and controls improvements have been implemented over the
past year which better protect the 32,110 clients under the Public Guardian
and Trustee's care.
    "Although the misappropriated funds have long since been returned to the
client accounts they were wrongfully taken from, it was critical for us to
make permanent improvements to our systems and controls that would protect our
clients, their trust accounts and our organization from any future incidents,"
said Chalke. "I am confident that the improvements we have made and that we
will continue to make to our security systems and policies will allow us to
move forward, serving our clients."
    The organization's recruiting standards have significantly been improved
and all candidates must undergo an enhanced security clearance check which
includes, but is not limited to, the following:

    -   criminal record check
    -   police record check
    -   personal bankruptcy check
    -   Financial Institutions Commission check
    -   Securities Commission check
    -   various Justice System databases checks
    -   educational qualification verification
    -   employment history verification
    -   professional accreditation and disciplinary check

    The improvements to hiring are in addition to several improvements that
were made internally with respect to the systems and controls governing the
handling of client assets, wills and disbursements. Further improvements are
being implemented over the next year.
    "We sought out, obtained and followed expert advice on how we could
improve our controls. As with all financial institutions, this work is never
done and I am committed to continuing this process as we move forward," said
Chalke. "In the meantime, our enhanced security clearance requirements are
among the most stringent of any public body in British Columbia."

    About the Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia:

    The Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia provides services to
approximately 32,110 clients and manages more than $765 million in trust
assets. Its mandate is to serve:

    -   Children and youth under the age of 19 by protecting their legal and
        financial interests;
    -   Adults who require assistance in decision-making through the
        protection of their legal rights, financial interests and personal
        care interests;
    -   Heirs and beneficiaries of deceased persons when there is no one
        willing or able to administer their estates; the estates of missing
        persons; and the beneficiaries of personal trusts.

    For more information see the PGT website at

For further information:

For further information: For media inquiries, please contact: Indiana
Matters, (604) 660-4484

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