The current situation regarding the so-called robo-calls or voter suppression activities is only the latest incident that has resulted in loud protestations of innocence through ignorance by the party leaders. “That must have been done by someone I don?t know anything about, therefore it isn’t my fault. Nothing to do with me!” This attitude among the political leaders is disingenuous in the extreme for the following reason – the federal government itself has developed the concept of the “accountable executive” (AE). It is their own idea, no one else’s, and this is how it works:
Companies operating in quasi-self regulating industries such as rail transportation, airlines, and even pipeline companies must identify the AE. This is usually the CEO, president or basically whoever the actual CMFIC is. A person may not be declared to be the AE if he or she does not have direct control of financial resources and operational decision making within the organization.
The AE is, under Canadian law, held to be criminally liable for the conduct of the company. For example, if an aircraft maintenance engineer at an airline knowingly installs a bogus part, or knowingly signs out an aircraft that is not airworthy, a criminal offence has occurred. In addition to whatever additional regulatory or civil sanctions may be applied to the company and individuals, the criminal charge, which represents ultimate responsibility for the situation lands on the AE, not they guy who signed out the ship.
The concept of the accountable executive is intended to ensure that the CMFIC demands exemplary conduct from the entire organization. The AE will tell the company to ground the plane, shut the line, take the delays, eat the costs, but don’t screw with proper conduct! Because it is the AE who is in the sling for it.
“I didn’t know” is not considered a defense on any level, because the AE is supposed to set the tone and create the culture within which the organization operates. It would be a fine thing if our federal political parties would adopt this concept. After all, it is their idea. And it sounds like it is needed.
Dave Menzies, Terrace, BC