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No Evidence of Political Interference in McKinsey Contracts: Treasury Board Report

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The Treasury Board said Tuesday it has found no evidence of political interference in federal contracts with consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

Treasury Board President Mona Fortier and Procurement Minister Helena Jaczek were tasked with reviewing the contracts awarded to McKinsey after media reports detailed the rapid growth in their value since the Liberals came to power in 2015.

Departmental audits found no evidence of political interference and no evidence that the integrity of the procurement process was not maintained, the final report said.

But the audits did find some administrative requirements and procedures were not consistently followed, which reaffirms preliminary findings published in March.

“For example, some procurement files had insufficient or missing documentation and there were errors in the reporting of contracts according to the requirements for proactive publication,” the report said.

The contracts came under particular scrutiny because of the firm’s former global managing director’s link to the Liberal government, which raised questions about what influence McKinsey had on public policy.

Dominic Barton had served as the chair of an advisory council on economic growth for former finance minister Bill Morneau. He was also later appointed as Canada’s ambassador to China before resigning in late 2021.

In February, Barton was called to appear before a House of Commons committee looking into the contracts.

He insisted that he and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are not friends, and said he was sad to see continued insinuations about his relationship with the federal Liberals.

“I had no involvement whatsoever in any awarding of paid work to McKinsey by the federal government since I relocated to Asia in 1996,” Barton said.

He also said he is no longer affiliated with the consulting firm and does not benefit from McKinsey’s financial success, saying: “It has now been over three and a half years since I left McKinsey and sold all my shares.”

The government said McKinsey has received at least $116.8 million in federal contracts since 2015, which represents a small fraction of its overall contracts with consulting firms.

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