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Department of National Defense: People or Fancy New Office?

The Department of National Defence is currently headquartered at 101 Colonel By Drive in Ottawa.The Department of National Defense is one of the departments slated for cuts as Harper searches for $4 billion in savings. However, as 2,100 employees are packing their stuff and moving out of their offices, renovations have been slotted as new spending. These renovations, at a cost of $379,000 tax payer dollars, can be found in the deputy defense minister’s office.

Renovations started in June 2011 after Robert Fonberg gave the green light to renovations on his office in May. The seven-week renovation included moving new associate deputy minister Matthew King and his staff to a shared space in DND headquarters at 101 Colonel By Dr. in Ottawa.

An internal briefing note justified the $379,000 in spending claiming it would "improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the deputy minister's office."

DND defended the cost claiming that the office hadn’t been upgraded since 1992 and that they found savings in the process.

"New requirements emerged that are appropriate for the offices of the senior civilian leadership at national defense," read a statement from the DND.

The new renovated office featured 9 workers and the department wouldn’t explain how the renovation money was spent.

Derek Fildebrandt responded on behalf of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation to the renovations calling it “an incredible waste of resources."

"Department heads and leaders need to lead by example, nowhere is this more important than in the military.

It should have never been approved, especially not since we're spending hundreds of millions of dollars to move [DND] to the other end of the city... into the old Nortel buildings."

Derek Fildebrandt, National Research Director of Canadian Taxpayers Federation

DND is moving its headquarters to the former Nortel Networks headquarters in West Ottawa at an expense of $200 million in 2010.

At a price of $200,379,000, how many jobs could you have saved? Yet another example of Conservative mismanagement which is coming even more to light as they try to fix their mess with cuts that are painful and in the wrong places.