The Receiver General, responsible for making payments to the Government of Canada each fiscal year, lost over $1.4 million in taxpayer money from sending incorrect wire transfers and cheques.
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, the $1.4 million loss came after a “failed 2012 campaign by the Department of Public Works,” wherein they would require Canadians to submit sensitive information including bank data to accept payments from the government.
The Receiver General announced the losses in a Public Accounts notice, stating that they “misdirected direct deposits” 10,552 times.
A total of 5,713,290 was paid out incorrectly. Thankfully for the Receiver General, $4.2 million was returned. $1.4 million was permanently lost and is not expected to be recovered at any point.
Turning to electronic payments was intended to be a way for the Canadian government to move to a paperless world, aiming to make all payments electronically.
In 2013, the cost of processing an electronic payment was 69 cents less than using paper cheques.
The move to an electronic world, though, would have gone against the wishes of up to 37 percent of the country, who when asked, were “wary of surrendering” bank information to the federal government.