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Pan Am officials didn’t destroy records to avoid accountability: watchdog

Workers prepare for the Pan Am Games in Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square on July 8, 2015.

Rebecca Blackwell/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ontario's information and privacy commissioner says executives at Toronto's Pan Am Games committee didn't get rid of their hard drives in order to avoid accountability.

Brian Beamish announced in June that he would investigate after Ontario auditor general Bonnie Lysyk said the senior staff, including CEO Saad Rafi, had disposed of nine of 12 computer hard drives her office had requested.

In a report released today, Beamish says he found "no intention by TO2015 to destroy records or withhold hard drives to mislead the auditor general or avoid accountability."

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He says that even though some documents may not have been available to the auditor general, it didn't impede Lysyk in completing her audit.

Beamish says TO2015 had appropriate record-keeping and record-retention policies that "focused on preserving the content of business records in a cloud-based system, rather than on hard drives or other devices."

The opposition parties had called for Beamish to investigate, given Liberal history – two top aides of Dalton McGuinty are facing charges after hard drives in the former premier's office were wiped clean.

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