Scouts Canada did not try to cover up sexual abuse: Report
Scouts Canada falls short in its reporting of sexual misconduct and its screening procedures, but there is no systematic intent to cover up incidents of abuse, according to a report released Monday.
The organization hired auditing firm KPMG to conduct an independent review of its records covering the period between 1947 and 2011. There was a total 486 files of suspension or termination related to sexual abuse over the 64 years.
KPMG took seven months to produce the report, working with records that were "disorganized, incomplete and inconsistent," the report said, because Scouts Canada did not have a defined national protocol for reporting such information prior to 2001.
Until then, local chapters each had their own procedures, leading to misunderstanding or misinterpretation of policies and inconsistent decision-making, the report found. The organization has improved in this area since implementing new standards in 2002, but there are still gaps, KPMG said.
Some volunteers continued to participate in Scouts activities despite being suspended or terminated, some resigned before any disciplinary action could be taken, and yet others held unsanctioned events for Scouts where they committed acts of abuse.
Scouts Canada fell short in reporting incidents to police, the report concludes. KPMG found 65 files that were not shared with authorities and 64 cases where it wasn't clear whether or not authorities were involved. Though the report noted that the majority of those cases occurred prior to 1992 and there has been significant improvement in this area.
But, as the report states, there was no obvious intent to cover up any information.
Scouts Canada acknowledged the shortcomings and said it has tightened its screening and training of adult volunteers and put in place a clear, centralized policy for handling reports of sexual misconduct.