The Canadian government does not appear to be very keen on their responsibility of informing the public about who is running its Canada Student Loans Program out of the National Student Loan Service Center. Nor is the Canadian media owning up to their responsibility to inform the public about these issues that deeply affect the Canadian taxpayer, students who take out student loans, and the Canadian economy.
The Canada Student Loans Program and Procurement Canada office say that a company called “DH Corporation” is the service provider carrying out the service contract. However, in the actual report on Buy and Sell (Canada) through the procurement office it states that DH Limited Partnership is the contract holder.
In a call for transparency from the government into the matter, a series of email exchanges took place between owner, John LeBlanc, of The CFW Group Inc and Atiq Rahman, Director General of the Canada Student Loans Program and Employment and Social Development Canada, and also Bob Crober, Supply Team Leader with Public Works, and Procurement Canada in June 2018.
An account of these email communications:
Mr. Rahman responded to questions and concerns related to an ongoing lawsuit against the Canada Student Loan Service Provider by the plaintiff, The CFW Group Inc., and the purchase of then service provider in the NSLSC (DH Limited Partnership) by foreign giant, Vista Equity Partners and Finastra, and its potential impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement and Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP):
“I am responding to your emails dated June 5, 2018, concerning the litigation between CFW Group and DH Corporation and the potential impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement on the Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP), as well as your follow-up email dated June 10, 2018, in which you made reference to the acquisition of DH Corporation by Vista Equity Partners.”
We have taken careful note of the points made in both messages; however, we are not in a position to comment on the ongoing litigation to which you refer. In addition, the contract for the delivery of the CSLP remains with DH Corporation, a Canadian entity that is subject to Canadian tax laws.”
Mr. Rahman’s response was certainly surprising.
The focus then shifted on the erroneous identity of the student loan service contract owner inside the National Student Loan Service Center. The question was then raised with Mr. Rahman about DH Corporation coming out of nowhere and being slipped in, replacing “DH Limited Partnership”, and how it suddenly just changed without any oversight, and by what mechanism allowed this change.
Mr. LeBlanc of the CFW Group Inc goes on to say:
“Thank you for your response.
As of yesterday, the government of Canadas website “buyandsell.gc.ca” identified the holder of the CSLP contract as D+H Limited Partnership. Please advise when the name of the supplier changed to DH Corporation, and by what mechanism it did so.
Please also advise why the information on the above noted website is not correct.”
Instead of a response by the Director General of the Canada Student Loans Program and Employment and Social Development Canada, Atiq Rahman, the matter was handed to Robert Crober, Supply Team Leader with Public Works, and Procurement Canada to respond, which he did respond to the above with:
“Good morning Mr.LeBlanc,
My colleagues at the Canada Student Loan Program have forwarded your question to my attention.
Periodically there are different types of corporate changes that can occur. In this case the change of the contractors name is done according to Public Services and Procurement Canada’s policy. The information on “BuyandSell” will be updated at the time of the next contract amendment.”
Now here is the headscratcher. A foreign company (Finastra) owned by Vista Equity Partners who appears to be registered out of the Cayman Islands is actually doing business as the service provider to the Canada Student Loans Program and carrying out this government contract inside the National Student Loan Service Center. To make matters even worse Finastra (and Vista Equity Partners) owner Robert Smith is involved in tax crimes against the government of the United States.
Sadly, the government of Canada has allowed a government financial contract to a financial program containing the most sensitive of personal information belonging to every single Canada student loan borrower into the hands of a corrupt foreign billionaire, unannounced to the Canadian public.
From Finastra’s website:
“Finastra is the Canadian industry leader in delivering student lending programs, servicing key clients such as the Government of Canada, provincial governments and a number of financial institutions.”
How does a foreign company owned by a billionaire who has committed tax crimes against the U.S. government just walk in and take over a government program in Canada without any oversight, and with no notice to the Canadian public? Creating clouds of secrecy and confusion seem to be the objective of the Canadian government and the foreign tax havened Finastra with its grip on the Canada Student Loans Program.
As of May 1, 2018, the indication from Public Services and Procurement Canada was that DHLP was the service provider to the student loan contract. How does a dissolved company service the Canada student loan contract?
DH Limited Partnership Named CSLP Service Provider
DH Dissolution, November 2017
The Student Loan Contract, in Annex A under Statement of Work, has a section called “Ongoing Operations and Contract Close Out Requirements.” These requirements include numerous audits and assessments. The contractual documents also require the completion of continuity programs to ensure that the transition between the old service provider and the new service provider–even if it is the same company-does not disrupt the program.
It appears that DHLP failed to inform Public Services and Procurement Canada of the dissolution of DHLP. Did DHLP continue to be paid with taxpayer money by the government after November 3, 2017? Was DHLP replaced by another company during this period?
DH was swiftly gobbled up by Vista Equity Partners, and has been stitched into the fabric of Finastra, a British company. DH Corporation has completely disappeared from the operation of the CSLP contract. All its phone numbers are answered by Finastra employees. All of the websites related to the CSLP are Finastra. Indeed, all visible evidence points to Finastra presently servicing the student loan contract. This was not a minor restructuring, nor a simple name change, as Bob Crober with Public Works and Procurement Canada suggested. How has Finastra become the company running the student loan program at this time?
According to the service contract, one of the main duties of the contract holder is to service the Canada Student Loans Program, which is a government body. Student loan borrowers, who call the NSLSC, are informed by a recording that states that the caller’s information is protected by Canada’s Privacy Act. The caller is then asked to submit his/her social insurance number.
Following this submission of private data, an agent for a company answers and begins a discussion that includes private information. How is this caller able to make a privacy request to an unnamed company? Is this not a violation of the civil rights of those Canadians who called the NSLSC after November 3, 2017? Has Public Services and Procurement Canada been assisting in this violation, by failing to properly oversee the program?
Given the amount of Canadian taxpayer money involved in the CSLP, and paid to the service provider, we expect that at some point these discrepancies and the lack of oversight will come to the attention of the Auditor General.